Preparation of the Soil

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Matthew 13:3-9

Matthew 13:3–9 NKJV
3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
I chose this text tonight in follow up to my message on Sunday. Firstly, I want to apologize for my loose words-my poor choice of words when i made the statement in close proximity “keep your opinions to yourself.” Poor choice of words and please forgive me. My words were not guarded, I was totally with the family on Sunday-no guests and I let my hair down too much and I apologize.
The greater fear or the greater concern is to taint a pastor that is coming to minister to our church and with our church and something that I may have said places him in a poor light. I am an open book personality and I just assume people know me and know me well enough to know my heart and know what I am communicating. I was candid and I made the statement that Dwayne Rembert stated that he wanted to come and work with us before and see if the church is ready. I nor Dwayne in any way meant that was the church ready to reach another race or culture. That is in no way what he meant. He meant just what I preached on Sunday along with what I want to share tonight.
For a moment, totally forget the fact that another culture group was brought up. Really in the big scheme of things that is a mute point. You will remember that I stated these comments.
I preached on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Remember that I said the Sararitan went to the man on the side of the road-he went to where the half dead man was. He cleaned him up. In other words he expelled the energy of nursing him back to health. Thirdly I shared that he gave his oil and his wine as cleansing and healing agents to bring health back to the weary traveler. Furthermore, the Scripture stated that the Samaritan placed the man on his animal. He gave up his own comforts for the sake of the man’s need. Lastly, he gave of his resources, he invested financially by offering the two denarii in payment for the man to stay at the inn while he had to travel. He agreed that he would pay whatever else was needed when he came back. The man continued in his own agenda, but met the need with what he had, where he was, for the glory of God.
Here is the point that needs to be crystal clear and not taint in any way brother Dwayne Rembert coming and giving of himself in ministry to our church and our community. Myself nor Dwayne ever gave a hint that “whether we are ready” had anything to do with receiving another culture group. It had everything to do with are we as a people ready to do the work that it calls for to win, yes, evangelize, yes, but all that it takes to disciple one for Christ. It is work, it takes time, we must be inconvenienced, we must work outside of our comfort zone, we must meet people when we are uncomfortable meeting new people, it calls for us to have people in our homes, to prepare meals, to give time and attention to the youth, must I say any more?
Let’s take for example in the last few months we have had two men accept Christ as Lord and Savior. Prime example. They accepted Christ and were baptized. Do you believe their thoughts changed over night? Do you think their language changed over night? Do you think their friend base, their surroundings, the programs they watch, their value system changed over night?
Dr. Thom Rainer wrote a book entitled, “Closing the Back Door.”
The premise of the book is to stop the exodus of people who join who become saved, join the church and the ball is dropped to disciple and mature them in the things of God. The people are not held accountable and assimilated into the church. They become a statistic.
Tonight, let’s take what we are talking about and discuss the importance of preparing the soil. There are common themes Jesus uses to communicate truth. During Bible times, the people could relate to agriculture. In order to eat, everyone had experience in growing something to sustain life.
The crop is a potential convert in our discussion tonight. The soil represents the climate or conditions we work under to grow the crop, the new disciple of Christ. We are the Sower-we plant, we fertilize, we till, we rotate the crops, we weed, you get the idea.
Let’s understand something very basic tonight, the end result of any agriculture you have ever experienced, whether row crop, whether flowers, whether a simple backyard garden, or livestock for that matter, we have had some here that have had chickens to lay eggs, and of those forms of agriculture-all here tonight would agree that there is much effort that goes in to getting the final product. Everything we are discussing tonight is bathed in the sunlight and the water of Jesus Christ at work in the lives of an individual that comes to know Christ.
If I mentioned row crops, a simple garden, a beautiful flower garden, dairy cows, beef cows, chickens, etc., you would all agree their work. There is a great deal of work to have a successful harvest.
The parable of the soils represent our efforts, the Sowers efforts based upon the type soil the harvest was planted in. The conditions of the soil dictates how much work, sweat equity, and time and resource it is going to take to make for a harvest.
Soil preparation as it relates to harvest in the ideal has to do with work before introducing the plant to the soil and work following the plant’s germination. In other words, a successful witness or evangelistic effort means work before and once one accepts Christ, the work only begins. Here is where the church misses the assignment. I want to say it again. The work really begins once one accepts Christ.
Tonight, after this point, I want to facilitate our time and you share what is on your heart as it relates to some common concepts we can learn from this parable.

Soil Preparation is an Integral part of Harvest

“a Sower went out to sow.”
-simple concept. Remember that the Samaritan went to where the man was laying. We must g out to sow. We can not sow from the comforts of our environment. Sowing means going out to the elements.
Ill. Billy & Ron-dairy farming is 365/24/7.
Matthew 13:4 “4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.”
We are always planting, cultivating, nurturing, etc. How is your planting season? What are you planting? We see that there are foreign agents at work against the crop.
Matthew 13:19 “19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.”
Ill. Round Up, Have you ever made the mistake of putting salty water on your grass? Pouring out the water where you made homemade ice cream?

Foreign Agents Can be Counter intuitive to Growth

“Birds came and devoured the seed.”-Satan’s forces are seeing what he can do, the adversary, the roaring lion as to who he can devour. Lion’s like fresh meat. Most people will tell you that the younger animal tastes better.
Matthew 13:5-6 “5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.”
Dearly beloved, stony places and shallow earth are a greater soil content today in American than ever. Generations are passing by and the soil is stony and shallow. No place to gain root. If the crop is to survive that climate, what must happen for the plant to survive?
crop must be transplanted, rock must be broken up and removed, bring in more soil.
Matthew 13:20 “20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;”
Ezekiel 11:19 “19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh,”
James 1:11-12 “11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. 12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
Matthew 7:26-27 “26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.””

Christ Cultivated Soil is the High Yield Soil

Matthew 13:8 “8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
John 15:8 “8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
Galatians 5:22-23 “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
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