RTS Charlotte: Women's Bible Study w/ Dr. Mike Kruger- The Gospel of Mark, Episode 7

Reformed Theological Seminary
31 Oct 202250:39

Summary

TLDRIn this thought-provoking sermon, the speaker delves into Jesus' Parable of the Sower, unveiling profound insights into the growth of God's kingdom. Through a masterful analysis of the parable's elements – the seed (the gospel), the sower (those who spread it), and the soil (the human heart) – the speaker emphasizes that the advancement of the kingdom hinges on the response of individual hearts, not the quality of the message or the messenger. The parable illuminates the various soil types, representing different heart conditions, and underscores that only hearts receptive to the Word bear spiritual fruit. Ultimately, the speaker challenges listeners to self-reflect on their own heart's condition and surrender to God's transformative work, aligning themselves with the good soil that yields an abundant harvest for the kingdom.

Takeaways

  • 🌱 The kingdom of God grows gradually and mysteriously, like a small seed becoming a large tree, rather than all at once.
  • 💬 The seed represents the word or message of the gospel, which has inherent power to produce fruit when it lands on good soil.
  • 🙍‍♂️ The sower represents those who spread the word, and the effectiveness is not determined by the sower's skill or eloquence.
  • 🌎 The different types of soil represent the various conditions of the human heart in receiving the word: the path (hardened), rocky ground (shallow), thorns (distracted), and good soil (receptive).
  • 👿 Satan tries to snatch away the word from hardened hearts, preventing it from taking root.
  • ⛅ Fair-weather hearts initially receive the word joyfully but fall away when difficulties or persecution arise.
  • 💰 Distracted hearts are choked by the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things.
  • 🌳 True believers with good soil hear, accept, and bear fruit, though the degree of fruitfulness varies (30, 60, or 100-fold).
  • 🙏 The advancement of the kingdom is ultimately determined by the response of individual human hearts, which God alone can soften and make receptive.
  • 🔍 Self-examination is crucial to identify the condition of one's own heart and to pray for God's work in softening and transforming it.

Q & A

  • What is the main topic or theme of the sermon?

    -The main topic of the sermon is the Parable of the Sower from the Gospel of Mark, and how it relates to the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

  • What is the definition of the Kingdom of God according to the sermon?

    -The Kingdom of God is not a physical location or place, but rather refers to God's reign or rule manifesting itself and spreading throughout the world.

  • What are the three main elements discussed in the Parable of the Sower?

    -The three main elements are: 1) The seed, representing the Word of God or the Gospel message; 2) The sower, representing those who spread the Gospel; and 3) The soil, representing the different conditions or states of the human heart.

  • Why does the sermon emphasize that the problem is not with the seed (the Gospel message)?

    -The sermon emphasizes that the Gospel message itself is not the problem when it comes to the advancement of the Kingdom of God. The seed (the Word of God) has power and potential when it falls on the right soil (a receptive heart).

  • What does the sermon say about the role of the sower (the one spreading the Gospel message)?

    -The sermon states that the problem is not with the sower either. Even if the sower is not the most eloquent or skilled, their role is to faithfully spread the seed (the Gospel message), and God will use it as he intends.

  • What are the four types of soil or hearts mentioned in the Parable of the Sower?

    -The four types of soil or hearts are: 1) The path (hard heart where the seed does not take root), 2) The rocky ground (heart that receives the Word with joy but falls away when faced with difficulty), 3) The thorns (heart distracted by the cares and riches of the world), and 4) The good soil (receptive heart that bears fruit).

  • What is the significance of the different levels of fruit-bearing (thirty-fold, sixty-fold, and a hundred-fold) mentioned in the parable?

    -The different levels of fruit-bearing signify that not all believers bear the same amount of fruit, but all true believers will bear some fruit as evidence of their faith.

  • What is the main lesson or takeaway from the Parable of the Sower according to the sermon?

    -The main lesson is that the advancement of the Kingdom of God is determined by the response of individual human hearts. The sower's role is to spread the seed (the Gospel message), but God is the one who softens hearts to receive it.

  • How does the sermon encourage believers to examine their own hearts?

    -The sermon encourages believers to examine their own hearts and identify which type of soil or heart they might be tempted by (the path, rocky ground, or thorns), even if they are ultimately the good soil. It also encourages prayer for God to change and soften their hearts.

  • What is the role of the believer in advancing the Kingdom of God according to the sermon?

    -The role of the believer is to faithfully sow the seed (share the Gospel message) and leave the softening of hearts and the advancement of the Kingdom to God's work.

Outlines

00:00

🗣️ Opening Remarks and Context for the Parable

The speaker introduces the context for the day's discussion, which is focused on Jesus's parable of the sower in Mark 4:1-20. He highlights that this is one of Jesus's most famous parables and provides a unique interpretation from Jesus himself, making it particularly significant. The central theme of the parable is the kingdom of God, which will dominate the discussion. The speaker sets the stage for exploring the parable and understanding how the kingdom of God grows.

05:01

🤴 Understanding the Kingdom of God

The speaker delves into explaining the concept of the kingdom of God, which is central to understanding Jesus's parables. He clarifies that the kingdom of God is not a physical location or place, but rather a way of describing God's reign or rule in the world. It represents the manifestation and spread of God's sovereignty throughout the world. While God is always sovereign, the kingdom refers to the active establishment of God's will on earth, akin to the Lord's Prayer's petition, 'Thy kingdom come.' The kingdom is about heaven coming to earth, not merely about going to heaven after death.

10:01

🌱 The Growth of the Kingdom: Expectations vs. Reality

This section discusses the expectations surrounding the growth of the kingdom of God. Many expected the kingdom to come in a single, powerful, apocalyptic moment, conquering all evil at once. However, Jesus teaches that the kingdom grows gradually, slowly, and even invisibly, starting small but eventually becoming what God intended. This idea is likened to a mustard seed that becomes a large tree. The parable of the sower illustrates this concept, showing that the kingdom advances through the response of individual human hearts.

15:01

🌾 The Seed: The Word of the Kingdom

The speaker explains that in the parable, the seed represents the word of God, the good news of the kingdom. He addresses the temptation to modify or change the message (the seed) when it is not received well by some. However, the speaker emphasizes that the problem is not with the message itself, as Jesus does not suggest anywhere in the parable that the seed is bad. The seed (the word of God) has enormous power and potential if it lands in the right soil (heart). Therefore, the message should not be altered or compromised.

20:03

🧑‍🌾 The Sower: Faithful Proclamation

This section focuses on the role of the sower, who spreads the word of the kingdom. The speaker clarifies that the sower represents anyone who proclaims or shares the good news of the gospel, not just pastors or ministry professionals. He acknowledges the temptation to think that the reason the kingdom does not advance is due to the sower's inadequacy or lack of skill in evangelism. However, the parable does not place the problem on the sower. The speaker encourages faithful proclamation, even if one does not feel particularly eloquent or skilled, trusting that God will use it as intended.

25:03

🌎 The Soils: The State of the Human Heart

The speaker delves into the crux of the parable, which is the different types of soil representing the various states of the human heart in receiving the word. He discusses the four types of soil: the path (hard-hearted), the rocky ground (fair-weathered heart), the thorns (distracted heart), and the good soil (receptive heart). Only the good soil produces fruit, representing true believers who hear, accept, and bear fruit. The advance of the kingdom is determined by the response of individual human hearts, which God alone can soften and prepare.

30:05

🌳 The Fruitful Heart: True Believers

This section focuses on the good soil, representing true believers who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit. The speaker emphasizes that bearing fruit is not the cause of salvation but rather the evidence of a softened heart that loves Jesus. Different believers may bear different levels of fruit (30-fold, 60-fold, 100-fold), but all true believers will bear some fruit as a mark of their genuine faith. The speaker encourages self-examination to determine the state of one's own heart and a reliance on God to soften and change hearts.

