July 13, 2008am      Future Farmers     Matthew 13:1-23

by Ron George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist.org

            How does your garden grow?  Jesus compares the world to a garden.  Guess who is the farmer? 

Matthew 13     That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’a  16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

All Farming looks to the future but the farming we are discussing today looks to the eternal future.  We are planting seeds looking forward to a harvest of souls of people.  We know that what we do can lead someone to eternal life or eternal destruction. 

  1. The Process:  Farmers sow seeds so that they may reap a crop.  We sow the gospel seeds so that others may Hear, See, Understand, receive, and grow.  Then we wait for our labor to bear fruit.  The seeds take root and begin to produce.  Then the cycle begins again.  (seeds and sowing). 

 

  1. The Predators:  The path, the birds, the rocks, the sun, no roots, the thorns, the deer, the insects, the weather.  Fear, doubt, pressure, temptation, false religions, and false teachers. 
  1. The Problem:  A shortage of farmers.  Unpredictability of people.  Changing weather.  Farmer instability and unreliability.  Remember you reap what you sow.  Galatians 6:7-8  Don’t let your heart become hard. 

 

  1. The Produce:  The fruit is another farmer.  Receiving Christ is receiving the word (seed) and the responsibility to plant or to sow.  Will we get to work?  The farmers have the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven which have been given to you by the Lord along with the responsibilities that go with them. 

What would you like to grow?  What would you like to have in the eternal future?  How can we get those seeds to grow? 

Commit to farming for the future.  Would you commit to pray for crops to grow? 

a Isaiah 6:9,10

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Mt 13:1-23.