Sermon – How are you listening? (Matthew 13:1 – 13:23) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Matthew: Parables of Jesus 2023

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How are you listening?

Rory Kinnaird, Matthew 13:1 - 13:23, 10 September 2023

This week we start our new series in Matthew’s gospel looking at some of the parables of Jesus, and Rory preaches from Matthew 13:1-23. In this passage Jesus tells the crowds the parable of the sower, he explains its meaning to the disciples, and we see what it all means for us today.

Please note that the passage is not read aloud on this week’s audio recording.

Matthew 13:1 - 13:23

13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

  “‘“You will indeed hear but never understand,
    and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
15   For this people’s heart has grown dull,
    and with their ears they can barely hear,
    and their eyes they have closed,
  lest they should see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears
  and understand with their heart
    and turn, and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When 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. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet 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. 22 As 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. 23 As 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.”


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

You a bit, there is an e contact card, a welcome card that you can fill in on our website, and we'd love to hear from you. The 13. So that's Matthew chapter 13. There's loads and loads of parables in Matthew 13. But we're gonna start with the first 1 and the explanation of that, and it's versus 1 to 23.

So it's Matthew 13, 1 to 23. And what I'd love you to do because it's very hot if I just read, you might just those off. Then on your tables, get the best reader you know, find out who the best reader is, and read, 1 1 to 23. On your tables. And then, you know, when you finished, you know, other tables will be slower or faster or whatever.

When you finish, just just say, you know, what what are the what questions have I got? What are the questions that I've got about this passage? And then when we've done that, Rory's gonna come up and open the passage up to us. So Matthew 13, 1 to 23, read it on your tables. For those who don't know me, my name is Rory.

I'm 1 of the members of staff here at at Cornerstone in May. I add my welcome to you. This, as Pete said, is the first of, a series in the parables of Jesus and Matthew. And quite exciting actually. I was talking to, Sophie just before we started.

And she said, actually, she started reading the parables And this is kind of what what end up getting you converted really, wasn't it? And so that's exciting. These these words have life in them. And they can they have the power to save. So that's what we want.

We wanna hear these powerful words tonight. And we want to apply them to our lives. So let's let's pray for god's help as we begin. And then we'll get stuck in. Father, we thank you so much for this evening.

We thank you. Just even for the words that we've just sung in those songs tonight, words that remind us of just fantastic truths about the lord Jesus Christ. We thank you that we reminded that it was finished on the cross. And not only was it finished, it is finished. And we thank you that we have a glorious savior who shed his blood to make us your people, to make us friends of god, to get to bring us into your wonderful kingdom.

And so we pray father that as we come to your word now, that you will give us a desire to see more of our king Jesus and that you will give us ears that want to hear. This is what this is all about tonight. Help us to be real listeners, not just hear us, but actually let us listen and apply your words and see your son so that we may rejoice in you more. And so we pray these things in Jesus' name, amen. Well, I wanna begin by asking you a question.

What type of listener are you? What type of listener are you? I was I was looking up loads of facts about listening, in preparation for the sermon. It's interesting that actually there's that on average you speak around 7000 words a day apparently. 7000 where some of you speak a lot more.

Not mention any names. I will not, and some of you say a few few less. It's fine. But actually, what I want us to think about is the words that you hear. So I also look this up and they reckon that you, on average, a day, listen to around 20 to 40000 words a day.

20 to 40000 words a day, which works out about 450 words a minute. It's a lot of words, isn't Apparently, 70 to 80 percent of those words are to do with communication, and 55 percent of of of those words, we devote we devote to listening to. And actually, if you think about it, The words in our culture are everywhere, aren't they? You you just gotta look and you'll see There's constant voices and messages preaching at you. I I look this up as well.

Apparently, although there's there's a bit of, debate about this, you are exposed to around 4 to 10000 adverts a day. That's a lot of messages. Preaching at you, although some people argue it's 50 to 400. Still a lot, isn't it? So all of these voices, all of these voices, whether it's the radio, whether it's the t when it when it's the billboards, whether it's the 8 to 10 hours of social media that kids often, take up.

And I know this is true because I've looked at students' phones and the screen time on Instagram and TikTok is around 10 hours a day. There's voices at you all the time. Interesting. If you were here this morning, Pete talked about how, when you get older, sixties, what is it? Sixties or seventies?