35:06

💡 Lessons and Application

The speaker summarizes the key lessons from the parable. The advance of the kingdom is determined by the response of individual human hearts, which only God can soften. The believer's role is to faithfully sow the word (the good news) and trust God with the outcome. While acknowledging the temptations to modify the message or question one's ability to share it effectively, the speaker emphasizes relying on God's work in changing hearts. The parable prompts self-examination to determine the state of one's own heart and a prayerful dependence on God to continually soften and transform hearts.

40:07

🙏 Closing Prayer

The speaker concludes with a prayer, acknowledging the convicting and encouraging aspects of the parable. He prays for trust in God's control over the advancement of His kingdom and for faithfulness in doing the part God has asked believers to play – sowing the word. The prayer also expresses a desire for God to change and soften hearts, including the hearts of believers, to trust Him more fully.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Kingdom of God

The kingdom of God refers to God's reign or rule in the world, not a physical location or place. It describes the manifestation of God's authority and the spreading of his righteousness throughout the world. The video explains that the kingdom of God is not about us going to heaven, but about heaven coming to earth, as Jesus taught in the Lord's Prayer: 'Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' Understanding the concept of the kingdom of God is crucial for grasping Jesus's central message and purpose.

💡Parable

A parable is a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. Jesus frequently used parables in his teaching, drawing illustrations from everyday life to explain profound truths about the kingdom of God. In this video, the parable of the sower is described as Jesus's 'paradigmatic parable' in the Gospel of Mark, as he provides an interpretation of its meaning. Parables were a powerful teaching tool employed by Jesus to make abstract concepts more accessible and relatable.

💡Sower

The sower in the parable refers to anyone who proclaims or shares the good news of the Gospel, the message of the coming king and his kingdom. The sower's role is to faithfully spread the 'seed' of the Word, representing the message of salvation. The video emphasizes that the sower is not just pastors or paid ministers, but every believer who shares their faith with others. The effectiveness of the sower is not the primary concern; rather, the focus is on the condition of the 'soil' or the heart of the recipient.

💡Seed

In the parable, the seed represents the Word of God, the Gospel message about the kingdom of God and the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. The seed holds immense potential power, as a tiny seed can grow into a large tree, symbolizing the transformative impact of the Gospel message when it takes root in a receptive heart. The video stresses that the problem is never with the seed itself, as the Word of God is good and unchanging. Rather, the issue lies in the condition of the soil or the human heart that receives the seed.

💡Soil

The soil in the parable symbolizes the condition of the human heart when receiving the Word of God. Jesus describes four types of soil: the path (hardened heart), rocky ground (shallow, fair-weather heart), thorny soil (distracted heart), and good soil (receptive heart). The state of the soil determines whether the seed takes root, grows, and bears fruit or fails to thrive. The video emphasizes that the success of the kingdom's advance depends on the response of individual human hearts, which only God can truly soften and prepare.

💡Bearing Fruit

Bearing fruit is presented as the evidence or mark of a true believer who has received the Word of God with a soft, receptive heart. It represents the outward manifestation of an inward transformation, a life that exhibits the qualities and characteristics of a follower of Christ. The video notes that while all true believers bear fruit, the degree or abundance of fruit can vary, with some bearing 30-fold, 60-fold, or 100-fold. Bearing fruit is not the cause of salvation but rather the result of a genuine relationship with Christ.

💡Hardened Heart

A hardened heart is likened to the soil of the path in the parable, where the seed never takes root and is quickly snatched away by Satan (represented by birds). This condition represents people who hear the Gospel message but remain entirely unreceptive, with the Word merely bouncing off and never penetrating their hearts. The video suggests that this hardened heart is arguably the most common response in the world, where the message is immediately rejected or disregarded without any genuine consideration or reflection.

💡Fair-weather Heart

The fair-weather heart is represented by the rocky soil, where the seed initially sprouts but quickly withers and dies due to a lack of deep roots. This condition describes those who appear to receive the Word with joy but quickly abandon their faith when faced with tribulation, persecution, or difficulties in life. The video notes that this fair-weather response is particularly common among young people who may be initially excited about following Christ but lack the perseverance to endure hardships and trials.

💡Distracted Heart

The distracted heart is symbolized by the thorny soil, where the seed is choked out by the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things. This condition represents those who hear the Word but become so enamored and preoccupied with worldly pursuits, material wealth, and temporal pleasures that they never fully embrace Christ and the Gospel message. The video suggests that this distracted heart is particularly prevalent in affluent areas, where the allure of the world's attractions can prove dangerously distracting from a genuine commitment to Christ.

💡Good Soil

The good soil represents the receptive heart that hears the Word, accepts it, and bears fruit. This condition describes true believers who have allowed the Gospel message to take root in their lives, resulting in a transformed heart and a fruitful life that honors Christ. The video emphasizes that while the degree of fruitfulness may vary, all true believers will exhibit some level of fruit as evidence of their genuine faith and the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Highlights

Jesus uses the parable of the sower to explain why the kingdom of God advances in some people's hearts and not others, and it has to do with the condition of the soil (the human heart) rather than the seed (the word/gospel) or the sower (the one sharing the gospel).

The kingdom of God refers to God's reign or rule manifesting itself in the world, not a physical location or geographical entity. It's about heaven coming to earth, God's will being done on earth as it is in heaven.

We tend to blame the seed (message) or the sower (the one sharing the gospel) when people don't respond to the gospel, but Jesus says the problem isn't with the seed or the sower.

The four types of soil represent different conditions of the human heart: the path (hardened heart that doesn't receive the word), the rocky ground (initially receives the word joyfully but falls away during difficulty), the thorns (the word is choked by worries and riches of this world), and the good soil (receives the word and bears fruit).

True believers will bear fruit (evidence of a soft heart that receives the word), though at different levels (some 30-fold, some 60-fold, some 100-fold). Bearing fruit isn't the cause of salvation, but the result.

Our role is to faithfully sow the seed (share the gospel), while God's role is to soften hearts to receive it. The advance of the kingdom is determined by the response of individual human hearts, which God ultimately controls.

We can't control or change someone else's heart, but we should pray for God to change our own hearts to trust Him more and bear more fruit.

Even if we have a good heart that receives the word, we can still be tempted by the tendencies of the other types of soil (hardness, distractedness, fair-weathered faith).

The power and message of the gospel (the seed) should not be modified or changed, as the seed itself is good and has incredible potential if it lands on good soil.

Our evangelism efforts shouldn't be hindered by thinking we're inadequate sowers (not eloquent or skilled enough). The problem isn't the sower, so we should faithfully share the gospel, trusting God to use it.

Some people initially look like believers but ultimately prove not to be, as evidenced by their lack of fruit. Only those with good soil truly persevere.

Persecution and suffering are common reasons why some fall away (the fair-weathered heart), unable to endure difficulties that come with following Christ.

The distractive heart is often tempted by the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and desires for other things, which choke out the word.

Even true believers can struggle with being tempted by the distractions of the world and the love of money, so we need to examine where our affections truly lie.

The goal isn't to always be on a spiritual high, but to have a general trajectory and delight in Christ more than the things of the world.

