Sowing the Good Seed


Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 


Praise the Lord, it is good be here with you all again. I am so thankful the Lord has blessed us with this place for us to have services. I know its more convenient for all of us, and in a good proximity for everyone. I thank God for it. I have been talking to a lot of the brothers in the other churches over the past couple weeks, and they all send their greetings and love. They are really encouraged that we have been able to move our fellowship to this new space. I just want to thank you all too, for all your help in getting things together here. 

Bro. Gabriel in the Czech Republic sent us a really nice note earlier this week, and he said their congregation there greets all of us. I told him I would pass along his greetings. He is a fine brother. As I mentioned at the beginning, I was planning to start having Sunday morning services here starting on July 24. But my other church, where I have been speaking and helping the past year and half, I agreed to help them one more Sunday


So July 31 will be the first time I can have Sunday morning services here. So I am saying that for the benefit of anyone listening online who may be making the choice to come join us in person.


Our Sunday morning services will start on July 31. You know if I told the adventure I have been on the last year, some people wouldn’t believe it. It has been something else. I have found so much encouragement from our brothers and sisters around the world, you wouldn’t believe it. Bro Solomon, I hadn’t seen him for over twenty years, but he is such a wonderful steadfast brother, over there in Israel. Bro. Jesse, who would have ever thought you and I would be here together? This is an adventure.


But God has been so good, and I can just see his hand every step of the way. And here we are today, doing this little mission God has given us. And it is a small mission, certainly by the standards of many people. But little is much when God is in it. And we are here to offer a place to people who are looking for understanding and love. We are pointing people to Jesus, the one who imparts all of those things. And if we can help anyone from the places we have came from, that is our hearts desire. And we will give that some time, and trust in the Lord to show us the best way forward.

The Good Soil

I have two passages of scripture I would like to look at this evening. The first one is in Matthew 13, and if you want to turn there, we will read it and get started with the message.

The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 

And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 

And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 

And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 

But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 

Matthew 13 
King James Version 


Let us pray. Heavenly father, we love you. We worship you. And we thank for every good thing you have done for us. When we were without, you provided. When we were lost, you found us. When we need understanding, you give us your wisdom. Lord, today as we look at your word, I pray. Give us your wisdom. Help us to see the pattern you laid out in your word. Give us the knowledge and guidance, by your spirit, to lay hold of the plow, and to sow the field. Strengthen us for the task that lies ahead. And let us be encouraged by the confidence we can place in your word. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.


The Parable of the Sower 

I have started tonight by reading the parable of the sower. And this is a very well-known parable of Jesus. And I want to take a few minutes to look at it tonight, and just bring out a few things that might be helpful for us to consider and remember.


I am a person who, when it comes to doing the work of the Lord, I always look to scripture for inspiration and guidance. I am a firm believer that to be led by the scripture, is to be led by the spirit. Jesus said, the words I speak, they are spirit and they are truth. And the guidance and instruction we can read in scripture has flowed to us from the spirit of God. And to read the bible, and to let it inspire us and let its words guide, that is the same thing as being led by the spirit. When Jesus told the apostles that the spirit was come on them, it would bring to their remembrance the things he already said and taught them. And he said the spirit would not speak of himself, but would speak of the things of Christ. And that lets us know that part of the way the Holy Spirit leads us, it to guide us into understanding through the scripture. Its good to always remember the scripture is inspired and comes from the spirit of God. People who lose sight of that, they start to get unmoored from the scripture. They are no longer anchored to the bible. And they will say they are led by the spirit. But truth is, whatever spirit they are following, is leading them in a way that is contrary to what the bible says. And when they insist they are led by the spirit, yet it is contrary to the bible, we can be sure it is not the spirit of God inspiring them. Because God won’t contradict himself. I never want to get into that condition when I am following something that is taking my in a way that is contrary to what is written in the scriptures. But sadly it is a condition that many many people have fallen into tonight. 

But I am so thankful we have to word of God to look to. And that is why I am looking a this parable, because I want the word of God to set my expectations. And I want to look to the scripture for inspiration about how to go about the Lord’s work.


Now Jesus, he often spoke to his listeners in parables. He gave them stories and examples. And those stories had morals, and principles behind them. And as we read these parables, I am sure we have all heard men come up with some pretty elaborate things to explain to us what these parables mean. But the thing is, Jesus himself told us what this specific parable means. It’s not something we have to guess at. Jesus interpreted it.


And if we jump down to verse 18, Jesus will tell us just exactly what the parable means. So let me jump down to verse 18, and lets read the meaning of this parable.