You use both halves of your brain. Per apparently, maybe this is outdated now. Men only use half their brain to listen. So, wives and mothers, and all of you recognize we we don't function at the same level as you guys. And apparently, if you just listen to nagging and complaining, that destroys or damages the part of your brain that helps you problem solve.

So but we should know that because there's proverbs talking about It's better to live on the roof of a house than have a nagging wife. That's the word of god. Don't blame me. And what's interesting is that out of all the words that you apparently listen to, You remember only about 17 to 25 percent of it all. On average, 17 to 25 percent of all those words And so the question is what type of listener are you?

And what would you choose to listen to? See, there's there's many types of listening, isn't it? I I think there's a difference between hearing and listening. If any of any of you have ever done any type of communication, talking to a crowd, talking to a classroom, talking to young people, you will have seen these different types of listeners, won't you? The the young people are the best to see it in.

Older people get a little bit better at disguising. But you you might have seen that 1 student. Arms folded. Sorry. If you've got your arms folded, don't need to uncross them.

Yeah. Arms folded legs crossed rolling their eyes. Chilling gum usually. Obnoxiously. You know, you know, you're not getting a fair list enough then.

You've got the the day dreamer, the Dave laws. He's not here to defend himself. You're in a conversation with the boy and he's just got off into his own world. He's he can hear words somewhere But he's not listening to those words, is he? You've got the distracted, they're trying to listen, but there's all all other things to listen to.

And then you've got the the quite intense listener that you're not sure is listening at all. They've they've worked a good game in class just to And then you have the real listener, the 1 who's engaging with what you are saying. And so here's the question. How will you listen? How will you listen and what out or who will you choose to listen to?

And that's what I think Jesus is dealing with when he tells this parable in Matthew 13. And that's gonna be really helpful for us. As we start this series in parables, it will give us a correct way of listening to Jesus' words. And not just his parables, but all of his words and all of scripture. So let's get into it.

Here's my first point, the parable. The parable verse 1 to 9. You'll notice that chapter 13 starts with the phrase that same day. That same day means that before chapter 12 happened and in so the same day as chapter 12 in which Jesus has done a few miracles on the Sabbath, and he's been responded to by people negatively. Faracies don't like him.

Family don't like him. You'll see if you just look back. But, and the wider context of of Matthew is that Jesus has been doing this for time, and there's there's There's lots of people reacting to him that John the Baptist in chapter 11. And then there's people not repenting in verse 20 onwards in chapter 10. And then And then he's saying, I'll reveal the father to you in chapter 11 at the end of there.

So it's that same day. He's done a lot of things. And so Jesus after healing, after after being faced with these negative opinions about him, being called the the devil himself. He goes to a lake and as is always the case with Jesus wherever he goes, A massive crowd flocks to him. He's so electric Jesus that you just have to see what he's gonna do.

And that's what happens. But it's so your your notice in verse 2 that this crowd is so large that it's actually impossible for Jesus to teach them anything because they're all gathered around him. So what does he do? He gets into a boat, you'll see, and he sits in it just off the shore while everyone stands. So that is actually how they would teach in first century Israel.

So really, I should be the 1 sitting down rest of my legs, and you should all be standing up. Should we do it? No, But there you are. Here he is. He's sitting down.

He's about to teach, and you can you can imagine the crowd at this point. What's he gonna say now? What will it do? Will it be another sermon on the mount? Will he will he do another miracle?

Will he tell some amazing things that show that he has the authority to teach? Well, look at verse 3. Then he told there many things in parables. That's what he decides to teach them in, parables. Often Jesus teaches in parables.

And now parables are just familiar stories that everyone should know about. And In verse 3, the first parable he tells could well be the most ordinary story that Jesus ever tells. This story would be so familiar to a Jewish audience that they cannot fail to understand what Jesus is saying. This is not gonna be for them like, oh, that was a funny story. No.

This is an easy story for them. He tells a story about a farmer who goes out and scatters his seed. Now in those days, They didn't have a Jeremy Clarkson. Clarkson's farm of lovers, have you ever seen that thing where he he drives that plants all the seeds. Does anyone seen that?

Yeah? Well, in those days, Paul, that sounds rubbish. All goes there, but this this man doesn't have a machine like that. He goes out and he has to scatter liberally, scatter everywhere, scatter so that he has the best chance to get a good crop And you'll notice there that some verse, 4 lands on a path. And on that path, the birds come and eat it up.