Transcripts

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[Music]

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foreign

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let's turn our attention to what we're

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looking at today so in the gospel of

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Mark

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let's look at Chapter 4 verses 1 through

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20. and as you're turning there you'll

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recognize that this is arguably one of

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Jesus's most famous parables

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this is the beginning of the discussion

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of Parables and the gospel of Mark it's

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what we might call Jesus as paradigmatic

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Parable and here's why it's a

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paradigmatic parable in the gospel of

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Mark because he actually interprets it

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for us how about that

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you know so many parables he tells

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we have to figure out what they mean

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right but in this particular Parable as

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you know and as you'll see the disciples

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come to Jesus after he tells the Pharaoh

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and go what did you mean and Jesus says

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well let me tell you what I meant and

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this is one of the few times we have a

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recorded interpretation

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of the parable which makes it

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particularly significant and also as

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you'll see the theme Here is the kingdom

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of God which of course will dominate our

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discussions today so let's listen uh to

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this Parable and what God has to teach

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us from it today starting in verse 1 of

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chapter four

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again he began to teach beside the sea

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and a very large crowd gathered about

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him so that he got into a boat and sat

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in it on the sea and the whole crowd was

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beside the Sea on the land and he was

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teaching them many things in parables

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and in his teaching he said to them

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listen

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A sower went out to sow

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and as he sowed some seed fell along the

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path and the birds came and devoured it

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other seed fell on the rocky ground or

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did not have much soil and immediately

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it sprang up since it had no depth of

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soil and when the sun rose it was

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scorched and since it had no rooted

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withered away

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other seed fell among the thorns and

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Thorns grew up and choked it and it

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yielded no grain and other seeds found a

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good soil and produced grain growing up

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and increasing and yielding 30-fold and

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60 fold and 100 fold

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and he said he who has ears to hear

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let him hear

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when he was alone those around him with

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the twelve asked him about the parables

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and he said to you has been given the

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secret of the kingdom of God but for

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those on the outside everything is in

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Parable so they may indeed see but not

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perceive

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and it may indeed hear but not

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understand unless they should turn and

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be forgiven

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and he said to them do you not

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understand this Parable how then will

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you understand all the Parables the

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sower so is the word

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and these words are the ones along the

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path where the word is sown when they

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hear Satan immediately comes and takes

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away the word that is sown in them

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and these are the ones thrown on the

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rocky ground the ones who when they hear

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the word immediately receive it with joy

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and they have no root in themselves but

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endure for a while then when tribulation

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or persecution arises on account of the

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word

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immediately they fall away

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and others are the one sown among the

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Thorns they are those who hear the word

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but the cares of the world and the

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deceitfulness of riches and the desires

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for other things enter in and choke the

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word and proven unfruitful

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but those that were sown on the good

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soil

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are the ones that hear the word

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and accept it and bear fruit thirty-fold

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and sixty-fold in a hundred fold

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all right lot there this is an amazing

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Parable we've got a lot to learn today

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let me pray we'll ask God to bless it as

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we jump in

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Lord we we admit that we sometimes just

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don't understand how the kingdom grows

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and Lord we sort of blame all kinds of

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things that maybe aren't even the reason

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for why it doesn't

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would help us to realize that the real

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issue is

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the human heart the soil on which the

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seed lands and how that responds and

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Lord help us to be those like the last

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of the soils soft hearts that believe

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you and follow you we pray this in

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Christ's name

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amen

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so over the last number of years I have

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this little fall routine I've done and

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I've stopped it recently because I've

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just hired someone else to do it

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honestly

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um but for years what I used to do is

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what many I'm sure you of you do in your

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household about mid-september rolls

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around and I dutifully get in my car and

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drive to Home Depot on some Saturday and

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buy an enormous bag of grass seed which

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I can hardly carry to the car

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um and then I go to the back and I buy a

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bale of straw or or whatever and put

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that in the car makes a big mess and I

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drag it back to the house

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and of course as my lawn has gone

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through the summer it's all half dead

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right and parts of patches are showing

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and what I have to do I have to reseed

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my lawn every year this happens so I get

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a open the bag and I get a big handful

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of seed and I walk across my lawn and

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what do I do I start throwing it right

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and every time I do this I start

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thinking about this Parable I'm like I

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am the sower right and I sow it and I'm

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the seed just flutters in the wind and

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lands on the ground and I'm proud of

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myself because I have some agricultural

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farmer dimension in my life finally uh

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and I throw it out there and then I put

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some straw over the top of it Pour some

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water on it then I wait

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and you know how this story goes you

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wait and wait and wait and wait and

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you're like where what is going on with

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my with my seed and then eventually

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usually about a month later you see it

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right in parts of the lawn that little

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green starts to sprout up poking through

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the straw and you see it but inevitably

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also when I go to Milan I'm amazed of

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why it grew in some places and not

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others

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like a look and I can see this one part

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of the lawn is just all this fresh new

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grass is going to be beautiful next

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spring this other part of the lawn

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there's there's the seed it's still it's

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just dead it's not doing anything

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in other parts of the lawn I look at I

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know I threw the seed there and there's

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nothing there like what happened to the

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seed it's gone I don't know what it is

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so every year you have this sort of

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scenario where you're like well you did

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your job

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but it didn't grow

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then other times you do your job and it

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does grow

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this of course is the parable of the

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sower which is Jesus's way of talking to

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us about the way the kingdom grows and

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so today we begin this discussion of the

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kingdom of God and Jesus is going to

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surprise us to some extent here by

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saying yes the kingdom grows but not

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like you think it does

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it doesn't come all at once in some big

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powerful act it grows slowly

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incrementally even invisibly over time

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but eventually it does exactly what God

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intends it to do so we're going to have

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to deal with that issue of why some

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people respond to the gospel and not

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others you ever wondered that

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ever wondered how two people could sit

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in the Pew in a church and both hear the

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same message at the same time in the

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same place

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one leave and think that is true I

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believe it and another leave and they've

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heard the same message and they say I

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don't think that's true at all and I

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think that's rubbish and you're like

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what why did why does the why does it

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work in some instances and not in others

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why does my grass grow in some place and

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not in others

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what we're going to learn in this

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Parable is that we tend to blame the

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wrong things

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we're going to see that this Parable has

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sort of three parts to it okay there's

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the seed

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right because that's what's scattered

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then there's the sower doing the

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scattering right and then there's the

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soils on which it lands three s's today

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it's quite easy actually to remember

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where we're going to go the seed the

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sower the soil

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here's what we're going to discover we

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tend to blame the ver the first two

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things as the reason the kingdom doesn't

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grow some got to be something wrong with

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the seed you know there's several times

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in my life I'm like going back to Home

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Depot getting my money back there's

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something wrong with your seed you know

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they're gonna look at me like I think

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the problem is somewhere else not the

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seed right or maybe I blame myself maybe

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I'm not very good at throwing the seed

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right maybe I just need to work on my

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wrist snap a little better or something

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right I'm just a bad sewer okay maybe

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but I think we all know that's really

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the third thing is the issue right why

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the seed grows or doesn't grow or why

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the kingdom advances or doesn't Advance

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is actually more to do with the soil it

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lands on which as we'll see in the

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parable is the state of the human heart

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that the soil gets to

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now

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when you look at your outline you can

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see these are going to be our three

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points there's three points on your

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outline

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you can look at Point number one reason

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the kingdom advances or doesn't is not

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because of the seed Point number two

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reason the kingdom Advance or doesn't is

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not because of the sower and the reason

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the king of Advance or doesn't is

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because of the soil now

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that's where we're going but before we

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get there one brief sidebar what in the

play08:29

world is the kingdom of God anyway

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now see at the top of your outline there

play08:33

I give you a little bit of a definition

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because we need to get this straight

play08:36

this Parable and the next few Parables

play08:39

all have to do with how the kingdom of

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God grows so if you're gonna understand

play08:43

The Parables you need to understand what

play08:44

the kingdom of God is

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now here's what's interesting about

play08:48

Christians and churches today they don't

play08:50

actually think much about this phrase

play08:52

kingdom of God even though Jesus talked

play08:54

about it all the time

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remember Jesus's very first sermon in

play08:57

the gospel of Mark what is this from the

play08:59

kingdom of God is at hand

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if you don't understand what the kingdom

