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Jesus taught a parable about the seed and the sower. In summary, a sower goes about sowing seed. The seeds fall on four kinds of ground. The yield of the seeds is a function of the ground on which they fall. More importantly, this parable reveals some priceless truths about the effective ministry of the Word.
The preaching of the gospel is of little value if it lacks the power to be life-changing. But life-changing preaching is not happenstance. Some things must be in place for that to occur. The parable of the seed and the sower reveals three essentials for life-changing preaching.
The first essential ingredient is the sower or minister. He or she is a person charged with feeding the flock. Even though I am focusing on life-changing preaching, the points I share in this post are not limited to preachers and pastors. Sunday school teachers and small study group leaders, for example, are also ministers charged with feeding the flock.
The second essential ingredient is the seed. In the parable, the seed is the Word of God. Life-changing preaching can come about only through faithfully preaching and teaching the Word of God. No other “seed” will do. Only the Word of God can change our mind and our heart, thereby making us more like Christ.
The third essential ingredient is our heart. In the parable of the seed and the sower, the soil denotes our heart. As the sower went about sowing, the seeds fell in four places—by the way side, upon stony places, among the thorns, and on good ground. The yield was a function of the soil upon which the seeds fell. Only the seeds that fell on good ground “brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold” (Matthew 13: 8).
Think about this; when churchgoers assemble at their local church, they all hear the same preacher and the same Word. In other words, the sower and the seed are the same for all in attendance. What differs throughout the congregation is the condition of the hearts of the individual hearers. It is what determines how fruitful the Word will be in the life of each person listening.
No matter how skilled the preacher is or how biblically sound his preaching is, if the listener’s heart is not good ground for the Word of God, the Word will have little impact. Even when Jesus was the Sower upon earth, the Word He preached fell on deaf ears when the Sadducees and Pharisees heard Him. Life-changing preaching requires three essential ingredients: the minister, the Word of God, and hearts that are ready to receive the Word of God.
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.