And then at others go on a rocky path, and it and it can't the roots can't grow down. You might have done those science experiments at school or primary where you sort of worked out what's the best, best environment for watercress to grow or something like that. Well, if you put it in something with very little soil, it's not gonna grow much because it can't get its roots down into the soil. And so when it grows up, what happens? The sun comes out and it tortures it.

So that that that's 1 type of path. And then there's see that lands in the thorns, and as as the crop starts to grow, the thorns grow up with it and choke it to death. And then you get the good soil. And the good soil is different. There it goes.

Soil to to get its roots into, to grow, and it produces a crop, but not just any old crop. It's a crop did you notice? It's a hundred 60 or 30 times what was sown. Now, I guess most of you aunt first century Jewish peasant farmers. You probably think, oh, that sounds alright.

That's an incredible return. That is like putting a 5 pound bet on and winning a million pound. Like in those days, if you got a 10 fold return, you'll be like, what are brilliant. But this is is an incredible return. It's interesting actually, Isaac In Genesis chapter 26, he actually plants a crop and he gets a hundredfold.

And why does he get a hundredfold? Cause the lord blesses isaac. There's blessing here. So that's that's the parable. Now, can you imagine being in that crowd?

You you you you came hoping to hear something incredible, and you've just heard a story that was so familiar to you it must have been quite oh, a bit short changed here. This would be like me telling your story about an office worker. Yeah. It's pretty mundane. So you can imagine them going, oh, what?

Is that it? Is there nothing else? Okay. Fine. That was weird.

He just told us a very familiar story. And so he ends in verse 9, you'll notice whoever has ears let them hear. Let them hear. So what's going on here? That's the parable.

Well, here's my second point. The point of parables. The point of parables. Verse 10 to 17. So we we carry on in verse 10, and you'll see that the disciples come to Jesus and they ask him Why do you speak to the people in parables?

It's kind of like, I have a feeling with the disciples. It's kind of like, what was that about Jesus? You just told the most boring story ever. But his answer in verse 11 12 shows us why. Read that with me.

He replied, because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. Here's Jesus' answer. Why do you speak in parables Jesus?

My his answer is this. He uses parables to reveal mysteries of the kingdom of heaven to you disciples. He's he's there saying I'm using parables to show you great things about God, to show you great things about kingdom to show you great things about the love and the mercy and the forgiveness of god. That's why I speak in parables. But just to you disciples, did you notice it was just to the disciples, but not to them.

Not to them. Not to the people. Why? Why? What is the difference between the disciples and the crowds?

Well, I think the difference is verse 10. What do the disciples do? They go to Jesus. They come to Jesus So I think in other words, if you don't come, if you don't come to Jesus after he's given you his word, if you don't come to him, then his words will harden you. So you reject him, and you reject his message, and you don't go to him to make sense of everything, then you will be rejected.

And so the people will be dull. They will be blinded. They'll be they'll be deafened. Did you notice this in verse 13 to 15? This is why I speak to them in parables.

Though seeing, they do not see. Though hearing, they do not hear or understand in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. You will be ever hearing but never understanding. You will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's hearts has become callous.

It's become hard. It's become crusted over. They hardly hear with their 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. You reject Jesus.

You don't come to Jesus to make sense. He says, I will reject you. And my words will be words of judgment. It's interesting. Did did you see this verse 13?

Though seeing they do not see. Though hearing, they do not hear or understand. Did the crowds Here this parable. Yes. Did they see Jesus?

Could they understand the parable of would they understand that story? Was it familiar to them? But did they have a clue what Jesus meant about it all? No. They hadn't got a clue.

They'd have no sense of what's going on here. They've been blinded. They've been deaf and they've been dulled. They've they've not got to the end. It's like going to a a a movie at the cinema and walking out halfway through.

It's like it's like only reading half the book. It's like those annoying people who when you're watching a TV program and it's gonna give you great information to explain everything, decide that's an opportune opportune time to start speaking, therefore missing the inside information. Obviously happened to me recently. I make a point of pausing and then rewinding all the time, which winds them up. They can't make sense of this because they've not gone to Jesus.