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of God is you don't even understand what

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Jesus's whole message is about

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so here's what we realize about the

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kingdom of God the kingdom of God when

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we hear the term we think well is this a

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location

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is this a place is the kingdom of God a

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country a geopolitical entity is it a

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place with boundaries and borders is it

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a castle or a big building what is this

play09:21

kingdom of God

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well what we're going to discover is the

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kingdom of God is none of those things

play09:25

it's not a Locale it's not a location

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it's not a geographical center the

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kingdom of God is a way of describing

play09:29

God's Reign or his rule in the world

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when the kingdom of God comes that's

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when God's Reign comes and manifests

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itself in the world and spreads

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throughout the world

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now at one level you're thinking but God

play09:44

isn't God always reigning isn't God

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always in charge yes of course he is

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right God is in heaven and on a

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providential sovereign level he's always

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King over everything but we also know

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another thing is true that kingdom is

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not necessarily always manifested in our

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lives or in the world we can see the

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king some places the kingdom appears to

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be there and other places the kingdom

play10:04

has not yet come and so even though God

play10:07

Is sovereignly Over All

play10:09

we can see in our world that it is not

play10:12

yet under the full Dominion of Christ

play10:14

because of all the wickedness and evil

play10:15

in it so the kingdom of God is God

play10:18

spreading his rule in his Reign around

play10:21

the world

play10:23

this is actually what you say in the

play10:25

Lord's Prayer if you thought about it

play10:27

um when you think about say basically

play10:29

you know uh May what's true in heaven be

play10:32

true on earth right uh basically you

play10:35

know when you talk about the the the the

play10:37

kingdom coming it's basically let your

play10:39

will be done on Earth as it is in heaven

play10:40

in other words the kingdom of God is not

play10:43

so much about us going to heaven but

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Heaven coming to Earth

play10:46

okay I'm going to say that again the

play10:48

kingdom of God is not so much about us

play10:49

going to heaven but God taking his

play10:51

Heavenly Reign and bringing it down to

play10:54

earth

play10:55

now this is an important paradigm shift

play10:57

for all of us because when we think

play10:59

about the Christian Life we tend to

play11:01

think about the Christian Life as am I

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saved does am I forgiven for my sins and

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if I die do I go to heaven by the way

play11:08

that's a really important question right

play11:10

no one's minimizing that question but

play11:12

that's not the only thing Jesus wants to

play11:14

talk about he doesn't want to just talk

play11:15

about whether you die whether you go to

play11:17

have an internal life he also wants to

play11:18

talk about God's Reign coming down

play11:20

to the world in manifesting itself in

play11:23

history and in time in other words the

play11:25

world is going somewhere

play11:27

so when you talk about the kingdom of

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God now you're talking about a

play11:30

horizontal timeline right what is God

play11:32

doing in the world to bring about his

play11:34

Rule and reign it's not so much whether

play11:36

you just personally

play11:37

die and go to heaven if you believe in

play11:39

Jesus but what is Jesus at work in the

play11:41

world doing okay so this is the spread

play11:44

of the Kingdom this idea that the when

play11:46

when the king comes at his rule of Reign

play11:48

goes throughout the world so when it

play11:52

when we start thinking about the kingdom

play11:53

we want to know what what

play11:55

how's it advance

play11:56

and here's here's the reality when we

play11:58

think about the kingdom of God coming we

play12:00

kind of want it to advance all at once

play12:01

don't we

play12:02

and by the way this was the expectation

play12:04

in Jesus day

play12:05

when he came the Jews in his day wanted

play12:07

God to bring the kingdom in one Fell

play12:09

Swoop one big moment flex your muscles

play12:13

God conquer all the enemies of God

play12:15

conquer all evil in the world and bring

play12:17

your kingdom all at one moment

play12:19

but Jesus says well it's not going to

play12:21

come quite like that it's not going to

play12:22

come in some apocalyptic moment all at

play12:24

once it's going to come gradually

play12:26

it's going to come slowly it's going to

play12:29

come in a way that it starts off small

play12:31

and seemingly insignificant but

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eventually grows and becomes what I

play12:35

intended to it starts like a mustard

play12:36

seed right

play12:37

you think oh that'll never become

play12:39

anything but then over time it grows

play12:41

into a large tree that is the way the

play12:42

kingdom of God grows so it's mysterious

play12:45

okay now that same idea pops up in this

play12:48

parable of the sower the kingdom of God

play12:50

doesn't come all at once it's Advanced

play12:52

through the response and the hearts of

play12:55

human beings

play12:56

sometimes the seed falls on good soil

play12:58

sometimes it falls on bad soil but the

play13:00

kingdom is going to grow and fits and

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starts it's like my lawn right my lawn

play13:04

doesn't all grow at once in the way I

play13:06

want it to it grows and fits and starts

play13:07

in good patches and bad patches and if I

play13:10

had if I had a great consummated lawn

play13:12

someday it would be perfectly green

play13:13

everywhere right but it's not there yet

play13:15

someday God is going to bring his full

play13:17

Kingdom in the meantime it comes and

play13:19

fits and starts little by little okay so

play13:21

I've given this little excursis on the

play13:23

kingdom of God because that's going to

play13:24

frame our whole discussion okay now back

play13:27

to the outline let's talk about the

play13:29

three things the the reasons why the

play13:31

kingdom advances or doesn't advance and

play13:34

let's start with Roman numeral one there

play13:35

which is the seed now in this story

play13:38

Jesus says there's a guy who goes out

play13:40

and he's casting seed and thankfully he

play13:43

interprets the seed for us right look

play13:44

down at verse 14.