18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 

19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 

21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 

22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 

Matthew 13 KJV

So in these few words, Jesus shares the meaning of the parable. And today, we are starting to do some planting. We are throwing out seeds of word and understanding. And we are going to see what it produces. And this parable gives us some important things to take into account.


The first thing is to notice, is this parable is talking about a sower, a farmer. Someone who is going out into a field, and throwing seed on the ground. And this seed lands on different types of soil. And the different types of soil represents the hearts of people (you see that in verse 19). And the quality of the soil, represents the quality of their hearts. And what happens the seed represents how people respond to what they hear.


Some people are like hard ground, like we see in verse 19. They receive the seed by the wayside, which is the side of a road. It doesn’t really land on soil at all. It lands on a place where it is impossible to grow. Paths and roads are hard trampled down. It’s a place people have already walked all over. And when a seed lands on a place that been walked all over already, the ground is so hard, its going to be very hard for that seed to take root. And if a seed lays around very long without taking root, some bird or creature is going to come along and grab that seed up and carry it away.


And this lets us know that you can throw the seeds of the word and truth on the ground, and sometimes nothing will happen. The ground is too hard, their heart is too hard. And nothing can penetrate the surface. Nothing can take root.


No matter how right you are. No matter how truthful you are. No matter how powerful the word. No matter what, nothing can penetrate that hard ground. That ground has already been trampled over too much. Often times people get into that condition by some deep bitterness. Or a deep cynicism. Factors in their life have come along, situations, events have transpired. And it has caused them to become hard hearted towards the true word. They have shut themselves off to anything you might have to say. And that is a very sad condition when the word of truth can no longer penetrate a person’s heart. But I am afraid you and I know a whole lot of people who fit in that category. And when they hear that word of truth, and it fails to penetrate their heart. Some creature will come along, and devour and carry off that seed. It will sweep it clean away from them. And in this parable, Jesus is making sure we understand that there are people like that. And when we go throwing seed on the ground, some of it is going to land on hard soil by the wayside, and it is going to have no effect whatsoever.


And Jesus shares something in this first example else, he says the devil is the one behind those creatures that comes and takes that seed away. The spirits of evil are actively opposing the sower. They are opposing the sowers who are casting forth the seed. They are doing everything they can to grab up those seeds and keep them from taking root. They are doing everything they can to keep people from seeing and hearing and understanding the word of truth.


Let me read that again in verse 19. 

19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.  

Matthew 13

(the edge of a road, nothing but hard ground that is already been trampled all over)

Then there is other types of soils. Jesus also told about a shallow soil, there in verse 5, and verse 20. Let me read verse 5 again.

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 

And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

So we see the seeds that land in that shallow soil, it has an effect. The seed starts to sprout. Its starts to grow. But before long, circumstances arise, the sun beats down 

Hard conditions start to take their toll on the heart of the person. And it turns out the plant does not have much of a root. So it can’t handle the hard conditions, and it withers and dies. And you and I know, some things can result in very hard conditions. They can be conditions that not every plant is going to be able to survive. Some may only be able to last for a little while.


I remember a little while back, a brother came to me with a dream. He told me, I was following you down a road, it is kept getting colder and colder. And then we saw this terrible scary looking creature. And I was frightened, and ready to run back. But I knew I had to keep going. And when we got to the creature, we realized it was friendly, it just looked scary. And when we got to the other side it was just a beautiful heavenly place.

In that dream, he was able to keep going through the cold and overcome his fears, and push through to the other side. But not everyone is able to do that, for some that cold and those fears are so strong, they wither and die.


And that shallow soil could be compared to a heart with shallow faith. At the start, the plant can look promising. The person can really seem to have been affected by the word. 

Jesus said in verse 20, that they received the word of truth with joy. They was overjoyed to understand the word that was spoken to them. But as time goes on, and the persecution and sufferings come. Their plant withers and dies. They just can’t stand up to the pressures of their environment.

So they give up. I think of another person, a wonderful brother. I preached one time Isaiah 53, and afterwards, he was one of many people who came to me. He said, I never heard anyone preach salvation that way before. I never understood the salvation and grace of God until you preached that. And the poor man, he had sat in that church for nearly thirty years, and no one had explained to him the plan of salvation. But time went by, and the persecution came, and before the truth could bring anything forth, he withered and died.

This is another type of case that can happen to the seed that sowed. Lets read how Jesus explained it in verse 20.


20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 

That man was very happy to hear and understand Jesus died for his sins, and that he could go free. 

21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 

But when the pressure arose, he went right back under that cruel enforcer who teaches them they are saved by their works and by their knowledge. And not solely by Jesus Christ. 