And so Jesus' word becomes a word of judgment, and it fulfills a prophecy in Isaiah. See, Isaiah in the book of, Isaiah, funnily enough, in chapter 6, He is in a in a in Israel where they are, idolatrous and they they have been in deep reject of god in god's word. And so Isaiah is told to go and preach, and I guess when Isaiah preached, he would have preached plainly. He would have, as many prophets did, they preached with examples that could have been related to. Yet he knew that they would be rejected until the day of judgment, until the whole city, the whole country had been raised and leveled.

And so there was a word of judgment here. If you don't listen, If you don't come to Jesus, then this is a word of judgment and condemnation. And so you must hear the warning. If you're just gonna sit here week in and week out, or if you're gonna, have some of the word of god spoken to you, but not actually listen to it, then god's word becomes a word of judgment. See, some people might say that because no 1 saved when the word of god is preached, it does no work.

The word of god does work. But the word of god does a work of judgment and condemnation. You reject Jesus. You reject his words. And you're given over, you're hardened.

You see, whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. So you've got the word of god here. You're gonna stop you're gonna still refuse to listen to Jesus about his word, then the word of god starts to be taken away. You might remember the story of herod who had John the Baptist, the prophet of god, who spoke the word of god, and herod silenced him. And so when Jesus comes before herod, What does he say to herod?

Nothing? He's been given over. There is a word of judgment. So here the warning. The great thing is it's not all doom and gloom.

There is a word of warding here, but there is a word of encouragement, and there is a word of hope. See, at the end of chapter 6 of Isaiah, It sounds pretty bad. There's gonna be judgment, but the end, there's just a lovely bit at the end of Isaiah 6. You just get a little shoot. A little shoot.

There'd be no life anywhere. The whole country had been leveled to the ground. It's a desolate wasteland. There's no fruit whatsoever And then suddenly you look just in the landscape, and what do you see? A little green shoot.

And that shoot is the lord Jesus Christ. And it is he that gives us a word of encouragement, and he gives us a word of life, and that And that means that we're not all in the dark in this passage, are we? There are some people in this passage, not in the dark, who? The disciples. Why?

Because they come to Jesus. And so verse 11, the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you but not to them. That word secret is mysteries. Mysterys. The bible talks about mystery is talking about the gospel of God.

It's talking about his great love, and mercy, and salvation. The mysteries that they're gonna find out about. They're gonna have mysteries. They're gonna get more in abundance. They're gonna find out more about this glorious Messiah king, they're gonna see that he is the 1 to come to be the sacrifice of the world.

They're gonna see that he has come to take the judgment on himself so that they could be free that they could be children of the living god that they can have him as the king. That's what they're gonna see. They're gonna see that in him, there is life and life to the full. They're gonna see all of this. That is the mysteries.

And so in verse 16 to 17, read with me, but blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear for truly I tell you many prophets and righteous people long to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but not but did not hear it. There was prophets in the old testament. There was people kings, and there was priests, and they were all looking forward to this day. When the kingdom of heaven would be revealed in the person and the king Jesus. And the disciples get to see him firsthand.

And they get to have him and have him reveal the secrets of the kingdom of heaven to them. See, many in this passage do not hear. Many do not understand. Many do not may don't see what the disciples do. The disciples do because they go to Jesus and when they go to Jesus, what happens to their blessed They're blessed with the knowledge of the salvation that we've been singing about tonight.

And so the words that can be a word of judgment and condemnation is also a word of blessing and salvation. And so what will they be for you? What will the word be for you? How will you listen to the words? And what does that look like?

What does that look like? So that's the point of parables. Here's my third point. The purpose of this parable. The purpose of this parable.

Verse 18 to 23. It's interesting. I think. Verse 18 starts with what word. Listen.

Listen. Listen then. So if you wanna be blessed, If you wanna be truly joyful, then you must listen to my words. You must come to me. Now you're with me disciples.

Listen then. Listen then. And as he now speaks, he's gonna reveal to the disciples and he reveals to us as we read What the purpose of this parable is, and there's 3 parts of this parable. All beginning with s, the seed, the sower, and the soils. The seed is sowing the soils.

And so firstly, we get the seeds, and the seed is clearly what that is if you look at verse 19, when anyone hears the message about the kingdom, the seed is the message about the kingdom of god. The seed is the word. The word is used 4 times. Look down with me at verse 20. As someone who hears the word.

Verse 21, the seed for the, but since they have no root they only last a short time, when trouble of persecution comes because of the word verse 22. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the words But the seed falling on good soil verse 23 refers to somebody who hears the word. The seed is the word of god. And a seed is such a good image for the word of god. Because what is a seed?