play13:47

the sower

play13:48

sows the word

play13:51

notice in the explanation part it's

play13:54

clear that the sower is not just sowing

play13:55

a seed but it's symbolically a picture

play13:57

of the word

play13:59

this is a common phrase of course

play14:01

throughout the Bible is what what people

play14:03

do when they talk about the kingdom is

play14:04

they're they're spreading the word of

play14:06

the Kingdom the good news of the Kingdom

play14:08

the announcement of the Kingdom

play14:09

so what is the word

play14:11

the word is the gospel right the word is

play14:14

the announcement that the King has come

play14:17

the King has come and this king is going

play14:19

to take back what rightly belongs to him

play14:21

this is his world and he's willing to

play14:23

rule it

play14:24

think about

play14:25

this one of the most beloved stories out

play14:27

there which of course is uh Lion the

play14:29

Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis

play14:30

right

play14:32

of course in the story when uh the

play14:34

children make it into Narnia there is

play14:36

someone ruling there

play14:38

but it's not the rightful King right

play14:39

it's the White Witch and it's always

play14:42

winter never Christmas right it's like

play14:44

the worst thing for a child so the only

play14:46

reason Winner's worth it is because you

play14:48

get Christmas imagine having a winner

play14:49

never Christmas right so here this this

play14:51

Kingdom of Frozen coldness run by the

play14:54

witch

play14:54

but then as we all know there's a real

play14:57

king

play14:57

Aslan who is on the way and when he

play15:01

comes he's basically going to spread his

play15:02

kingdom right and so in the story Aslan

play15:05

shows up and he's the rightful King

play15:07

taking back his rightful uh place on the

play15:11

throne and when he shows up what happens

play15:13

the snow starts to melt okay

play15:16

this is the mark of the new ruler in

play15:18

town this is what the kingdom is like

play15:20

when you see the snow melting out there

play15:22

in the world right righteousness

play15:24

starting to come back in this is the

play15:26

example of God coming and reigning and

play15:29

so what you have here in this particular

play15:31

story is that you announce that right

play15:33

you Proclaim it Jesus Aslan is the

play15:36

rightful King and he is offering

play15:39

forgiveness to anyone who will follow

play15:41

him that is the message of the Kingdom

play15:44

but as we've already seen

play15:45

that doesn't always produce a result

play15:48

so here's what happens we tend to think

play15:50

when we don't get a result that the

play15:52

problem's the seed

play15:54

we tend to think well maybe there's a

play15:55

problem with the message right maybe

play15:58

there's a problem with with with this

play16:00

thing I'm announcing because I think

play16:02

it's good news but a lot of people don't

play16:03

take it as good news some people take it

play16:05

as bad news and then here's the

play16:07

Temptation I want to mention here

play16:09

because that's true for all of us we're

play16:10

tempted at this point then to think

play16:12

maybe I should fix the seed

play16:15

maybe I should modify the seed

play16:18

or put another way maybe I should change

play16:20

the message

play16:21

maybe I should make the message a little

play16:23

more this or a little more of that and

play16:26

that is what will advance the kingdom of

play16:27

God in other words the reason the

play16:28

kingdom of God's not going forward is

play16:29

because there's got to be something

play16:30

wrong with the message

play16:32

you ever feel like that

play16:34

I know that I do when I talk to people

play16:35

so what are some of the things that we

play16:36

are tempted to change

play16:38

in the message

play16:40

let's talk about that for a moment

play16:41

because I think we all have those

play16:42

conversations we're like I know I'm

play16:44

delivering this good news of the Kingdom

play16:45

I said the person I'm talking to doesn't

play16:47

think it's good news so maybe the

play16:48

problem is the message maybe I need to

play16:50

fix it yeah

play16:52

okay one of the big things about the

play16:55

message already seen this so far in the

play16:56

gospel of Mark is that part of the

play16:58

message of the good news is starting

play16:59

with the bad news what is the bad news

play17:01

well you're a sinner right you're sick

play17:03

and you need a doctor the good news is

play17:05

there is a doctor a physician of the

play17:07

Soul Jesus but you can't go to the

play17:08

doctor unless you know that you're

play17:09

you're a sinner that you're sick we've

play17:11

already seen Jesus make this point

play17:13

remember the paralytic lower to the roof

play17:15

what's he say to this guy your sins are

play17:17

forgiven you've got sin and it needs to

play17:19

be forgiven okay that's a part of the

play17:21

message you're like well let's not talk

play17:22

about Sin very much because that's going

play17:23

to make people uncomfortable what else

play17:26

okay this is a big one okay whenever you

play17:29

talk about coming to Christ and

play17:31

believing in him and being saved

play17:32

obviously the message of the Gospel the

play17:35

message of the kingdom is there's just

play17:36

one king

play17:38

it's not multiple Kings there's not just

play17:40

like you get to pick your king

play17:42

what if that's the way it was we'll just

play17:43

pick the king you like no there's

play17:44

there's a there's a kingdom and there's

play17:46

a king

play17:47

you either follow them or you don't but

play17:48

there's only one option there's only one

play17:50

way

play17:51

this is one of the most offensive things

play17:52

in the world isn't it because our world

play17:54

is a world of pluralism it's a world of

play17:57

post-modernity it's a world that says

play17:59

there's no real absolute truth there's

play18:00

no one way to God and here we are having

play18:03

a message like the king loves you wants

play18:05

to have a relationship with you wants to

play18:06

save you but there's not any other king

play18:08

out there this is the king there's just

play18:10

Aslan right

play18:12

um and that's going to be offensive what

play18:13

else we want to change in the message

play18:15

yeah

play18:17

yes

play18:19

yes this is one of the tough things the

play18:22

wrath of God right judgment from God

play18:25

some of you were here from our Romans uh

play18:28

Bible study uh this is now many years

play18:30

ago the very opening chapter of Romans

play18:32

starts with this remember Paul on that

play18:34

book is going to tell you the good news

play18:35

of the Gospel but he starts with the bad

play18:36

news and he uses the phrase the wrath of

play18:38

God in chapter one of Romans not easy

play18:41

for people to swallow that understand

play18:43

that and believe that I get that here's

play18:46

the point I want you to see

play18:48

even when we throw the seat out there

play18:49

and tell people the good news that the

play18:51

kingdom has arrived they're not always

play18:53

going to receive it but the problem

play18:54

isn't the message nowhere in this

play18:55

parable

play18:56

does Jesus say well the reason it grows

play18:58

doesn't grow sometimes you just got bad

play18:59

seed this never happens in the parable

play19:02

the seed is good there's nothing wrong

play19:04

with it we need to make sure that we're

play19:06

not changing the message or modifying

play19:08

the message as we send it out

play19:11

the power think about ever thought about

play19:12

the power in a seed

play19:14

so tiny so little but yet given the

play19:18

right circumstances and the right

play19:19

conditions that thing can just it's

play19:21

incredible think about it Jesus talks

play19:23

about this with a mustard seed right

play19:24

tiny little seed becomes a big tree

play19:25

that's that's an amazing potential power

play19:28

so when you share the gospel with

play19:29

somebody

play19:30

I know it's hard I know it's easy to

play19:32

think that this message is offensive and

play19:34

problematic and maybe I can adjust the

play19:35

message or modify the message you know

play19:36

the problem is not the message stick

play19:38

with the message okay because the

play19:40

message has enormous power and potential

play19:42

if it lands in the right spot okay

play19:46

second thing I want you to see in your

play19:48

notes today is the reason the kingdom of

play19:50

answers doesn't is not because of the

play19:52

sower

play19:53

this is our second s in our little

play19:55

series okay so if it's if if I go back

play19:58

to Home Depot and say hey your seat's

play20:00

bad they're going to be like well it's

play20:02

probably you buddy that don't know what

play20:04

you're doing right and maybe we think

play20:06

that about evangelism maybe we think

play20:08

that about spraying the kingdom maybe we

play20:09

think well

play20:10

if someone doesn't come to Christ then

play20:12

maybe I'm a bad

play20:14

sort of sower right I did yeah the

play20:16

message is fine maybe you'll concede

play20:18

that but maybe the problem is the way I

play20:20

deliver it okay and this is uh the

play20:23

second thing you want to talk about in

play20:25

this Parable so what is the sower

play20:27

the sower is referring to again those

play20:30

who spread the good news of the Gospel

play20:33

who announced the kingdom back to verse

play20:36

14 again the sower sows the word so

play20:39

anybody that proclaims announces shares

play20:42

the good news of the king

play20:44

they're a sewer what that means that

play20:46

means you're a sower

play20:48

and I'm a sewer no the sower is not just

play20:50

pastors

play20:51

okay the sower is not just people who

play20:53

are paid to be in Ministry or something

play20:54

like this

play20:55

the sower not just your church staff

play20:58

every believer who loves Jesus and

play21:00

shares him with another person is a

play21:01

sower right we're all to be part of this

play21:04

great Kingdom advancement by spreading

play21:06

the good news of the Gospel but this of

play21:09

course is right where we come to it the

play21:10

second concern we have well money for

play21:12

the problem is on the sea maybe the

play21:13

problem is the the way I'm sewing the

play21:15

seed

play21:16

and we tend to think that maybe I just

play21:18

don't have the right technique in my

play21:20

evangelism uh maybe I need to be more

play21:23

witty

play21:24

maybe I need to be more funny or more uh

play21:27

sort of persuasive or more eloquent or

play21:30

articulate

play21:31

and we think well golly maybe if I just

play21:33

took a couple evangelism classes then it

play21:36

would then it would really stick when I

play21:38

talk to people

play21:39

now I'm not suggesting for a moment that

play21:42

there's not a lot to learn about how to

play21:43

do evangelism and I'm not suggesting for

play21:46

a moment that we can't get better at

play21:48

doing evangelism

play21:49

but I think we can say plainly that in

play21:51

this Parable Jesus does not put the

play21:53

problem on the sower

play21:54

nowhere does he say well the reason the

play21:56

kingdom doesn't grow it doesn't grow

play21:57

just need a new sower

play21:59

is the problem no in the parable the

play22:01

sower is not the problem

play22:02

even if you're not very good at sewing

play22:04

think about me in like my lawn I mean

play22:06

how much skills I really take to throw

play22:08

the seed on my lawn okay well I mean I'm

play22:11

sure that someone can do it better than

play22:12

me but generally speaking you get to see

play22:14

it out there you got the seed out there

play22:15

right you don't have to be actually

play22:17

really sophisticated about the way you

play22:19

do it so let's talk about this for a

play22:21

moment we don't do evangelism let's be

play22:22

honest we don't witness to people

play22:24

because we think

play22:25

that we're not going to be good enough

play22:26

at it right look at my question at the

play22:29

bottom of point B what are some of the

play22:31

