THE IMPORTANCE OF GOD'S WORD AND OUR HEART
MATTHEW 13:18-23 NKJ
18 "Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
Yesterday we looked at what Jesus had to say regarding the importance of our words. We also saw that what we put, deposit, into our hearts directly impacts our words and our actions.
In our passage for today, Jesus goes into greater detail regarding the importance of God's word. And the importance of our heart condition.
Whoever hears God's word and does not understand. This is not referring to a mental comprehension. The word understand means to perceive, to recognize. To one that does not recognize God's word and perceive its value, the enemy can easily talk them out of acting on it. In effect, Satan steals from those who do not recognize and treat God‘s word as valuable.
The one who receives God's word into stony places is different. This one hears and recognizes the importance and value of God's word. That's why they receive it with joy. But they don't produce much fruit because when trouble comes, they abandon what they hear. Pressure caused them to release their hold and stop acting on God's word, so they are not fruitful or productive.
The seed among thorns is the one who hears and values God's word but is too distracted. There are just too many pursuits and desires that they are focused on, and God's word gets choked out. It is hard to imagine God's word being choked out. But for God's word to be powerful, it has to be received and acted on.
Then Jesus speaks of good ground, those who hear God's word value it. They stay with God’s word and put it as the highest priority. These are the ones who produce a lot of fruit; they are highly productive believers.
There is so much in this parable we could dive into for a long time. What we see come shining through is how important and powerful God's word is. And we see how that we are the ones who determine what fruit is produced in our lives. This is because we are the ones who determine the condition of our hearts.
We can be open and receptive to God's word or closed and dismissive. We can make the commitment to stay with the truth of God's word or get moved off by pressure and trouble. We can be focused on putting God's word first and as most important. Or have His word be one of many interests where it can be easily pushed to the side.
My desire is to be good ground. Committed to God and His word in my life. Determined to be fruitful.
Dear Father, teach me how to reverence and respect Your word in my life. Show me areas where I can be more and more fruitful for You.