Yes, it might be small. But in that seed is bursting full of life. It burst full of life, and it's so powerful and fruitful until a word is powerful and fruitful and the word of the Kingdom of God has life in it. So there's the seed. The seed is the message.

It's the word It's the gospel. It's the great news of the lord Jesus Christ. And it has the pat I mean, we were doing Romans chapter 1 this morning. It's a soup her. But if you're not on Romans 1 to 5, you get on it.

Yeah? It's it's so good because Paul says in verse 16 to 17, I'm not shamed of the gospel. Why is he not ashamed? Because it is the power for the salvation of all. It's powerful.

It's so good. And so the seed is the word of god. The sower is the speaker of the words. Primarily it's Christ. Christ goes and tells people this word, this gospel message about himself.

And he says, anybody and everyone And then what does he tell us to do? The same thing. And we don't we don't like the sower, we don't, you know, we don't just go out, actually that bit there, that bit there, that bit. We scatter everywhere. We tell everyone and anyone.

Everywhere anywhere. So the sower is the speaker of the words, and then the soils. Now that's interesting with the soils. All of the soils here, but only 1 listens. All of the soils here, but only 1 listens And so the first 1 we have the path or the hard heart verse 19.

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil 1 comes and snatches away what was sown in their hearts. This is the seed along the path. It's a hard heart. I told you before about the person cross legged folded arms, rolling their eyes, chewing their gum. That is the heart, not willing to listen.

It's not just that they don't understand. They willfully refuse to listen to what he's saying. They're so set against Jesus' words that the the seed just cannot get into the into the soil. It's so hard. It cannot it cannot give root and give life.

And so rather than that, it just sits on the surface level and and like the bird snatch it away on the path, the devil, the evil 1 comes and snatches away the word of god don't listen to that and don't receive life. Now that might be you tonight. Maybe you're here and you're a hard heart and you think I've got no place to listen to Jesus. I only wanna listen to myself, but you will have no life. Only death.

So there's the first ones. The path is the hard heart. Second 1, verse 20. The rocky or the shallow heart, the rocky or the shallow heart. Look with me at verse 20 to 21.

The seed falling on rocky grounds refers to someone who hears the words and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. So what what is this heart? Well, it's a heart that that Here's the the joys and the glories of of god's salvation plan.

They might hear that, yes, you can have an eternity with god, and that, yes, you can have a pain free life in the end and there's something great gonna happen and and it looks so good and you might know people like this and they hear this word and they they seem to be going for it. Oh, joy. I wanna live for Jesus. I'm gonna live for him now because he's so great and it's great to be part of this community. And then hardship hits.

Then it gets tough. Then trouble may come or persecution comes. And just as the when the sun beams down on the the plant that has no roots or has little roots, They quickly wilt and they quickly fall away. Maybe that's you. Yeah.

I was gonna live for Jesus, but actually I'm not sure about this with the hardship that come my way. It's interesting. If you've read Pilton's progress, there's a great character called pliable. Pliable decides to go on the journey with Christian, to the celestial city, to the cross. And as he goes, he thinks this is great.

Tell me more about the joys of heaven, and tell me The joys have been a Christian. And it looks fantastic for pliable. He looks like he's really going for it. And then they hit the dreaded slough of despond. Can I look at you, Ben, because you're from slough?

The slough of despond, and suddenly There is a in a ditch and a mire and a drowning and it and it's sunny a bit hard this Christian life. It's a pliable turns back and he runs back to city destruction. That's the seed. The rocky heart, that's shallow heart. Thirdly, the thorny heart, the distracted heart.

Look with me at verse 22. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word making it unfruitful. See, this person, this person might be anyone in this room. It could be the person that sat in the place in church, week in, week out hearing god's word, but distracted by all manner of things. Oh, yes.

We'll hear a little bit about the word of god, but actually Jesus is not my priority. There are so much more important things to be worried about. So much more things that I actually wanna concern myself with, my children, their education, my children, they're sports. The deceit of wealth, I wanna just gain more and more money. Yes, I'll go to church, but actually I'm more about getting the career and pursuing a bit of money.

The desire to be popular All of these things crowd out the the word of god. And and there you are. We've talked about it at the start. You've got all of these adverts climbing and clamoring for your for your attention and to listen to their words. And so, yes, actually, I'm gonna go for the materialistic things I'm gonna go and try and find my identity in these things, but actually you're just being choked to death.

