Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Take Heed

Luke 8:18 “Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.”

If you have the desire to hear what the Lord is saying to you….you will. If you do not really want to hear…you won’t.

Take heed, or pay attention to those things that will hinder our profiting from the Word that we hear.

Jesus just gave the parable of the Sower sowing the Word. There were four kinds of soil which it landed on:

1)The wayside….really the hard ground around the prepared field where the workers walked.

The seed was so little considered, that when it landed there, it was walked on; “trodden under foot”.

This is the way some people treat God’s Word…they might listen to it, but they do not regard it, so they eventually trample all over what it says…and Jesus, Who said it.

2)The rocky ground…the part of the field where they had taken out the large rocks, but there were still smaller ones there.

The seed there was starved for moisture…or the healthful influences of the Holy Spirit.

It “sprung up”….started to hear and to see what was being said, but the hard places in the heart (resentments, hurts, anger) quenched the Holy Spirit….and because they refused to remove these “rocks”, the Word withered within them.

3)The thorny ground…the part of the field where the seed grows up with the weeds.

At first, it looks like you can get some harvest, though it maybe small.

But the “thorns” or the things of the world (worries, riches or wanting them, and pleasures of this life) are too strong….they pull all the life from the plants, and do not produce anything.

(How many times have we felt our desires taking over our thoughts, and actions?

And these desires can be for a better home, job, car, or anything else. It is not the desire, itself….but how much it influences our affections.

Are we becoming depressed because we do not have them?

Are we thinking about them all the time?

These are thorns, which if we continue to let them grow; and do not pull them out, will choke the Word of God from our hearts.

We pull them out by coming to the Lord and turning them over to Him; confess any sin about them, and ask Him to remove the affections from them.)

4)The good ground…the part of the field where the most preparation has taken place (Jeremiah 4:3).

The ground has been turned over, and smoothed, so when the Seed was placed there, there was nothing to hinder it’s growth.

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.”

There is nothing that God loves so much than a person that get’s honest with Him…..it is an acknowledgement that our hearts are open to Him in everything.

Jeremiah 17:10 “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

If a person’s ways are honest with the Lord, He will reward his honesty with spiritual fruit.

This heart produces fruit….for the Word we hear, we keep, and we use to help us.

Any honest man who comes to God as he is, comes to the ground where God can meet with him.

Isaiah 57:15, 18 “For thus saith the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, Whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

I have seen his ways, and I will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners (those that sympathized with him).”

On that same ground of honesty, God grants grace….the unmerited favor of power to do something about ourselves, or the situation we are in.

John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

When we face the truth about ourselves, in any given situation….His grace is applied, right then….and we can produce the fruit of the Spirit within us.

Grace changes us….enabling the weakest Christian to remain strong, patient, to forgive, or any ability we need…..when we get honest with the Lord.

(To be frank, this is the hardest part….for when we pray, we often just ask for grace, without telling the Lord all our deepest feelings. Tell Him all, and let Him heal all…that is the truth and grace of Christ Jesus being applied to us…to make us whole.)

If you read this parable, it was only His disciples who asked, “What might this parable be?”

They wanted to understand the Word that they heard.

To “understand” means “to come together”……..to comprehend so that the actions follow the mind.

The crowd seemed happy just to listen and be around Jesus. Like a vacation from their life….but with no change in their life.

Matthew 13:13, 15 “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

They did not understand…because they let their hearts become heavy with cares. (Their life was hard….This might be natural)

They let their ears stop hearing Him, because He required more than they wanted to give.

[He asked them to trust and believe in Him….they wanted Him to keep feeding them, and healing all their illnesses John 6:26-27].

(This is a turning away with their hearts)

Their eyes they closed, because they did not want to “see”….that God was calling them to be His, completely. (This was a choice of the will…they closed them)

Luke 8:15 “But 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.”

A good and honest heart: Good because it is honest with God.

(In the Greek (“kalos”), the word for “honest” here, means “beautiful, valuable, or virtuous”. I believe the Lord shows, that to be honest with Him, is beautiful.)

Again, any honest man who comes to God….as he is….comes to the ground where God can meet with him….and He will.

“…I have seen his ways, and I will heal him…”. The Lord says “I will” and where He wills, there is power.

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