If we listen to Jesus and obey Him, then we will grow like strong healthy plants.
Matthew 13:3-9 and 13:18-23.
Jesus told a parable (story) about a farmer went out to sow his seed. As
he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds flew down
and ate up the seeds. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have
much soil. The seeds sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow.
But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and withered away
because they had no roots.
Other seeds fell among thorns, but the thorns grew up and choked the plants.
Still other seeds fell on good soil, where it yielded a crop, some a
hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty times what was sown.
Jesus ended the parable by saying, "He who has ears, let him hear!"
There's more to growing plants than just scattering or dropping seeds in the
ground. A farmer needs to prepare his soil if he wants all the seeds to
grow. If there are rocks or weeds in the soil, the plant will not be
healthy and they will dry up and die. To get strong healthy plants, the
farmer needs to plow the ground, and then make furrows to receive the seeds.
If the soil is not plowed, the seeds will lay on the surface and will
be gobbled up by birds.
The seeds that Jesus was talking about were all good seeds, but they can only
grow in good soil. How can our lives be like good soil? (Let the
children respond). Yes, we need to listen to Jesus and obey Him,
and do what the Bible says.
Jesus explained that when anyone hears the message about the Kingdom of God and
does not understand it, the devil comes and snatches away what was sown in
his heart. This is the seed that was sown along the path.
The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is someone who hears
the Word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he
lasts only a short time, and when trouble or persecution comes because of the
Word, he stumbles and quickly falls away.
The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is someone who hears
the Word, but the cares and worries of this life, and the deceitfulness of
riches choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful.
But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is a person who hears
the Word, and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred,
sixty or thirty times that which was sown.
What's Your Heart Like?
Jesus explained that our hearts are like garden soils and God's truth is like a
seed. If our hearts are hard and we don't care about Jesus, the truth
can't get into our hearts and change us.
If we have trouble surviving hard times because of unbelief, then our hearts
are like stony ground. If we let the cares of this world pull us away
from Jesus, it's like the seed growing in thorny ground.
But if we open our hearts to Jesus, and trust Him to care for us, and accept
His Word as truth, then we will be able to grow like strong healthy plants.
Our hearts will be like good soil that has been prepared by God, with
all the weeds and stones removed, so that all the seeds from God's Word,
the Bible will grow and flourish.
We will then be able to do many wonderful things for God, like praying for
other people and telling our friends about Jesus, and winning them for the