Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
24 April 2022
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
Let’s pray that we can love the Lord with all our hearts and our neighbours also!
I saw the Lord, high and exalted … “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”Isaiah 6:1, 5
Please read: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15.
‘The parable of the Sower’, or as some entitle it ‘The parable of the soils’, is a parable to emphasize how important the spiritual state of our heart is. The parable seems to the most important, for Jesus stated,
“Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?”Mark 4:13
Some apply it to those who are not yet saved, and those who are on the point of being saved, yes, but also the truths herein can be applied to us throughout our walk with the Lord. We all have to keep a check on the state of our hearts, – are we allowing hardness to enter? sin to enter?, doubt? unbelief? and the like. We do well to keep at the forefront of our thinking the exhortation:
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.Proverbs 4:23
Above all else – means that this is the most important matter, our top priority because our heart is the place we connect with God, the place the Holy Spirit seeks to dwell within us. Why is it that in some places, or with some people there is a great reception to God’s Word, whereas with others there is indifference, even downright hostility? The answer is here, the state of a person’s heart. Jesus doesn’t blame the Sower, or the Seed, rather it’s the soil which he explains later on is a person’s heart:
This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God … the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.Luke 8:11, 15
Compare this to the state of other hearts, the hard heart,
Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.Luke 8:12
Then mention is made of hearts that are overcrowded with the cares of this life:
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.Luke 8:14
And finally there are those who give the Lord a couple of hours a week, who say a quick prayer or two, now and again, and as a result their hearts are shallow,
Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.Luke 8:13
We have become good as a nation at blaming others:
- It’s their fault
- It’s the Government’s fault
- It’s my upbringing
- It’s my lack of money
- It’s because I have too much money!
There is no end to it. And yes some of these things will have undoubtedly have had a negative impact on us. However, it seems here in this parable that no excuses are permitted, and everyone is responsible for the state of their own heart. So everyone, as they face the Lord at His Judgement Seat will have nothing to protest, no defence, He is the Lord who sends His rain on the just and unjust alike; He is the Sower who has scattered His seed generously. The problem is with the human heart, “At the heart of the problem is the problem of the human heart”. So let’s have regular check ups on the state of our own hearts and let’s keep sowing the seed and praying for all and sundry that their hearts become more and more responsive, Amen!
Quote of the week
“See that your chief study be about your heart; that there God’s image may be planted; that there His interests be advanced; that there the world and flesh are subdued; that there the love of every sin is cast out; that there the love of holiness grows.”
Verse of the week
You shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says. “Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people”’.Ezekiel 3:27
Lord have mercy upon us; be gracious to us; prepare the soil of our hearts; remove hardness, fear, doubt, immorality, indifference; may we have the heart of Jesus. We pray the same for this nation who once knew you and was so close to you. Lord, we have drifted far-away from you. Restore us back to Yourself in Jesus Christ by the power of Your Spirit, Amen!