reasons we resist doing evangelism

play22:35

where we end up really thinking more

play22:37

about ourselves and about God yeah

play22:42

yes yeah

play22:46

yeah so you're like a used car symbol

play22:48

salesman at that point right it's like

play22:49

well I know we're having this meeting

play22:51

and I've shared the Faith with you let's

play22:53

let's get out the paper and sign the

play22:55

contract and close this deal and if I

play22:57

don't do that I feel like I've failed or

play22:59

something like that and then of course

play22:59

the other side of that is that makes

play23:00

that person feel like they're a project

play23:02

right that they're like well you're just

play23:04

trying to you know put a little notch in

play23:05

your belt here so that's that's one of

play23:07

the reasons perhaps yeah

play23:09

is work to understand the word yes

play23:12

if you're going to share the word with

play23:14

someone you kind of have to know the

play23:16

word right and so that's going to take

play23:18

effort that's going to take study and

play23:20

knowledge and thankfully you guys are

play23:22

doing one of the things that you would

play23:23

do to learn it better which is being a

play23:24

Bible study that's one of the reasons we

play23:26

hesitate yeah but another reason we

play23:27

hesitate

play23:32

okay

play23:38

so there is some sense in which we think

play23:40

well since I can't change a heart I'm

play23:43

going to bother right I'm not even going

play23:46

to do anything to address yeah it's all

play23:48

going to be what it's going to be I

play23:49

don't make a difference

play23:50

uh but the Bible doesn't put it that way

play23:52

right the Bible makes it clear that

play23:54

people who sow that is the means god

play23:56

uses to bring people to himself even if

play23:58

we think that it's not yeah in the back

play24:01

oh yes if I share my faith they're not

play24:04

going to like me not going to love me

play24:05

they're going to think I'm silly weird

play24:06

or even worse offensive hateful

play24:10

narrow-minded

play24:12

and we don't really want to get that

play24:13

that scoring heaped on us so here's one

play24:16

that we all have sometimes we don't

play24:18

share the faith because we're afraid

play24:19

we're gonna get asked a question we

play24:20

don't have an answer to

play24:21

okay what if I just blow it

play24:24

what if I just fumble the ball what if

play24:27

they asked me a question I'm like I

play24:29

don't know and I'm not very good at

play24:31

answering it and we think to ourselves

play24:32

well because I'm not a very good sewer I

play24:35

just won't do it at all

play24:37

and you realize that what we basically

play24:39

decided there is to think about

play24:40

evangelism on a man-centered way it's

play24:42

all about

play24:43

me and my skill set and then if my skill

play24:46

set wasn't good enough well then God's

play24:48

kingdom just won't advance

play24:49

God is going to correct that here he's

play24:51

going to say even the most quote

play24:53

ineffective sower the one who maybe

play24:56

isn't the most eloquent and the most

play24:57

well trained can still be

play25:00

amazingly useful here at spreading the

play25:02

gospel uh and uh and seeing the kingdom

play25:06

go forth and so we need to get out of

play25:08

our heads this idea that the reason

play25:10

people respond to the gospels because of

play25:13

how eloquent and articulate we are when

play25:16

we when we speak it and say it right

play25:19

um I was uh remembering there's so many

play25:22

stories of this throughout the age of

play25:23

the Church of people who come to Christ

play25:25

and are converted not because they came

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across someone super eloquent

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but just someone who just told them the

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truth and shared the gospel with them

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faithfully and love them

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it wasn't because they were the greatest

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evangelism evangelist of all time but

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just because they did it at all

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okay they just simply did it

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um and this is going to be uh this is

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something that plays out time and time

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again I remember the story of Rosaria

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Butterfield you may know may may know

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the story story of Rosario Butterfield

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Rosario Butterfield used to be

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a professor at Syracuse University in

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New York and she was as Progressive as

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liberal as non-Christian as you can get

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she was a she was a lesbian she thought

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Christianity was insane

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and she was very intellectually gifted

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obviously you're a professor at Syracuse

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University she's going to have some real

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intellectual chops

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and how was she converted not because

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she met someone of equal intellectual

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ability to her right who was like

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overwhelmed her in debate

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she had a pastor in her local town that

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just got to know her and started talking

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to her about Jesus got very basic very

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ordinary guy who just did it

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and just loved her and shared the face

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with her and over time it took a while

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she finally came to know Christ and

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become a Christian now she's out

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speaking about Jesus and it's an amazing

play26:38

conversion story but notice it didn't

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happen because the guy who shared it

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with her was so eloquent it happened

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because he just shared

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so here's what I want you to realize is

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that there is a sense in which we can't

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do our kingdom spreading so to speak

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with a man-centered approach where we're

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so looking at us right don't forget

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God's at work even if you don't feel

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like you're the most articulate you can

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still

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um find ways to spread the gospel

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faithfully and God can use it so there's

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probably someone in your life right now

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that you've not shared the Faith with

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family member

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parent

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co-worker

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someone that you play sports with or in

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a group with

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and we all know the reasons we don't do

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it because we think well I'm just not

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very good seller now the problem isn't

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the seller and the problem isn't the

play27:29

seed

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so we need to Faithfully do what God

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asks us to do knowing that he will take

play27:34

care of the rest all right that leads us

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then to the real issue and that's the

play27:38

soil so let's flip our notes over

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here's The Parables payoff the reason

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the kingdom advances or doesn't Advance

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us as the sower sows the seed is because

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of the soil it lands on

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now here's here's the first thing I want

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you to realize about this can you

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control the soil

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you me no we can't control the soil of

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someone else okay and on one level you

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can't even control the soil in your own

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heart okay and so I know that might

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sound defeating but it's actually

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freeing okay your job my job is to take

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the wonderful message of the Gospel the

play28:14

seed and to be a faithful sower even if

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we're not the best at it and cast it out

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there and and know that God has a plan

play28:21

for where it's going to land okay he has

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a place where it's going to sprout

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so what our Parable does here is it

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walks through this is the great thing

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about this parallel rights Jesus

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interprets it for us it walks through

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the different kinds of soils that the

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seed lands on

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and we read these in the story you can

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see in that Roman numeral there's four

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kinds of soil that the seed lands on

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and I want to just say a word about each

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of these and here's the thing as we walk

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through these the first three

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of the soils never produce fruit

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the last one the good soil does

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so what you have here is Jesus saying

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look I know you're wondering why some

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believe and some don't why some receive

