Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

The ground of our Heart
Luke 8:5 “A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.”

Today we are going to talk about the ground of our hearts. All ground is not the same.
Some, is prepared ground: cultivated, ready for the seed and growth.
Some is hard, for it has been traveled on. The feet of many have walked over it, so it is hard and unable to receive the seed, without a lot of work.

Which ground are we?
Let us consider the Lord’s parable:

Luke 8:5 “A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.”

Here is one of the hard ground hearers. They have been beside the field, but are not part of it. There has been no making the ground ready for the Word. When the word of God comes in the seed, the ground does not receive it. The Word sits on top of the heart.
Luke 8:11-12 “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.
Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”

In other words, the heart hears the word, but pays no attention to the serious warnings about sin , or the Gospel of good news.
The devil is very glad for these people. He has no trouble taking the word from their hearts, and making it disappear in their memories. They have had a life where everything that has happen to them, makes them hard against the world, people, circumstances. Nothing will make them yield. They are defiant against all, though they may appear very smooth. These are the people who hear the Word, but nothing changes, because the Word of God can not sink into their hearts so they could believe, and be saved.

Luke 8:6 “And some fell upon rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.”
This is the ground that has stones in it. Since it is part of the field, it gets seed, and it springs up! But then the roots come against the stones and become unable to grow. They soon die.

Luke 8:13 “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation, fall away.”
This ground is the hearts of those who, having heard of the Gospel of Salvation, are overjoyed! Their minds are understanding the Word, and all it’s promises, and are ready to go forward in the Christian Life. Or so they think.
Until there are problems, and temptations.(These are things which say, “You want me. I am really great, greater than what God is giving you). And as Christians we have the same problems and temptations, as everyone else. The difference is in the presence of the Holy Spirit within us for guidance; and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) encouraging us through the difficulties.

But when the decisions to stand with God come, the Stoney ground hearers, give up. Their minds had received it, making their hearts joyful. But now it was time, for the hearts affection for Christ Jesus, to hold fast. But there was no real affection for Christ; only joy at the promises the Word gave, for themselves.

Luke 8:7 “And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.”
Here is the ground which is cultivated, but not all the weeds and thorns were out of it, when it was. They are there, though not seen, when the seed is sown. When the seed springs up, so do the thorns.

Luke 8:14 “And that which fell among thorns are they, which when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with the cares, and riches, and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”
These are the hearts which have hidden resentments, lusts or worries. They are ready to receive an answer for their problems. So when the Word of God comes, promising a NEW LIFE, they jump at it.
They are so anxious to get started with this life, that they “go forth”, eager to tell others of a change in life.
But then, their hidden resentments, or lusts, or worries come to the front, again; and they wonder why they are not different?
The truth is they have never received Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. They have received the word about the new life–yes, but not the person of the Savior. And when you receive Christ, His Holy Spirit comes to live and empower us .
Our old life, or flesh is to be subjected to Christ.

Galatians 5:16-17, 24 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

Therefore the old life choked out the Word, and they never truly had that new life promised: in Christ Jesus.

Luke 8:8 “And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bear fruit one hundred fold. And when he had said these things he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
The ground which is good ground, bears fruit. It too, had been prepared by cultivation, but the difference being: fruit.
And the reason for the difference is:

Luke 8:15 “And that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

An honest heart.

We are what we are by circumstances, birth, place, and the people around us, who have shaped us.
But when the Word of God comes, and we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, then all that we are, comes under the rule of Christ. We are to get honest about our past hates, likes, loves, and circumstances; giving all these things to Christ.
And in honesty, we are to do what He wants us to do. Seek to yield to the peace of the Holy Spirit, the patience, and long-suffering for others, that He wants us to do.
The “keeping” of the Word, is holding on to Him in love. And what He has given us by His Spirit, and in His Word, and believing He will see to us.
We bring forth the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23). And that helps us grow and bring forth more fruit…the fruit of a Christian, which is another Christian.

Which ground are we? Jesus said, He that has ears to hear, let him hear.



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