SEEDS IN CONTEXT

Matthew 13:1-9

 

INTRODUCTION

 

[a] The miracle of the harvest, is something that should never become common place to us – for in a very real sense it is God at work visibly in His world!

[b] How wonderful God’s creation is. A little seed has to fall into the ground and die, so that it can multiply, and then with the new seeds thus produced, the process can start all over again.

[c] Did you grow things when you were a child – not necessarily in the garden, for like myself, you may not have had one.

[d] But I remember putting a pea into wet cotton wool, and growing it in the dark meter cupboard, or the old favourite – water-cress. Even if you don’t like water cress sandwiches – it tastes different as a child, if you grow it yourself.

[e] Then in the life-boys, growing the old daffodil bulbs. I think I won a prize once.

My father had a window box out the back, and he had pansies and other flowers in it. I remember once he decided to fertilize them with hen manure, he got from my grandmother’s hens. I have never seen anything grow so big and fast in my life!! I think he should have bottled it, and sold it. Talk about Jack and the Beanstalk!!

[f] He even planted some grape seeds in his window box, and although they grew, we didn’t get any grapes.

[g] My wife and I did grow some tomatoes once – and they were beautiful! Mind you, that was in the days before I had false teeth for the seeds to get under!

 

SEEKING SEED

 

[a] Jesus speaks about the Word of God as seed being sown in the heart.

[b] The heart in a sense is the soil in which the seed falls, and determines whether or not it will take root, grow, mature and bear fruit.

[c] First of all, there is the hardened heart, which doesn’t let the seed get any further than the surface, so it cannot take root, and therefore, cannot grow. Like the birds in the natural world, the devil steals it away – it is therefore, as if it were never sown at all!

How many people there are like that in today’s world! They will not allow the Word of God to penetrate into their soul!

[d] Then there are those, who allow the Word of God to penetrate slightly – they want to have God on their terms – as long as being a Christian doesn’t demand too much!

Jesus says, that because there is no depth, then as soon as the sun comes up, the tiny plants get scorched and wither!, Exactly the same applies to the shallow Christian! Because there is no depth to their experience, because it is frail and weak, As soon as temptation appears, their Christian experience simply withers away overnight.

[*] Often, those with the softest soil in their hearts, are the children.

In his book ‘Soul Winner’s Secret’, Commissioner Samuel Logan Brengle, tells a delightful story of his ministry:

Some time ago, in one of my Sunday afternoon meetings, I had a

penitent-form full of juniors, with each of whom I dealt personally. I asked

one little fellow:

“What are you here for, darling?”

“To get saved,” said he.

“Get saved from what?” I inquired.

“From my sins.”

“And what are your sins?”

“I fight,” and then he broke down and cried.

“And what are you here for?” I asked a little girl.

She too, was there to get saved, and I asked what her sins were. She

hesitated a little and then said: “I’m cruel to my sister and brother;” and

then she broke down and cried.

Another little girl swore, and another disobeyed her mother. One little boy

told lies, another smoked cigarettes, and another was disobedient to his

teacher; and so they told of their sins and broke down and wept and

prayed and asked God to forgive them and make them good.

 

[e] Jesus also speaks, about the seed in a mixed environment! The weeds spring up all around it, and choke the very life out of it! How many Christians today try to be all things to all men! Times have changed, they will tell you! They go out for their social drink. They’ll join their friends in a smoke! They walk the tightrope of loose morals! They would rather be amongst the children of the devil, than the children of God! Then they wonder why all spiritual life is choked out of them!

There appears to be more rebellion against the teachings of God’s Word amongst Christians, than there is revival!

[f] But thank God, the majority of the seed fell on good ground, Jesus tells us!

Let me just say, that as Christians, we are inclined to focus on the seed that fell on poor or stony ground! We let it dishearten us, to the extent, that we fail to sow the seed, and loose sight of the vision of the harvest! And if we do not sow – we will never reap!!