So this is another case to keep in mind. Another kind of heart that the word can land on. And like the hard heart, the shallow heart is a sad case too. But then there is also a third type of soils Jesus tells us about. It is a contested soil, or a contested heart. We see that in verse 22.


The sower throws out the seed, and it lands in soil that is good for things to grow in. And things like briars and thorns grow in that soil. But its not so good for the seed that was planted there. Because the other things in that soil and competing with the good plant.

And as that good seed takes root and grows, slowly the other things in the soil. They start to strangle out the good plant that grew from the good seed. The briars and thorns steal nutrients and life. They hinder the good plant from growing to it true potential. And the good plant doesn’t die. But it never bears any fruit. It never matures. The plant is there, surrounded by thorns and briars.


But it never grows any fruit on it. And I can think of quite a few cases like that. Souls who heard the good word of God. And the truth of God’s saving grace took root in their hearts. But they are sitting in the midst of thorns, brairs, thistles, and all kinds of weeds. And it is stunting their growth. Let me read it, verse 7. 

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 

And jumping down to verse 22, Jesus explains it 

22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 

So maybe he was even fruitful for a time, but somewhere along the way. Obstacles get in the way and hinder this plant from producing fruit. Jesus tells us this example represents people who are burdened down by things that hinder their growth. Materialism is one of those things, a lust for riches. Which really is a unhealthy desire for the things of this world. That is a common thing that chokes out growth. But the first thornbush Jesus mentioned is the cares of this world. And there are a lot of cares that will hinder people from growing to their potential in Christ. Popularity, caring about what other people think.


Caring for friendships and relationships or benefits that will be lost by following Christ. The pressures and cares for such things can also become a hindrance. And as those obstacles and hindrances take their toll, like a bad weed, they suck nutrients from the soil. It overtakes the soil, and more and more of the soil and its nutrients is going to these weeds, instead of the good plant. And gradually, the good plant has its growth stunted. And people can get all kinds of things in their life that will hinder them from being fruitful. They can get around all kinds of people, who heap all kinds of things on them, that weigh them down. There are many many things that fall up under those headings 

cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches.


But the end result of those thorns and briars, is that the plant cannot produce any fruit. They are fruitless. That is what life is like when you are living in a briar patch. I know a lot of people who are living in a briar patch tonight. And there is not a lick of fruit there. They are at risk of withering and dying. 

What is Fruit 

And before I go any further, let me just talk about that fruit is for a minute. Because again, we have heard people come up with all kinds of things, trying to tell us what this fruit is. But that is not something we really need to guess about either. The bible tells us really plainly what the fruit is. 

Now if you read this parable carefully, and Jesus explanation, you will find that Jesus explains to us what every part of the parable is, except one part. Jesus here never explains what the fruit actually is. No where in here does Jesus say, the fruit is this, or the fruit is that. He tells us how the fruit is grown, by hearing and understanding. But he does not actually say what the fruit is. The hearing and understanding is not the fruit. The hearing is the planting. The understanding is the growing. But fruit is something else 

And the fruit is the whole point of this a parable. So it can leave us wondering, what is the fruit? 

And there are different ways we can understand what this fruit is. One way is to just use our common sense.


Fruit is a seed. Right? If I plant a peach tree, it is going to grow fruit. And the fruit will be peaches. And in that peach will be a peach pit. Which is a peach seed. That seed, it is going to be the exact thing that was planted. So, in a sense, the fruit is the same thing as the seed that was planted to being with. So you can say, the fruit to get should match the seed you planted. And if we plant the gospel, the fruit will be the fruit of the gospel. If I teach the sermon on the mount, and I plant what Jesus taught there. Then it should produce something in the soil that looks like the sermon on the mount. If we preach the gospel, the seed that is planted will grow the gospel.


Maybe let me say it like this. If we preach Jesus Christ. And we plant Jesus Christ as the seed. Then the fruit will look like Jesus Christ. When we preach the gospel that is exactly what we are doing.  If we plant the love of God. The fruit should also be the love of God. 

If we plant the peace of God. The fruit should also be the peace of God. And those are the things we are planting. We are pointing people to Jesus. He is the way to salvation. He is the truth you need to believe. And he is the life you need to pattern yourself after. And if I teach those things, and plant those things. Then that is the fruit that should grow. It should produce lives that are patterned after Jesus. You reap what you sow. You grow what you plant.


So that is one simple, common sense way to understand some things about the fruit.

And there is another way we can understand what the fruit is. And it is even better than just reasoning with our common sense. We could just read what Jesus said the fruit was. There is another parable, where Jesus talks about the vine and the fruit that grows on it. In John 14, Jesus says I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide me in, you will produce much fruit. And in that parable, he tells us exactly what the fruit is. And so when I think about what the fruit is, I most especially consider what Jesus said the fruit is. And when Jesus was explaining about the fruit in John 14.