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it some don't Jesus is going to give us

play29:08

an explanation of that because of the

play29:10

different soil the different state of

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people's hearts when they receive the

play29:13

message but it's only the good soil that

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ends up producing fruit

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now here's another thing about this

play29:18

passage that's a little disconcerting

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but

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something we should reflect upon there's

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some people that might at first look

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like Christians

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that prove later not to be

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and this is some of the soils we'll see

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there's some people that start off

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it looks like positively but never sort

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of make it to the end

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and that's a sobering thought

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it's only the people who have good soil

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in their hearts if you will that end up

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producing the fruit

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now again since you can't control the

play29:46

soil you're like well why bother well

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because God does

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God is going to grow it exactly where he

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wants to grow his word okay but we can

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be confident he'll do that and we can

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just do our part and let God do his part

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okay let's walk through the different

play30:00

soils here and you can see them there's

play30:02

the soil the path the soil of the rocky

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ground soil the thorns and then finally

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the good soil and you'll notice I've

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given a little parenthetical statement

play30:11

at each of these what I think it's

play30:12

referring to

play30:14

and we'll just walk through these one at

play30:16

a time let's start with the soil of the

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pathway

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of course you'll notice in verse 4 as

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Jesus talks about the sower as he sowed

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some seed fell along the path

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now if you've ever done an overseeding

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of a lawn or ever planned anything you

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know that the worst place for something

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to grow is in hard soil okay because the

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seed can't get in there which is why you

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till the soil right some of you probably

play30:42

like gardening this is probably

play30:43

something you already experienced is

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that you you till it up you soften it

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right so the seed can get in there and

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find a place to grow and what is a path

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the path is just hard soil and this is

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when I remember doing my yard you know

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there would be places where you could

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see where the kids had run from the

play30:57

playground to the deck and they had just

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worn this path and I could never get

play31:02

grass to grow in the silly thing right

play31:03

every town because it was just part just

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like a rock because they would run on

play31:07

the thing I try to plan it there it

play31:09

wouldn't grow the only way I could get

play31:10

it to grow is to tear it up and soften

play31:12

it and then it would grow but Jesus is

play31:15

saying there are some hearts that are

play31:16

like that path and we can see he

play31:18

describes it down in verse 15.

play31:20

and these are the ones along the path

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he's going to tell us who they are where

play31:24

the word is sown when they hear Satan

play31:26

immediately comes and takes away the

play31:27

word that is sown in them in other words

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their heart is so hard the seed never

play31:32

even starts

play31:33

and Satan comes in the birds are

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symbolic here in the parable of Satan

play31:38

comes in and grabs it and takes it away

play31:40

by the way this first heart is probably

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arguably the most common heart in the

play31:44

world

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is a heart that hears the gospel and it

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kind of bounces right off let's just

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think of it that way it just stays

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purely on the outside right it's like

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you drop that seed on the hard ground

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it's never gonna you know never gonna go

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anywhere I can remember my yard I plant

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seed in these places and I can remember

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looking out the window and seeing the

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birds eating the seed

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and I'd run out and chase them off

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come back in a few minutes later they'd

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be eating the seed again I'm like all

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right that's it you know nothing I can

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do about that why because the sea never

play32:13

never gets in there and it's on the

play32:15

surface and the birds just pluck it and

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take it away

play32:17

so most people who don't know Christ

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number one heart here describes them the

play32:23

word hits them and bounces right off

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you know what that means and we'll see

play32:29

as we go is that the only way that

play32:30

someone receives the good news of Christ

play32:32

is if God softens their heart right

play32:35

um and we'll get there when we get there

play32:37

now in a room like this I Pray There's

play32:38

No One With This Heart Right Where The

play32:40

Gospel keeps hitting you and you just

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say yeah no thank you he's bouncing

play32:43

right off but at the end of this we were

play32:45

going to ask the question not just about

play32:46

other people's hearts but the big

play32:48

takeaway is what about our own

play32:51

all right second type of soil

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the soil with rock on it the rocky

play32:56

ground here's where you see in verse 5.

play33:00

other seed fell on Rocky ground where

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did not have much soil and immediately

play33:06

it sprang up since it had no depth so in

play33:07

other words it's a little better it's a

play33:10

little soil there it's not completely

play33:11

hard it has some initial

play33:14

action if you will and then Jesus

play33:17

interprets it down in verse 16. and

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these are the ones sown on Rocky ground

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he describes it the heart here the ones

play33:23

who when they hear the word immediately

play33:24

receive a joy

play33:26

but they have no root they endure for a

play33:29

while but when tribulation or

play33:30

persecution arises they fall away

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this is what I call you can see it in

play33:36

the little parenthetical statement there

play33:37

the fair weathered heart

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fair weathered hearts are very common in

play33:41

the Christian world

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this is particularly common with young

play33:44

people

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okay young people maybe high school or

play33:48

college to hear the gospel and think yes

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I want to follow this Jesus and they

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start off with a level of excitement

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but you know what happens is that life

play33:56

happens

play33:58

and when life happens sorrow happens

play34:01

suffering happens difficulty happens

play34:04

and what you thought maybe had been true

play34:06

faith is choked out

play34:09

by the by the worries and the

play34:10

difficulties of life

play34:12

this is why we all know people that we

play34:15

were in our younger years with it we

play34:17

thought we're Believers and later we

play34:18

found out they are not Believers anymore

play34:20

if they ever were they just walked away

play34:23

from whatever vestiges of Christianity

play34:25

there was and so there are people like

play34:27

that they start off good but they don't

play34:30

make it and when things get bad they go

play34:32

for the exits the fair-weathered fans

play34:34

it's like fair weather it's like sports

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teams right you know they always ding

play34:37

you for a sports team are you only

play34:38

around when we're doing well

play34:40

and the sports team does poorly no one

play34:42

shows up fair weathered fans just go

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look at the Panthers games and you'll