[g] So many churches, including many Army corps, never have a Gospel meeting anymore, so when someone comes in who doesn’t know the Lord, they don’t have the seed of the Word of God sown in their hearts! Then they complain that no-one is ever saved! God will hold us responsible! He has entrusted the seed of His Word to us – we must sow it faithfully!!

[h] There is nothing more wonderful, than to kneel beside a person giving their lives to Christ, because you have been responsible for sowing the seed in their heart. Sometimes it doesn’t bear fruit right away!

 

ILLUSTRATION

When I was in North Scotland recently, we attended the opening of the new Peterhead Citadel. At the meeting, resplendent in his uniform was Stewart.

When I was at the corps, I used to see Stewart at the pub, when I was selling the War Cry, and we used to have a word. At that point, he was a backslider of many years standing, although he had been a corps secretary at one time.

When I saw him recently, I said how good it was to see him back to the Lord and in uniform. He pointed at me, and said, “Your responsible for it!”

The seed sown in his heart 6 or 7 years ago, had been used by the Holy Spirit to bring Stewart back to the Lord.

 

SOWN SEED

 

[a] I am reminded that every person, saint and sinner alike is continually sowing – something – every day we live!

[b] The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

[c] THE HARVEST WILL COME – PERHAPS VERY SOON!

When I see what some people are sowing – I certainly wouldn’t like to be in their shoes at harvest time! If a farmer sows wheat, it would be very strange if he reaped barley – even with GM crops – because you reap what you sow.

This is what the Apostle is saying – for as it applies in the natural, so too in the spiritual realm!

If someone sows wretched degraded vile seeds of corruption – they will reap a wretched, degraded vile harvest of destruction to their soul!!

If a Christian sows blatant disobedience to the Word of God without repentance, let us make no mistake, they will reap the fruits of that disobedience in full!!

 

I remember a dear lady who was one of our Home League members many years ago.

Cathy was popular with everyone, and she was a heavy smoker. Her smoker’s cough got worse and worse, until she went to the doctor, and it was discovered that she had advanced inoperable lung cancer.

There was a very real sense in which she felt that she was reaping what she had sown down through the years, and shortly before she died, she said to us, how she wished she could tell everyone who smoked not to make the mistake she had, and end up dying of cancer.

 

PHYSICALLY, AND SPIRITUALLY, SOWING AND REAPING ARE FACTS OF LIFE!

 

SPIRITUAL SEED

 

[a] In a prophecy concerning the Lord Jesus, the prophet Isaiah says in chapter 53 and verse 10, when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed.”

[b] Now if you were speaking to a Mormon, they would tell you they believe that Jesus was plurally married to Martha and Mary, and that when He was dying on the cross, He could look down and see His own children in the flesh!!

What a load of blasphemous nonsense, to give excuse for their own plural marriages.

The first president of the Morman Church, Brigham Young, died leaving 17 wives, and 56 children.

AND THESE PEOPLE WOULD TRY AND MASCERADE AS CHRISTIANS!!

[c] I remember when our first child was born, being overwhelmed at this little life, which was my seed.

[d] You and I as Christians, are the ‘SEED’ of Christ, and this seed has come about, because He was made ‘an offering for sin.’

[e] My son Stephen’s wife, is always saying how alike we are! The way we speak! The way we think! The way we sit! Facial expressions!

[f] The seed of Christ, should have that holy spiritual gene, that gives us the desire to be like Him!

[g] Through the cross, we are BLOOD RELATIONS OF CHRIST! His blood flows in our spiritual veins!

 

CONCLUSION

 

[a] We have thought of the SEEKING SEED of the Word of God, looking for hearts with the right soil, in which to take root, flourish, and bear fruit.

[b] We thought too, of the fact, that every woman, man and child, is SOWING SEED in their lives every day, that will one day come to fruition.

[c] And lastly, we thought of how, WE are the SEED OF CHRIST! We’re part of the royalty of Heaven, children of God! As such the nature of Jesus must be seen in us! We are the representatives of Heaven, here on earth – ambassadors for Christ!

 

SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK

 

SONG             TUNE

935                  269

930                  624

 12                   752 (ALTER SERVICE)

550                  777

LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH