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Grace Lutheran Church Weekly Devotion - Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23 (ESV)

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Reverend Steve Zandstra

Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23 (ESV)

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9He who has ears, let him hear.  . . . 18“Hear then the parable of the sower: 19When 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 what was sown along the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

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One of the questions that this parable asked me is, “What kind of soil is your life?”  Jesus spends a lot of His time talking about different kinds of soil; bad soil, soil choked with rocks and thorns, where the seed has little chance of growing. Then there is the good soil, where the seed of God’s Word puts down roots and grows and bears fruit.  Jesus’ words are pointing out our spiritual hardness, and our slowness to hear.  We deceive ourselves if we deny that there are times when we are that rocky ground and thorn-infested soil.  The devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh are at work to keep us from listening and understanding God’s Word.  Jesus has much to say about the different soils in this parable, however, we should realize that the main point, or the true center of the story, is not what first grabs our attention.  Jesus is the Sower generously spreading His seed; He is not holding anything back.  Yet there are people who ignore the message of the Gospel, even those who flat out reject that salvation is through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. 

Despite people rejecting Jesus, and that Christians are inconsistent and unfruitful hearers of God’s Word, Christ still died for all.  Jesus willingly paid the wages of sin on the cross.  By His sacrificial act, the sins of the whole world are forgiven.  With His death on the cross, Jesus has conquered the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh.  By His resurrection from the dead, Christ Jesus has opened the kingdom of heaven to all people.  And still today, the Sower continues sowing His Gospel of salvation in the soil of this world, good or bad. Jesus gives you the authority to pray, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”   Make no mistake, this evil is not just an impotent, impersonal substance.  This is the evil one, the devil who steals the Word from our hearts, who tempts us with suffering and coaxes the world to follow him.  So, do not lose heart when Satan strikes, when troubles come, or when worries and cares choke God’s peace from our hearts; Our Lord has overcome the evil one.  Jesus has promised, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV).  

825 North 1st West

Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728

Sunday Service begins at 9:00AM