God’s Word contains all you need for a successful Christian life. But it won’t work for you just because you place it on your coffee table. It will never produce for you until you plant it in your heart and cultivate it.
I (Paul) have planted. Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are One: and every man shall receive his own Reward according to his own labor. For we are labourers together with God: Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:6-9
Dearly beloved, last week by the direction of the Holy Spirit I started this very important series “Take Heed How You Hear!” Initially, I shared that the Church is God’s Garden. And in any garden there are different types of soils. I concluded briefly by touching on this critical point that the type of soil will impact the harvest.
One very important point that is of great interest to any preacher is how many people will receive what he or she is preaching about. Sad to say according to this Scripture only one fourth of the hearers will receive what you have to say.
Now here is the basis for this point. Remember the Scripture I closed with last week in Mark 4: 3-8. Can you remember what it said?
“The sower went forth to sow. Some seed fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air devoured it.” That’s one-fourth who heard the Word and didn’t understand it because the devil came and stole it away from them. Of course, they had to permit that because the devil can’t steal from you unless you let him (1 Peter 5:8).
“Some seed fell on stony ground, and it sprung up right away.” Have you ever seen those folks who seemed as though they were going to become “spiritual giants” overnight? They’re responding to the Word very well, but they don’t have any depth. They don’t have any root. So when the sun rises and beats upon them, the Word in their hearts just dies and withers away. Then they disappear, and you wonder where they went. That’s two-fourths who didn’t get it.
Then the Scriptures said, “some fell among thorns and the thistles.” I.e. The cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches and the lust of other things. Many people become too concerned about the cares of life. Concern chokes out the seed and it dies without producing any results. So that’s three out of the four that didn’t get it.”
But thank God, some fell on good ground and brought forth, some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some a hundredfold! What this Scripture is saying is not everyone would understand the Word of God, and what most people don’t realize is what you do with the Word of God is totally up to you - The Hearer.
Luke 8:18 says, “Take Heed How You Hear...” We will pick up from right here next time.
There is a common thread that runs through the parables of Jesus, especially those concerning delegated authority and money. That thread is “accountability.” In the stories Jesus told, people are held accountable for Word they hear and what they do with it. Accountability acts as a fertilizer to catalyze growth and progress in every person. Jesus said, "To whom is entrusted much, much is required." Great leaders follow this pattern. They hold people accountable for that which has been entrusted to them.