Word Seed

Matthew 13: 19

When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.

This is from the Parable of the Sower. Jesus told the Parable of the Sower to the crowd but later explained it when his disciples questioned him about it. Although foundational, it is important we understand this parable and its implications for each of us. We know the Word has power. It is equally true, though, that few of us are living in the power that Jesus walked in. We have the same Word as he, even more than he had. So where is the problem?

The beginning point is here, “The sower sows the word,” (Mark 4: 14). Jesus is talking about the Word being sown. The first example is seed which falls on the side of the road. Immediately, birds came and ate the seed. Jesus used this parable to explain about people. He sowed the seed of the Word to many people. The first group of people he compares to seed which fell at the side of the road and was quickly gobbled up. It never even took root. Before it could ever be watered the fowl of the air consumed it.

Don’t forget, Jesus is talking about the variety of people he gave his words to. The first group are these upon whom the seed of God’s Word had absolutely no impact. Jesus gave them God’s Word; His wisdom and revelation, but the evil one immediately and successfully stole it from them. Jesus said the reason the devil was able to steal the Word was because they did not understand. The soil didn’t receive the seed. In other words, these people were not prepared to hear.

The soil is our heart (Luke 8: 15). But we have hardened our hearts. We have not cultivated the soil and nourished it so when Jesus sows his seed into our heart, “immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them,” (Mark 4: 15). Jesus told the disciples that Isaiah foretold this:

You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.’
Matthew 13: 14 – 15

One may say, this has only to do with new believers and the evangelical message but I tell you, though often and routinely applied in that context, this is not the case. Isaiah called to Jews. He urged them to turn their hearts back to God, to soften their hearts, open their eyes and ears and receive understanding in their hearts. This is exactly the message that Jesus spoke that day and indeed, is speaking even until today. If you, dear reader, have ears to hear, receive what the Spirit of the Lord is speaking to you today.

Jesus explained that the Word he spoke to his people was quickly stolen by Satan because they lacked understanding. Then, quoting Isaiah, he said they lacked understanding because the hearts of the people become dull. They, we, don’t see and don’t hear because our hearts have become numb to the Word and, truly, even to Jesus. What was once good soil is no longer. Because we fail to prepare the soil of our heart, the Word of God preached to us takes no root. We are blind and deaf to what the Spirit of God is saying to us.

This is so tragic. As I type these words, my heart grieves. Jesus knew this would happen, yet it grieves him no less. His people, those who he preached to when he walked the earth and us, all of us who call him Lord, have turned away. We give him deaf ears and blind eyes. We give him hearts of stone and arrogance. Who shall turn to him with humility and hunger? Who shall receive the word he is preaching in the earth today? Do you hear the cries of those who say, “I don’t understand” as you watch the Word stolen immediately from them? Does your heart grieve too! Pray God will remove our hard hearts and restore us to Him in all humility, with a devout hunger for Him and His Word.

Victory in Jesus

Genesis 26: 28

And they said, “We see plainly that the Lord has been with you.”

This should be the testimony of Christianity. We really shouldn’t have to go testify to people and try to convince them that Christianity is a great way of life. They should just see it evidenced in our lives. That was Isaac’s testimony. The people around him saw the favor of God on everything he did. He didn’t have to say anything. I wish my life spoke as loudly as Isaac’s.

The problem with many of us is that we are living below the Christ level. What do I mean by that? Well, you have heard of the poverty level and that there are some who live below that minimum level of existence. This is similar. There is a level of victory and blessing that every Christian should be living at but it seems that there are only a few who have a revelation of how to live in Christian abundance. We need a class taught by Isaac. He had a revelation. One of my favorite passages is in this same chapter, verses 1 and 12. Verse 1 reveals that there was a famine in the land. Rather than pulling up his tent stakes and moving on to a more fertile area Isaac listened to the voice of the Lord and obeyed. Verse 12 tells us that in that year, in that time of famine and in that same land, Isaac sowed and “reaped in that same year a hundredfold.”

This is the legacy that has been passed down to us. This is our inheritance through Father Abraham. Truthfully, though, we should excel far beyond Isaac because we have an even better covenant, based on better promises and mediated by a better counselor (Hebrews 8: 6). We also can sow in the time of famine and reap a hundredfold. Then people will look at us and see the awesomeness of our God.

We should all succeed at everything we set our hand to because great is our God. However, there are some keys revealed here and that Isaac adhered to that will help us if we too follow them. First of all, when the famine came Isaac didn’t just run off in panic or churn his brain trying to figure out what to do. The first thing he did was to receive counsel from the Lord. It is going to be impossible to live above the Christian poverty line if we don’t first receive instruction from the Lord. It is His counsel that sets our feet on the profitable path. Secondly, Isaac obeyed. He heard what the Lord said and he did it. God told him not to go to Egypt but to stay in that land. So Isaac stayed. That is two keys so far: receive the counsel of the Lord, obey.

The third thing that Isaac did in this time of famine is outlandish. It goes against all conventional wisdom. Isaac sowed. What most people do in times of famine or economic depression is to hoard. They become very tight-fisted and stingy. This causes them to develop a scarcity mentality which continues to manifest in their lives and their finances until they develop a new attitude. Most of us end up eating our seed corn. In other words, we use the money that we are supposed to sow for our harvest rather than planting it. It is tough to reap a harvest if you haven’t first planted a crop. There are all kinds of seeds. Most of us think about money and that is fair. We are foolish if we don’t sow money. I am also reminded of the verse that says, “The sower sows the Word” (Mark 4: 14). We need to sow the Word into our lives, businesses, families, etc. That begins by putting the Word in you but then to sow it you must speak it.

You are meant to live in the hundredfold return. However, 100 X 0 = 0, so we must get some seed in the ground. We need a victory attitude and to turn our faces to the Lord our God. When we follow His direction we will succeed in every facet of our lives so that people will look at us and say, “Mighty is your God!” There are all kinds of seeds. Ask the Father what He would have you sow and get out your plow and get busy. Don’t hoard for goodness sake. If you are going through a tough time, find something, anything, and give it away. Let “Victory in Jesus” be your anthem and show the world the loving power of your Father.