The Word: Coming Under His Authority

Rev. Randy Smith preached from the pulpit this past Sunday on the Parable of the sower, Matthew 13:1-13, 16-23.

Take time to read the text. If you don’t have a Bible with you, click the Scripture reference to read online.

The heart of Rev. Smith’s message was human receptivity of God’s Word: 

How will people respond to the message and to Him?

What struck me most was his clarity regarding the authority of Scripture and that disciples of Jesus accept its authority in their life. All the rest, those who come to hear and ponder or debate what He says, are just part of the crowd.
Do you accept His Word and allow it to have authority in your life?
Does it change your life? 
Are you one of the crowd? Or a disciple?

Jesus shared with His disciples the meaning of the parable. The sowing of seeds falling on different types of soil represents the various hearts of people who hear the Word.
the path (Mt 13:4, 19): A heart unwilling to receive or act on the Word, either through unbelief or complete absorption in the things of the world.
the rocky ground (Mt 13:5-6, 20-21): A heart that receives the Word with joy at first, it sounds great. But when things get hard and difficulties arise or criticism comes because of their belief they quickly reject His Way and look for another.
the thorns (Mt 13:7, 22): This is a heart where the Word also tries to grow, but the individual becomes distracted by worries or wealth. Too many fears have the same effect as too much stuff.
All three of these types of ground are unfruitful. And all three types of hearts can be found in church Sunday after Sunday. Part of the crowd. Hearing the Word. But it does not grow and take root.
There is a fourth soil, the good soil (Mt 13:8, 23): A person with a heart that receives the Word because they understand its authority and let it take root in their life. They make changes based on Scripture and live their lives by faith in His Word. They understand the Bible contains the very words of God.
So I wonder… Do we need to do some soil testing on our hearts?
Is your heart as hard as a path when it comes to the Word? Are you more interested in the world than the Word?

Is your heart one where the Truth can’t take root? When trouble comes, do you dig deeper into Scripture seeking guidance or do leave it behind and find another source for relief?

Are there some thorny weeds of distraction in your heart? Worries? Wealth? Too much to do right now? Too much to take care of to follow Him?

Every heart has the potential to be good soil for His Word. 
Take time to identify what keeps you from receiving Scripture with the authority it deserves. 
Ask God to help you break up the hard places, toss out the rocks, and pull up those thorns by the root.
A heart of good soil, one who receives the Word with the full weight of its authority, is the one who knows the blessing and joy that we were meant for in Christ Jesus.
Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever,
to the end.
Psalm 119:111-112 ESV
Carol Weaver
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