Series: Beginnings in Eden
Sun am 30 January 2011 – Kobus Swart
Gal. 3:1-5; Gen. 3:14-19; Matt. 13:3-9,22; Col. 1:13; Matt. 6:10; Matt. 18:11; Gen. 1:28; John 20:6-7
This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? … does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (Gal. 3:2-5). In a subtle way religion has brought alternatives and gimmicks. By receiving the proceeding word with faith we can receive our miracle where we are sitting – listening with an ear that is ready to receive. All seven letters in Revelation which are written to the seven Churches end with “He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”
Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear (Matt. 13:4-9).
The SEED here in particular is referring to the Word of the Kingdom, which is causing all these different responses and reactions. The focus here is on the soil, the “adamah” (remember Adam was taken from the ground) and the question will be, what kind of soil are we?
Beside the road: Do we come to meetings just “by the way” – trying to fit it in with our busy schedules? Then the evil one will snatch the seeds away quickly.
The rocky places: This is where there is no depth of soil and the Word does not penetrate us. There is temporary joy, but when affliction or persecution comes because of the Word of the Kingdom, we fall away immediately. The Word of the Kingdom will invite persecution and/or affliction; it is confrontational and it probes. The Word of the Kingdom is about my submission to the government of the Holy Spirit in my life. The Church is in desperate need of the declaration of the Word of the Kingdom of God.
How do we respond when the seed, the Word of the Kingdom, falls on/in us? Our response is determined by the quality of soil. Adam was made from the soil, the earth, so are we. Pray: Your kingdom come on earth – in us first! (Matt. 6:10). The kind of soil we are will determine the response we have to the Word.
Among the thorns: We are reminded of the curse: Cursed is the ground…both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you (Gen. 3:18). Now look at the parable: And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful (Matt. 13:22). How much of our time in our thought life is dominated by worries and cares of this world? The subtle pressure of the spirit of this age is for us to live a lifestyle beyond our means. These pressures govern our decisions and rule our choices.
The good soil: God wants to see prepared soft hearts, hungry, and ready for seeds to fall and take root and bear much fruit; some 30 some 60 and some 100 fold.
But there is good news! At the Cross, they took a crown of thorns (a type of the curse) and put it on the head of Jesus. Jesus took the thorns on His head and He redeemed us from that very curse! His last words were “it is finished.” No need for the living SEED to be choked by the thorns! The Word of the Kingdom can rule in us – in this earth.
What did Peter find at the grave of Jesus? “… he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself (John 20:6-7). Jesus was saying, “My job as the Head is done, but your job is still not finished.” The body of Christ must now do what is required to execute the finished works of Calvary.