The thorny heart. But fourthly, there's the good heart, the receptive heart. First 23, But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the 1 who produces a crop yielding a hundred 60 or 30 times what was sown. Here's the difference.

They don't just hear. They listen. Got it? They listen. Good.

They understand what has been said and they accept it. They understand that Jesus says he's the savor of the world and they accept it. They understand that to be saved. I must put my trust and my trust alone in Jesus and they accept it. And what is the result?

They have a fruitful life. There is flourishing. That seed has packed full of powerful life. And when you have a heart that receives it and understands and seps it. It produces a crop, hundred 60 30.

And there is a flourishing as you as you go on and on, there's abundance of knowing more of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. There's more of knowing King Jesus and his rule over my life, and there's more of knowing his words and how it rules me. There is more knowing about what he has done for me. And there is eventually gonna be a time when I continue to keep knowing in perfection. On with 2 eternal glory we sang.

There's fruitful life. There's life, don't you want life? And so even when the sun comes up, It doesn't destroy us. Even when they're suffering and trouble and hardship, it doesn't destroy you because your roots are so deep in the gospel. And so rather than destroying what does the sun do for me?

It helped me grow. There's life. And so you'll be fruitful. And that means that you'll grow in your love for the lord Jesus Christ, the the fruits of the spirit will grow in kindness and peace and love and joy. And forbearance, But not only that, but as you grow, you're gonna produce fruit.

What does a seed do when it produces? It produces more seeds. So here I go. I've I've blossomed up. I have seed.

I'm now gonna be a scatterer. I'm now gonna be a sower. Because I've got this in my heart. I've I've got life. I've got so much life.

I've got this word in in my life. And so now I become a sower. We are listened to the kingdom of god's and its message. What sort of soil is your heart? What sort of soil is your heart?

What sort of listener are you And who and what will you listen to? Now, maybe you're here, and all this is new, and you're you've never trusted in Christ. You don't know the life that is in there. And these, these describe your heart. Maybe you've got a hard heart.

Well, I I pray that god will plow your hard heart and and plow it and plow it and plow it so it becomes soft and rich and fertile so that you can receive the word of life. And be bursting full of life. I pray that if your heart is 1 that is lacking in root. I pray that god gets rid of the rocks and he gives you more soil so you can give root into this this word of god so that you may flourish. I pray that if your heart is thorny ground that Jesus will deal with the thorns in your life, will deal with the idles of this life will deal with the things of this life that distract you and take you away from from the glorious savior that is Christ.

I that you get rid of them and you see Christ for the glorious 1 that he is. And I pray that your heart, and I hope this is your prayer too. If you have not trusted in Jesus, that you come to Jesus, that you see his great love for you, that you see that he wants you to be in his kingdom, And I want you I would pray that you that you trust in him as king, and you trust in him as savior. And you will have life. And you will have life to the full.

How good is that? That's what we want, isn't it life? It's only found in the lord Jesus and his message of salvation. And maybe you're here and you're Christian and you're thinking, oh, that's good, the salvation of others. Well, let me ask you the question.

What type of listener will you be It doesn't stop there. How easy it is for me to sit in a sermon and to have a hard heart. I won't I won't let god talk this area of my life. This isn't for me that's outdated. Surely, it doesn't mean that.

Maybe you come now and then to church or maybe you go and face the week and you find yourself distracted by many things. Find yourself growing cold because of their hardship in this world. If that is you, let's repent. Come back, have good soil. Submit to Christ.

Listen to his words. And as you listen, put it into practice and produce a crop. We want to go from life to life to eternal life. That's our challenge. Let's pray.

Father, we thank you for this amazing parable And it can be so familiar to us, and we pray that that won't be the case. But we pray father that we will be those who not only hear your words, but that we listen to it. We pray father that you'll give us hearts that are good soil and that we will here, understand, accept, and produce a crop. Father, show us just how glorious the life is in your message. And we pray father that this will be the only thing that we listen to above all other things.

So that we may live for you and that we may share this glorious message of the kingdom of heaven. We pray these things in Jesus' name.

Preached by Rory Kinnaird
Rory Kinnaird photo

Rory is a trainee pastor at Cornerstone and oversees our Youth Work with his wife Jerusha who is also a youth leader.

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