idea: The wrong ? “how can we grow?” The right ? “what keeps us from growing?”
I. TO GROW SPIRITUALLY WE MUST EXAMINE OUR HEARTS
A. Matthew 13:3-9 shows 4 types of soil
1. They represent the hearts of people who hear the word of God
2. The seed sown is the same, but the outcome is different. What makes the difference? - the heart
3. Only the last one is called good soil - the right heart for God
B. We must get rid of everything that keeps us from growing
1. Way side - paths or roads - represent closed minded person.
a. On but not in
b. Word of God bounces right off.
c. Could be religious, even a church goer
d. Does not want the word of God to govern his life
e. Luke 8:5 - seed is trodden – disregarded
2. Stony, shallow ground - emotional response
a. On , in but not down
b. Word received but does not take root
c. Shallow, weak faith - temporary Christianity (Luk 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.)
d. Profession without being really saved
3. Sun - persecution or peer pressure
a. Sun is needed for the plants to grow
b. When you are shallow and have bad friendships you get burned
4. No root - relationship with God Why are roots important?
a. Provides strength
The height of a tree is determined by the depth of its roots
5. Thorny - choked plant wandering mind
a. On, in, down but the fruit does not come up
b. People pre-occupied with worldly cares
(1) all these things are important, but they should not take place of God in our lives
(2) Martha vs. Mary
c. Deceitfulness of riches
how hardly shall they that trust in riches enter into the kingdom of God
a. Pleasures of this life
II. TO GROW SPIRITUALLY WE NEED TO CULTIVATE GOOD GROUND
A. On, in, down and up with the fruit
B. The bible does not say that it has absolutely no stones or thorns
C. 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold
1. God expects results from you based on your ability
2. Are you being all that you CAN be for God?
D. Test of good ground - fruitfulness
1. Receive the word vs. being closed minded
2. have an expectant attitude vs. careless
a. Jeremiah 33:3 _Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
b. 1 Peter 2:2 _As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Desire is a verb, not a noun, which indicates a command. We have to desire to hear from God in order to grow
3. Retain the word vs. bounce right off
a. Psalms 119:11 _¶Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
b. Joshua 1:8 _This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success
4. Understanding - study, ask ?s- how does this apply to me?
5. Dying to self -
a. John 12:24 _Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
What about your Roots? Have you been talking to God lately?
what keeps us from growing? Is your heart full of weeds and thorns? Is there sin in your life? Have you put God first in everything you do? Do you have anything that takes priority over your relationship with your Savior?
Flowerbeds illustration - sometimes we pull the leaves and leave the roots in
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Psalms 92:12 _The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 _We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;