What does your heart hear? - With a hardness, shallowness, thorniness or goodness?

February 14, 2020
Hey Church Family:  This week’s passage in Luke is a weighty one that must lead us to our own self-evaluation.  How do you hear the Word of God?  How you hear God’s Word is a really big deal.  Jesus tells us very clearly through the Parable of the Sower that how we hear God’s Word determines if we have a place in the Kingdom of God (Luke 8:1-18).  Let the weight of that teaching sink.  Or better yet, pause and go read that parable.

How we hear Jesus determines if we understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God (Luke 8:10).  There are two type of hearing in which we engage every moment of every day.  We can hear with just our physical ears – tones, sounds, words, vibrations.  This type of hearing, as we say, can go in one ear and out the other or maybe at least our mind processes some of the information gathered by this type of hearing.  There is a second type of hearing.  This is the hearing that Jesus is really concerned with as He shows us in this parable.  Jesus is teaching the crowd and us about the type of hearing that we do with our heart.  Heart-hearing is crucial to salvation as Jesus teaches.  Heart-hearing is the type of hearing that determines if the seed of the Word of God takes root within us to bring forth sustaining fruit of salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of God.  In Luke 8:8, Jesus declares, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”   He is referring to our heart ears.

In this parable Jesus gives us four pictures of the four different conditions of the heart.  There is the hard heart, shallow heart, thorny heart or the good heart.  Jesus is teaching that the condition of one’s heart determines if there is any receptivity of the truth.  We must read this parable and self-evaluate what type of heart we possess.  Please, go and read the parable.

Here are some questions to ask after you have read the Parable of the Sower.
Does your heart desire to hear God’s Word? 
Does the seed of God’s Word penetrate the soil of your heart and produce fruit?
Do you do anything with the Word of God once your heart has heard?
Does the seed of God’s Word hit the hard busy paths of your life without any penetration and change? 
Does the seed of God’s Word germinate and produce spiritual roots deep enough to sustain you in the trials and hardships of this life?  Or are you like a withered seedling scorched by the sufferings of life – saying “Why me, God?”
Do you find that there are strangling vines of the cares, pleasures and riches of this world that are growing in your heart and choking out any fruit of God’s Word? 
Do you find that you struggle with the desire to do the work needed to make sure that the soil of your heart is soft, humble, penetrable and fertile for God’s Word to produce fruit?
Or do you hold on tight to every Word of God and bear fruit with patience?

Jesus teaches in this Parable of the Sower that the hearing of God’s Word will always produce fruit.  Hearing the word always involves doing!  In fact, Jesus says, the more we do with what we have heard from God’s Word the more we will receive understanding of God’s Word and His will.  Jesus also promises the opposite (sorry).  If we fail to do anything with the Word of God, then even what we have received will be taken away (Luke 8:18).  That is a type of present judgment that we can escape and must strive to escape.  Let us with great passion and determination hear God’s Word with all of our might, welcoming every Word and then following up with action – doing that Word, yielding a hundred fold.

I look forward to worshipping with you, hearing intently from God through His Word. Love in Christ, Steve

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