Messages from Pastor Raddatz
Sunday July 12, 2020 Mount Olive Lutheran Church Houston TX: John Raddatz, Vacancy Pastor
(Other Texts for the day: Isaiah 55:10-13 and Romans 8:12-17, Sixth Sunday after Pentecost)
THE LESSONS OF THE SOWER, THE SEED AND THE SOIL, Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Dear People of God at Mount Olive,
God’s love is indiscriminate. How precious is our Lord who sows his word among all people! The power of his word will not return empty. God still gives us a choice to accept his word or neglect it.
A parable is a story with a deeper meaning. It is used to describe important things. The meaning is of this parable is explained by Jesus. It is my prayer that you receive the word and not let the evil one snatch it away, that you allow it to take root in you, that you do not allow the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word and that it bears abundant fruit for the Kingdom of God.
“Jesus went…and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose, they were scorched. And since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:1-9)
Who is the Sower and what is the Seed?
The Sower is Jesus and the seed is the word of God. Did you catch the wonderful expansive all-inclusive love of God? Jesus is for all people. He spreads his seed anywhere and everywhere. He has come to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). All of us are lost in our sin. All of us are susceptible to having shallow roots in the word of God. Hear how we need to let the words of God in the Bible take deep root in us.
The threat of Evil
The first kind of threat Jesus wants to warn us about is the threat of the evil one who can come and snatch away what has been sown in our heart. What eliminates this threat is NOT US, but GOD. When we sense the threat of evil we are to “draw near to God and he will draw near to you”! Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:8-9).
Not allowing God’s word to take root
Regarding that which is sown on rocky ground v. 20 and following, of our text reads: “As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.” God calls us to allow the word of God to dwell in us deeply” (Colossians 3:16).
The word can be choked (by the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches)
A woman wrote: It can be hard for me to see my spiritual poverty when I am surrounded by material abundance. Even the disciples were amazed when Jesus warned that the rich would find it difficult to enter the kingdom of God (Mark 10:24). But Jesus taught that it is the poor in spirit, or those who recognize their own spiritual poverty, who will inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).
On the flip side, when things are tight financially, I need to remember that, as a believer, I have been lavished with the riches of God’s glorious inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18). Again and again, I go back to 2 Corinthians 8:9, which reminds me…”for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
Jesus took on my spiritual poverty so that I could inherit his heavenly riches. What a blessed exchange!
(Rachel Lehrner, www.unlockingthebible.org)
The word yields amazing results
When the word yields a hundredfold, sixty and thirty: THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE INDIVIDUAL SOIL (Person), but it has to do with the all-powerful word of God. In our Old Testament reading for today from Isaiah 55:11 we hear: “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Jesus is speaking of sanctification. Compare John 15:5: "He that abides in Me and I in him, this one bears much fruit, because apart from Me you are able to do nothing." (Bul’s Notes) Out of unwilling hearts the word creates willingness (Ylvisaker).
May this peace which passes all single human understanding keep your heart and your mind in the one true faith, in Christ Jesus, to life everlasting, Amen.
To God Be The Glory, Amen
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