Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Receive the Word of God! by Cliff Silliman

My favorite parable is the parable of the sower. It is recorded three times in Scripture in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:1-18. Since parables are picture stories of common things known to the hearers, it is not surprising that as a landscaper this one would speak to me.

Jesus explains the parable to His close disciples after explaining to them why He does not explain it to the multitudes that were crowding around Him. Matthew 13:13, “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” So I pray, “Lord, even though You explain it, let me understand what You have for me in this parable.”

There are four different conditions that the seed falls on: by the wayside, stony places, among the thorns, and good ground. We desire our hearts to be the good soil to be able to receive the seed, which is the Word of God’s kingdom.

Twice in the Old Testament the Lord speaks to Israel and says break up your fallow (untilled) ground. The first place is in Jeremiah 4:1-4. It basically says, “Prepare your heart to hear what God is saying to you.” It also says to not sow among the thorns. The second verse about the soil of our hearts is in Hosea 10:12-13. In this Scripture it says we should keep preparing the soil of our hearts to receive the seed/Word until He comes and rains righteousness on us.

It is clear from all these Scriptures that the responsibility of having the soil of our hearts soft and tilled and ready to receive what God has for us--is ours. He wants us to develop a listening ear for His voice. The Lord will provide the water so the seed will germinate. He rains His mercy, grace and righteousness upon us to cause growth and a flourishing life.

How can I make sure that my heart is good soil? How can I be sure that my heart is not hardened, or overcome by the cares of the world, or full of thistles or stones? I believe it is in openness to hear the voice of the Lord.

God has so much for us. We need to expect to hear from Him. He desires us to be listening to receive wisdom, fresh and new revelation, and insights from Him continually. Just as in any relationship we develop more intimacy if we listen with open hearts, waiting our turn to speak, for the Lord Jesus loves two way communications with His beloved ones. Do you have ears to hear what God wants to say to you right now?

This morning as I read through the parable of the sower I saw many insights that might speak to people’s hearts. However, God wants to simply speak this: BREAK UP THE FALLOW GROUND! PREPARE THE SOIL OF YOUR HEARTS TO RECEIVE FROM ME. MY WORD IS SEED THAT WILL PRODUCE A HUNDRED FOLD. WILL YOU LISTEN TO ME?

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