After examining all the challenges of the unfruitful grounds, in the parable of the sower, we now arrive at the good ground. Even in the good ground, we still see a good bit of variability of fruitfulness, some 100-fold, some 60, and some 30. We must put the kingdom of God first in our lives. It’s easy to get distracted and let other things distract our vision from the kingdom and from Christ. We must abide in Jesus Christ, abide in the True Vine, to bring forth much fruit to the glory of God.
Author: Pastor David Page 1 of 37
One of the most important parables that Jesus delivered for us in his ministry is the Parable of the Sower (or the Parable of the Soils). Jesus delivered this parable in 3 of the 4 gospel accounts in Matt. 13:1-20, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15. Here we find the teaching of Jesus of multiple responses to the word by children of God. Some in the way side are deceived by Satan before they understand the word. Some in the stony ground shoot up very quickly, but don’t have strong roots or good moisture and fade away in tribulation. Some in the thorny ground bring forth fruit but then get distracted and consumed with the world and are choked out by thorns. Then, we find varying degrees of fruit in the good ground, some bringing forth 30, 60, or 100-fold. God is glorified when we “bear much fruit” (John 15:8). There are many obstacles that can diminish our abundant fruitfulness in the kingdom: Satan, tribulations, thorns, riches, lust, cares, and pleasures. Therefore, we must be vigilant to beat back these obstacles to bring forth abundant fruit to glorify Jesus Christ. We will find that the word of God is the remedy for all these obstacles restricting our fruit-bearing. We need to understand and keep the word of God to beat back Satan, discouragement, and thorns in our life to bring forth abundant fruit to glorify our Lord.
As a pre-introduction to the Gospel of John, we consider a topical survey of the 1st epistle of John, which shows many similar topics and themes as the Gospel of John. The Apostle John shows his great “sons of thunder” zeal, even in his later years. Both John’s first epistle and his gospel were written for the purpose of affirming the eternal divinity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God that we believe on Christ.
In our lives, we all have moments where God has delivered and blessed us in a mighty way. The proper response to those blessed times is not to just go our merry way, but to set up a stone of remembrance – a memorial Ebenezer stone to commemorate that blessing to remind yourself and teach others of God’s blessings in the future. We use these memorial stones to teach the next generation of God’s amazing blessings in our lives so that they may have greater confidence and faith in God when the next trial comes in their lives.
The verse in Jeremiah 29:11 is arguably one of the most well-known verses in Christianity. However, this is often used to teach prosperity, that God will only give you blessings and what you desire. We learn that the correct context deals with faithfulness in the midst of false teaching. In this world, we are in spiritual Babylon and need to learn how to live faithfully in the wicked culture around us, looking for the return to our homeland, the return to new Jerusalem in heaven with our God.
Preached at Bethlehem PBC (Bay Springs, MS) on 6/18/2022.
Change and decay all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me. In the midst of a world that is characterized by change, what a blessing to find stability and security in the Rock of Ages, in Jesus Christ, who cannot and will not change. We can rest that God’s love will never change; God’s purpose in salvation will never change; and have confidence that God’s word is perfect and will never fail and God’s truth will endure to all generations.
Preached at Bethlehem PBC (Bay Springs, MS) on 6/18/2022.
Thorns are inevitable in this fallen, cursed, sinful world. In our spiritual walk, if we are not diligent to fight them back, the thorns of this life will naturally grow to choke out our fruitfulness in the kingdom. The thorns of this life are: the care of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, the pleasures of this life, and the lust of other things. We need to be vigilant to cut back these thorns to bring forth abundant fruit to the glory of God.
What is true “success” in service to God and in the ministry? We will find that success in God’s eyes and in the kingdom of God is measured much differently than in the world’s opinon. True success is being a good and faithful steward of what God has seen fit to trust us with. We consider Paul who was a faithful steward of the mysteries of God, but yet would not meet the metric of the world’s success. Let us be faithful stewards of what the Lord has entrusted unto us.
Preached at New Prospect PBC (New Albany, MS) on 6/3/2022.
Elder Ben Shettles describes some of his experience in drifting away from the church but then conviction in returning to the Primitive Baptist Church. We are reminded by Brother Ben’s exhortation and life, that our walk of discipleship should reflect the gospel of Jesus Christ in all our actions. People around us should be able to see Jesus Christ through our actions and how we live every day of our life – to be the light of the world to the glory of God.
As we continue through the soils of the parable of the sower, we see the stony ground Christian, who shoots up quickly, but they do not have deep enough roots to endure persecution. The stony ground will receive the gospel with joy and gladness; they have a great new, first love zeal for the church. However, when tribulation comes when they implement the word of God in their life, they wither under the sun of persecution. As the church, we need to understand how vulnerable these new Christian converts are and teach them the word of God to provide strength and stability and deep roots to remain strong in temptation.