Sermon on July 10 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Luke 8 : 4-18
Jesus told stories to change expectations that the people had about Him. This parable gets below our defences and searches our hearts. Are you a casual onlooker, or a committed seeker?
If you would be a good-soil follower:
1. LISTEN WELL – AND CHECK YOUR MOTIVE!
- Jesus calls for real expectations, not cheap grace ‘… whoever has ears to hear, let them hear’ (v8)
Do you come to the Bible to confirm what you believe and go your way? Or to listen to and obey what God says?
- Jesus reveals Himself to the hungry, not to the lazy
A little curiosity is not enough to enter the kingdom. Jesus comes not for the curious, but those hungry to seek and find.
2. LOOK HARD – AND SEARCH YOUR HEART!
Which of the four soils, does your heart represent?
- The stubborn and foolish heart ‘…then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts’ (v12b)
It is not the sower (Jesus or the preacher), or the seed (God’s gospel) that is the problem, but the infertility of the soil.
Is there too much traffic in your life, hardening your heart to the gospel that saves?
- The shallow and fizzy heart ‘… they believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away’ (v13b)
It is possible to start off with a lot of excitement and emotion, only to find that there was nothing real there to begin with.
‘A person who lets Jesus only half-way into his heart is far poorer than a one hundred percent worldlng‘.
- The strangled and false heart ‘…but as they go on their way they are choked… and do not mature’ (v14b)
What may be good can become bad if it occupies the place in your heart that only Jesus is intended to have.
Just like an airplane that cannot go backwards, the only safe direction for a real Christian to take is forward and upward.
- The sincere and fruitful heart ‘…who hear the word, retain it and by persevering produce a crop.’ (v15b)
If there is real life, there will be real change and real fruit. (Mat. 7:21-23; John 15-6). Are you passing the ultimate test?
Remember! We all finally fall not into four but one of two types of heart. Are you a lazy hearer with a resistant heart that is not changing? Or are you a careful listener with a receptive heart that is bearing fruit for the kingdom?
‘Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.’
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Photo credit FreeImages.com/Beverly Lloyd-Roberts