Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.
Jesus has just faced the accusations and demands of the Scribes and Pharisees. There was anger, jealousy, and prejudice (prejudging). Prejudice against an idea or a person prevents you from being able to receive facts and accept them.
15 times Jesus says, “He who has ears, let him hear.” Seven times in the gospels and eight times in the book of Revelation
It is your responsibility to “hear” – to seek understanding and to apply what you “hear” to your life. It will take effort on you part and it will be inconvenient. It will cause you to have to get up early, to stay late, and to be involved with, and in, the Kingdom.
Too often we rely on our feelings for answers but faith is not a feeling, faith is a choice. You have to choose to hear the word of the Kingdom. You have to choose the Kingdom over the world. Some will not choose the Kingdom of God.
It takes effort to press into the Kingdom. The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it (Luke 16:16). You don’t enter the Kingdom of God by osmosis, or by birth, or by family tradition. It is entered into by choice, with effort, faith, and with deliberate action and purpose.
Not many of us are willing to “hear” the Word of the Kingdom! 75% of the seed did not bear fruit… not because of the seed, not because of the sower, but because of the soil! For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened (Hebrews 4:2).
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1
The blessings of God are seen in our fruitfulness. How fruitful each of us are is different depending on how we respond to The Word of the Kingdom. Each of us is unique in how we understand and respond to the word of the Kingdom – to what penetrates our hearts at any given moment… Not all grow at the same rate. This should encourage us not to judge one another as we are all yet growing and not yet there! Though discipleship commitments may need to be addressed .
The path/road seed in verse 4 Jesus explains in verse 19: seed that is cast on hard packed earth or pavement is exposed to the evil one and he can kill it, steal it away, or destroy it before it can find a place to take root.
Because of the hard heartedness many do not hear the word of the Kingdom, it has no chance to take root. Those who do not understand have no “want to”. They don’t want to take the time, they don’t want to make the effort, they are on the wrong path and don’t want to change. Blind to the need to change, they continue on with the World.
The World has them and the enemy snatches away the Word of the Kingdom so that it cannot grow in their hearts. There are many sitting in churches all over the U. S. that have no intention of seeking to grow, that will not attend a class or be a disciple in any way, out of fear of having to change/grow. They do not hear…
In order for the seed of the kingdom to take root and grow there has to be a want for understanding, a want to for growth, and a commitment to do so. Not many are willing to make that commitment in this day.
So there is no fruitfulness from the “Word… it falls on a hard heart. this will take you (want to) breaking up the hard packed earth so that the soil can accept
It will take repentance… So you must be attentive to the word and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you. Study it and let the Word of the Kingdom take root in your heart, transform your mind, and change your behavior.
The second type of soil is rocky, there is no root. They look like they are doing well, you see the spiritual growth, yet the moment tribulation or testing comes they turn from the church or local congregation rather than stick it out and do according to the Word of the Kingdom. Not knowing that God works to good all that is going on to those that Love Him. John 14:15 – If you love Me…
We have all seen the response in people who start attending church, maybe even get baptized and join a board or team, but then their circumstances change. There is discontentment or hurt, and rather than work through it according to the Word of the Kingdom (Matthew 18:15) they leave. They had no root, no knowledge of the Word, no firm foundation of faith on which to stand.
These listeners are not rooted and grounded in faith. They embrace any new feel-good doctrine until hard times come along and they no longer feel good. There is an emotional, rather than a heart, response to the Word of the Kingdom. They wither away, dying slowly: lack of root, shallowness, no depth.
They too must dig deeper to remove the rocks and break up the soil.
What is the outcome if the soil is right? Fruitfulness from the Word of the Kingdom in those who hear!
- Is “The Word of the Kingdom” in your heart?
- Are you hearing what God is saying to you?
- What are you doing to grow where you are planted?