The Good Soil

January 16, 2023 in Today's Worship by TGV

Matthew 13: Worship Guide/ 40-BSG-13A, (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23)/ Theme: Parable of the Sower/ Hymn: “Are you Sowing the Seed of the Kingdom” [Author: Fred A. Fillmore]


Exploration: Sowing the Seed for the Kingdom – (2 Tim 4:2; Ps 40:9; Isa 61:1; Jonah 3:2; Lk 9:60; Rom 10:15; Col 1:28; Acts 5:20; 8:4; 13:26; Rom 10:8, 9; Jam 1:21; 1 Pet 4:11).

This is the great parable chapter in Matthew’s gospel. Eight parables are recorded here. “Only two parts of the chapter are not parables—but one of those parts is related to the parables. The eight parables include two-story parables (a narrative illustration used to teach a truth) and six similitude parables (a singular short illustration used to teach a truth).” (John Butler). The chapter can be developed as follows: the parable of the Sower/ Soils (1–9, 18–23); the Puzzle about the parables (10–27, 34, 35); the parable of the Two Seeds: Wheat and Tares (24–30, 36–43); the Mustard Seed (31, 32); the Leaven (33–35); the Treasure (44); the Pearl (45, 46); the Dragnet (47–50), and the Householder (51, 52)

Jesus explained the meaning of these parables – the Sower (the Son of Man); the Field (the world); the Good seed (children of the kingdom); Weeds (children of the evil one); the Enemy (devil); the Harvest (end of the world); the Reapers (holy angels).

These parables revealed people’s varying responses to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Their hearts’ attitude (or condition) would govern their responses. For many, God’s word makes no impression at all. They hear the Word but are not ready to receive (obey it) or understand it. The seed lands on the hardened soil, then Satan (like the birds, Mt 13:4) snatches it away. Note that there will be “harvesting” at the end (Mt 13:30, 41-43) when the Wheat and Tares shall be separated and rewarded accordingly.

Devotional Implication: “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” (Matthew 13:23, NLT) “The ultimate mark of the genuine believer, the good soil, is fruit-bearing. He not only hears and understands but also indeed bears fruit. Spiritual fruit is the inevitable product of spiritual life. The spiritual fruit of attitude is described by Paul in Galatians: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (5:22–23). The genuine believer also bears fruit of behavior, which Paul refers to as “the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:11). Fruit is the spiritual reality that God produces in the lives of His children. The Spirit-filled life of the believer “is constantly bearing fruit” (Col. 1:6).

The psalmist rejoiced that the believer who delights in God’s Word and meditates on it day and night is “like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season. And its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (Ps. 1:2–3). Jesus declared that true and false branches—those who are genuinely related to Him and those who only seem to be—are distinguished by their bearing or not bearing fruit (John 15:2–5). We are not saved by bearing fruit or by any other good work because we cannot bear spiritual fruit or do any truly good work until after we are saved. But we are saved for fruit bearing. “We are His workmanship,” Paul says, “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).” – [John F. MacArthur Jr., Matthew, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 2:361–362].

The Gospel’s Voice: My son, the knowledge of the truth of My word (Jn 17:17) does not depend on the preacher’s intellect but on the simplicity of heart: an earnest seeker, repentant soul, dependent faith willing to listen and obey My word. When in humility of heart you draw near Me, seeking knowledge and guidance, Angels will draw near, and My Spirit will guide you into all Truth (Jn 16:13). If you hear My word and keep it (Ps 119:11), the enemy (Satan) will not be able to snatch it away from you. As a result, you will “bear more fruit and produce” (Mt 13:23, Jn 15:2, 5), leading many souls into My Kingdom. This I will help you do along the way! Would you?

My Desire: By God’s grace, I want to – [1] To read, listen, study, meditate, and concentrate on God’s word; [2] To bear the fruit of God’s word and Spirit in my life (Gal. 5:22–23); [3] To lead others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (Jn 17:3, 2 Pet 3:9; 1 Tim 2:3-4); [4] To invest my time, talents, money, and resources in the work of the Gospel; [5] To pray for/ encourage gospel workers; [6] To follow the example of Christ by “sowing the seed” for the Kingdom: to speak God’s word faithfully, to preach the word, to sow beside all waters, to ‘be instant in season and out of season’ (2 Tim 4:2; Isa 32:20; Jer. 23:28; Prov 30:5, 6).

Today’s Mandate: “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the Implanted Word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21, NKJV)


Worship Through Singing:

1 Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother, In the morning bright and fair?
Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother, In the heat of the noonday’s glare?

For the harvest time is coming on, And the reaper’s work will soon be done;
Will your sheaves be many, will you garner any, For the gath’ring at the harvest home?

2 Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother, In the still and solemn night?
Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother, For a harvest pure and white?

3 Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother, All along the fertile way?
Would you glean golden sheaves in the harvest, brother, Come and join the ranks today.


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