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Sowing The Seed (Mark [4]1-20)

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Sowing The Seed

Text: Mark 4:1-20

Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)

Date Preached - (03/22/98)

Introduction

A seed needs the right conditions in order to grow properly.  The seed must recieve needed amounts of water and sunshine, it must have room to grow and not be crowded, it must have an appropriate climate, and it must be planted in fertile soil in which it is provided with all the right nutrients. 

( Illus: My Corn Crop, the first time I really took an interest in caring for a plant.)

I find it very interesting that God' Word is likened to seed.

All this is also true of the Word of God, if the seed of God's Word is to grow and bring forth fruit it must have an atmosphere which promotes growth, it must be sown in fertile soil.  The different kinds of ground in this parable represent various heart conditions and attitudes. 

An individual's heart is the soil for the seed of God's Word.

In our text I notice four types of soil..................

I. The Wayside. vs.4

A. The birds ate it up.

B. It was trampled upon.

Luke 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

C. Satan takes away the Word that was sown in their hearts. vs. 15

- This speaks of Satanic opposition to God’s Word.

ILLUS:  (difficulties with John/Romans)

- The Devil does not want to lose a family member.

- People get fidgety when you start quoting Scripture especially if it gets personal.

D. They hear but do not understand or believe.

Matt. 13:19  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

II. The Stony Ground. vs. 5-6

A. There is only a little soil in the stony ground.

 

B. The seed springs up quickly in the shallow earth.

 

C. The rising sun quickly wilts that plant away.

D. It lacked sufficient root [Matt.13:6] and moisture [Luke 8:6]

Matt.13:6  And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Luke 8:6  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

- I believe this refers to an intellectual or emotional decision, but not a heart profession.

E. These had received the Word with gladness. vs. 16

F. Persecution or trial quickly offends them. vs. 17

III. The Thorny Ground. vs. 7

A. The thorns choked this seed.

 

B. It became an unfruitful seed.

 

C. The thorns which cause unfruitfulness. vs. 19

1. The cares of this world.

2. The deceitfulness of riches.

3. The lusts of other things.

ILLUS: The rich young ruler. Matt. 19:16-22

IV. The Good Ground. vs. 8

Up to this time we have considered three types of soil, all of which are unproductive. 1). The Wayside Ground. - The disobedient heart. 2). The Stony Ground. - The Disturbed Heart. 3). The Thorny Ground. - The Distracted heart.

Now we come to the fourth soil, a soil which promotes growth and produces healthy fruit, this, of course, is the Good Ground.

This seed becomes a healthy plant and brings forth  much fruit.

Good Ground must & will  bring forth good fruit.

Illus: Our first summer garden at Tim Wiebe's place.

Spiritually, this is the heart that hears, understands and believes the Word of God.  This is The Developed Heart.

It is God's Word that produces salvation.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  READ CONTEXT VS.14-17

The Good Ground is that where God's Word is internalized.

INTERNALIZING GOD'S WORDGipsy Smith told of a man who said he had received no inspiration from the Bible although he had "gone through it several times."  "Let it go through you once," replied Smith, "then you will tell a different story!"

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

What are the results of the seed that is sown in good ground?

It brings forth fruit!!

1. Thirty-fold fruit.

2. Sixty-fold fruit.

3.     Hundred-fold fruit.

Notice carefully that this is not thirty, sixty, and one hundred percent, but thirty, sixty, and one hundred-fold!!

ILLUS:  Walter Wilson on Wheat.

Good ground will bring forth good fruit, when the right seed has been sown. Jesus said you can tell a lot about an individual by their fruit.

Matt. 7:15-20

Jesus also said that unless we abide in Christ and in His word we will not be fruitful Christians.

John 15

What sort of fruit ought to be produced in a growing Christians life?

A. The fruit of the Spirit.

Gal. 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, (Relationship to self)longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, (Relationship to others) faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: (Relationship to God) against such there is no law.

Eph. 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

B. Good Works.

Philippians 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Col. 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Heb. 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

C. Other Souls.

Prov. 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

V. Our Responsibility. I Cor. 3:4-9

As any farmer or gardener will tell you, in order to grow any thing successfully it is necessary to provide all the correct ingredients and elements for growth.  However the sprouting and growth of that plant remains a miracle, no one can give life to a plant except the creator.

The same holds true of spiritual life.  Paul said, "one waters, another plants, but God alone gives the increase" 

What is our responsibility as believers? 

Our job is to sow the seed. 

The sower in Matthew 13 went everywhere he could sowing the seed. 

If we were planting corn or wheat or alfalfa we'd want to find the most productive soil possible.  Grain in the prairies, orchards in the Okanagan, Citrus fruit in the south, bannanas and coconuts in the tropics.  But when it comes to sowing the seed of God's Word we are not instructed to find fertile ground. Why? Man's heart is the soil and we cannot know the inner condition of man's heart for God alone knows that. We are only instructed to sow the seed as well as to nurture and water those that take root in good ground. You see, even when seed may land on so-called unproductive soil

God has promised in Isaiah 55:11; "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

Psalm 126:5-6  The Promise for Soulwinners.

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He that  goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."

Conclusion:    What are you doing about sowing the seed?

What can you do?  There are so many opportunities;

Door to Door;  In your home;  In your neighbourhood;

at work;  athletics;  community activities; captive audience

on a chair lift, taxi cab, airplane, bus, etc. Pray for divine appointments.  Our job, my job, your job is to

sow the seed!

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