Summary of passages: Matthew 13:1-8: The same day that Jesus’ Mother and Brothers show up, Jesus sat by a lake. Such large crowds gathered that he got in a boat and retreated to the middle of the lake to teach. He told them the parable of the sower who scattered seeds which fell in different soils. Those that fell in no soil got eaten up. Those that fell on shallow soil withered because it had no root. Those that grew amongst thorns were choked. Only those that fell on good soil produced a crop.
Matthew 13:18-23: Jesus breaks up different kinds of people who hear the Word. Those that hear the message and do not understand, the evil one comes and snatches it away–the seed along the path. Those that hear the word and receive it but falls away quickly when trouble comes because he has no root–the seed in the rocky places. Some hear the word but are choked by worries of life–the seeds with the thorns. Only those who hear the word and understand it produce a good crop.
7) Before the message is even received, it is snatched away. Satan does not even want us to hear it. This is done when people have a bad impression of the church to the point they won’t go and hear. Or Christians in general and they won’t hear a testimony. Or he perverts the message. He hardens our hearts to the Word to the point it never penetrates. This is sad.
8a) Personal Question. My answer: When I don’t give God my worries and instead I carry them around I am no longer focusing or trusting in Him but am relying on myself to solve my problems. When wants and desires creep into my life and they take precedence over God and His will. Like wanting a job so I can have a home. It’s about what’s important in God’s view, not the world’s.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Simple. Do you come back to God? If the answer is yes, then you are good soil. If you never come back to Him, then you are thorny. We all fall off God’s path for our lives. It’s those that persevere as Luke says and come back to Him and get back on track who are ultimately His.
c) Personal Question. My answer: I am the good soil who perseveres, hears God’s word, retains it, and I hope passes it along. I usually have doubts on where my heart lies but not in this case. I know it is His. I know I won’t quit despite the thorns in my path. I know that my purpose is His purpose.
My prayer is to make those thorns less in my life and to make me stronger to overcome them when they do crop up so I can get back to doing God’s work instead of the world’s work.
Conclusions: I usually don’t like all the personal questions but after yesterday which was a doozy of a lesson for me in terms of time this was a piece of cake. Message for today: We have to be aware of the devil’s ploys to pull us from God’s path. And we must never give up. God is a good God. He forgives us everything. He takes us back no matter what. We will produce a good crop if we trust God to do so.