play34:45

see plenty of these right it's like well

play34:48

I'm all for you when it's going well but

play34:50

when it's bad I'm not gonna be around

play34:52

okay because suffering and persecution

play34:54

is one of the main reasons that people

play34:56

say I don't think Christianity is for me

play34:58

because what does Jesus say you're going

play35:00

to have if you follow him suffering and

play35:02

persecution

play35:03

and so there is a sense in which we all

play35:05

need to ask whether we're fair weathered

play35:07

fans you know who's the the poster child

play35:09

of the fair weathered fan I know this

play35:12

sounds sobering but it really is true is

play35:14

the person of Judas

play35:16

he started off as part of the 12. No

play35:19

Doubt excited for this great New Kingdom

play35:21

Jesus was going to bring and he thought

play35:22

it was going to be wonderful

play35:23

but then what does Jesus start talking

play35:25

about suffering

play35:27

persecution

play35:29

take up your cross

play35:31

follow me and Judas we know this from a

play35:33

number of passages is like yeah I

play35:36

thought I was going to have glory and

play35:37

you know success and riches and this was

play35:39

going to be the great Kingdom I don't

play35:40

know where you're going Jesus I don't

play35:41

want anything to do with that

play35:43

so he takes us 30 pieces of silver and

play35:45

off he goes and you realize some people

play35:48

are in it

play35:49

but they're not really in it for Jesus

play35:52

they're in it for whatever they think

play35:53

they can get

play35:55

from Jesus

play35:56

and by the way people go to church for

play35:58

this reason

play35:59

people go to church because not for

play36:00

Jesus there's no personal relationship

play36:02

there they're in church because whatever

play36:03

they get from church maybe it's you know

play36:06

friends or a social home or maybe

play36:08

encouragement from time to time but it's

play36:10

not rooted right in the person of Christ

play36:12

here's the thing

play36:14

you're not going to make it through the

play36:15

tough times

play36:16

if you're not really committed to the

play36:19

person of Christ and the second heart is

play36:21

a fair-weathered heart it's not in it

play36:23

for Christ it's in it because of the

play36:25

benefits and when the hard times come

play36:27

out it goes now remind you something

play36:29

about Christian Life it reminds you that

play36:31

that perseverance is the mark of a True

play36:34

Believer okay A True Believer is marked

play36:37

by staying with it over time and not

play36:41

leaving or bailing on the faith

play36:44

now all of us feel I think the pinch of

play36:47

that second heart right you can be a

play36:49

True Believer

play36:51

and still feel the the the the

play36:53

difficulty of hard things in your life

play36:56

making you think I don't know if I want

play36:58

to keep doing this right you ever had a

play36:59

day where you wake up like that you're

play37:00

like I know I'm a Christian I know I

play37:02

love Jesus but this is hard

play37:04

okay so if you feel that don't don't

play37:06

panic that's normal okay the issue isn't

play37:09

whether you feel it's hard the issue is

play37:10

do you keep running okay do you keep

play37:13

going and the second heart gives up

play37:16

and they turn away to other things

play37:19

all right let's look at the third one

play37:22

the distractive heart this is the soil

play37:24

of the thorns and this one

play37:26

okay I'm going to just say it

play37:28

this is the heart I see a lot in

play37:31

Charlotte North Carolina

play37:34

soil of the Thorns what is going on here

play37:38

look at what Jesus says uh in verse 7.

play37:42

other seed fell among the thorns and the

play37:45

Thorns grew up and choked it and yielded

play37:47

it yielded no grain

play37:49

and then he interprets it for us down in

play37:51

verse 18. and others are the ones sown

play37:54

among the Thorns they are those who hear

play37:56

the word

play37:57

okay there's some initial hearing but

play37:59

look what happens in verse 19 but the

play38:01

cares of the world and the deceitfulness

play38:03

of riches and the desires of other

play38:05

things enter in and choke the world word

play38:07

and it proves unfruitful

play38:11

ah here is a whole different kind of

play38:13

heart

play38:13

one of the hearts is well persecution

play38:15

suffering no thank you but another heart

play38:17

is what I call here the distracted heart

play38:20

it's a heart that's just enamored with

play38:22

other things that seem

play38:24

just as beautiful as Jesus or maybe more

play38:26

beautiful than Jesus to that particular

play38:27

heart

play38:28

this particularly is true in affluent

play38:30

places okay people who are blessed by

play38:33

God nothing wrong with being a fluent by

play38:34

the way nothing wrong being blessed by

play38:36

God but you just need to know the

play38:37

temptation of your situation right

play38:38

whatever situation you're in

play38:41

we can find ourselves drawn into the

play38:43

attractions of the world that we really

play38:45

are distracted away from Jesus because

play38:47

of the wonderful things

play38:50

that might be available to us look at

play38:53

this language in verse 19 the

play38:56

deceitfulness of riches isn't that

play38:58

interesting phrase

play39:00

by the way he's not saying that money in

play39:02

itself is bad

play39:03

we know this because other passages make

play39:05

it clear what is being referred to what

play39:07

the problem here is the Love of Money

play39:09

is the root of all evil not money

play39:12

it's often misquoted in another passage

play39:14

that same thing here and the desires for

play39:17

the things of the world

play39:20

so even true believers can be tempted by

play39:22

that and even true believers struggle

play39:23

with that but for some people they're so

play39:25

enamored with the things of the world

play39:27

that they never really grab a hold of

play39:29

Jesus and off they go and this is

play39:31

something we need to also guard against

play39:32

in our hearts right that we just become

play39:34

we don't fall in love with Christ we

play39:36

fall in love with whatever thing we're

play39:37

enamored with in the world that is so

play39:40

easy to do

play39:42

so I think this is uh you know we look

play39:46

all these hearts are in Charlotte but I

play39:48

think the third one is one that we

play39:50

probably need to give particular

play39:52

reflection of and this this can

play39:55

challenge us to how we're spending our

play39:56

time

play39:57

and how we're doing our things but I

play39:58

think what this really gets at is your

play39:59

affections okay

play40:02

you'll notice that when you start

play40:03

talking about the heart you're not just

play40:04

talking about actions not just talking

play40:07

about what you do or don't do what you

play40:09

what you and I need to figure out and

play40:10

spend some self-reflection in is

play40:12

thinking where is my affection lie right

play40:15

what do I find that I am delighting in

play40:18

what excites me

play40:20

that tells you a lot about the state of

play40:23

your heart now don't be discouraged if

play40:24

you're not always excited about Jesus

play40:26

you know the spiritual life is up and

play40:27

down right so that's not our Point our

play40:29

point isn't like you have to be always

play40:30

on cloud nine but a general trajectory

play40:32

right a general direction in your life

play40:35

where you find yourself enamored with

play40:36

Christ more than the things of the world

play40:39

all right let's look at the last heart

play40:41

it's the heart of a True Believer

play40:43

not a perfect person

play40:45

not a person always does what they need

play40:46

to do but someone who does love Jesus

play40:49

and you'll notice that this is a heart

play40:51

softened by the spirit look at verse 20.

play40:55

but those that were sown on the good

play40:57

soil

play40:59

are the ones who hear the word and

play41:02

accept it and notice the next next

play41:04

phrase and bear fruit

play41:07

did you catch those three things

play41:10

this is the True Believer they hear the

play41:11

word you got to hear the word to to to

play41:13

to start the whole scenario and notice

play41:17

they say accept the word

play41:19

right and so you're receiving it you're

play41:22

acknowledging it's true you're you're

play41:23

you're bringing it into your life but

play41:25

then this third one is key and bear

play41:28

fruit

play41:29

what is the mark of a true Christian

play41:32

that they bear fruit

play41:34

are you saved because you bear fruit no

play41:37

you bear fruit because you're saved

play41:40

okay so you're not bearing the fruit

play41:42

hoping that God loves me bearing the

play41:43

fruit hoping I can work my way to heaven

play41:44

no the fruit is not the cause of

play41:46

Salvation it's the result of it

play41:49

so you can think of it this way fruit is

play41:50

the evidence that someone has a soft

play41:53

heart

play41:54

that loves Jesus

play41:55

now you're thinking to yourself well how

play41:57

much fruit all right how much fruit is

play42:00

enough for me to think that you know I

play42:03

really do know Jesus and love him and

play42:05

that my heart is soft and has received

play42:06

the word I'm not one of those other

play42:07

people that's distracted heart or the

play42:08

fair weather heart

play42:10

well what I love about this passage and

play42:12

this is just so the Brilliance of

play42:13

Jesus's teaching he doesn't simply bear

play42:15

fruit but he reminds us that there's

play42:17

different levels of it look at this next

play42:18

Clause some 30-fold some 60-fold some

play42:23

hundredfold

play42:24

this should be comforting to you every

play42:27

every True Believer will bear fruit at

play42:29

some level

play42:30

but not all bear the same amount of

play42:31

fruit okay that's just part of the

play42:33

Christian Life it's part of the way

play42:34

things go some some folks because of

play42:37

whatever thing God is at work in their

play42:38

life bear more fruit some bear less

play42:41

fruit and it's not a competition by the

play42:43

way we're like I gotta bear more fruit

play42:44

than the person at my table or something

play42:46

like this

play42:47

that's all up to God to to determine you

play42:49

know uh or sort of how that all works

play42:51

our recognition here though is simply a

play42:54

recognition that all True Believers bear

play42:56

some fruit okay

play42:58

and we know this is important why

play42:59

because there's a lot of people who say

play43:01

they're believers

play43:02

say they're Christians but never exhibit

play43:05

any signs in their life that they're

play43:06

really following Jesus okay and what

play43:09

Jesus is saying here in this Parable is