He said love one another, as I have loved you. He repeats it about five different ways, in that chapter. It is unmistakable. The fruit is love.


And all of his disciples in the early church, they understood that the fruit is love. They wrote about it over and over in their epistles. They will tell us exactly what the fruit is. 

It is the fruit of the spirit. It is a life that is like Jesus. It is love, joy, peace, patience, meekness, goodness, faithfulness. When we preach, a true servant of God, is going to be pointing the people to Jesus. Pointing to him for salvation. Pointing to him as our perfect pattern. Pointing to the life he told us to live. And if that is what we are teaching, that is what it will produce. It will produce the fruit of the spirit, a life like Jesus.


Now remember, fruit is also a seed. And as fruit comes off the plant, you are going to be planting seeds yourself. As the plants mature and grow, they are going to be dropping seeds. Just like the sower in the beginning was dropping seeds. And some of those seeds will take root. Some of the seeds you drop will find good ground too. So this fruit, on one hand, it grows in our life as we become more Christlike. But it is also creates new seeds, and those new seeds will bring new people to Christ. And all of these things are wrapped up in what this fruit is.


And as I said before, I have heard people come up with all kinds of things about what this fruit is supposed to be. But I am happy to just take Jesus at his word. I am happy to trust Paul and Peter and John. And I am glad to accept their explanation of what the fruit is.

Of course, where we come from, many people have long ago forgot all these things, if they ever understood them to begin with. And to them, the fruit is how much revelation you have. Which the bible actually explicitly tells us that is not what the fruit is, in 1st Corinthians. But that is what happens when you drift away from Jesus and the scripture. You start to come up with ideas that contradict the bible. And the place we come from has a preacher who has very badly corrupted the basics of the gospel. And when they plant corrupt things, only corrupt fruit can grow from it. Let us pray for them that God brings them back to a true love for the gospel.


And as we come back to this soil. The one with all the thorns and briars. The ones where the life of the plants are being choked. You and I can probably think of all kinds of people who fit into that category. The word was planted, it took root, and something has grown. 

But there is no fruit there. Instead of the love of God, there is pride and envy and jealousy, hatefulness, harshness, cruelties. And they will expose that in very short order when they respond to this message if they hear it. They have been screaming hateful vicious rants at us for months now. And we kept our mouths shut and went along and minded our own business. But I think enough time has went by for people so see them for the hateful devils they are. And now we are moving on.   

Good Soil 

And as I talk about these different bad soils, in one sense we can see, there seems to be a lot of bad soil that good soil. Maybe that means the majority of the seed we plant won’t produce anything. I don’t know, but that is something I wonder about. But there is enough here to let me know, that not all of the seed I plant is going to produce 

In fact, it may well be the majority of it doesn’t produce anything at all. But then there is the good soil. Let me read it in verse 23. 

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 

Good soil. And the good soil is what we are looking for. The good soil, Jesus told us that is when someone hears and understand. And that hearing and understanding leads to fruit. The words that are spoken, the words that are understood. Those words take root, and lead to growth. And that growth comes to a full potential, and fruit is grown. And that all starts with hearing, and understanding. And you and I, the way we talk, the way we speak. The way we present the truth. That is how the seeds are cast out. And as people understand, that seed takes root. And as that plant grows, that understanding grows and produces fruit in the life of the hearer. There are many things we can do, to try and make share the word as much as possible. To try and make it as understable as possible. But ultimately, whether it grows or not, whether it produces fruit or not. It is going to entirely depend on the soil where that word lands.


Is it hearts and lives where the spirit of the Lord is free to lead and guide? Is it hearts and lives that are soft and open to hearing? It is hearts and lives hear and understand? It is hearts and lives that are full of weeds and briars and hinderances that will choke out what they hear? I don’t know, but I do know this. When the seed lands on the ground, it is going to reveal what kind of soil it is. What happens with that seed, is going to prove what is good ground, and what is bad ground. When we are confront with the truth of God’s word. When we hear the gospel preached to us. And that seed lands on our heart 

Its going to reveal what kind of heart we have.


Is the heart so hard the truth of the gospel cannot even penetrate it? Or will the hearer beginning to listen and understand, and let the word take root? And taking time to understand what you hear, that is how the root grows. Just like Jesus explained. And often times, understanding takes some effort on our part. Especially when things are a little deep, or a little complex. We have to take some time to seek to understand. But the good soil, that is the ones who understand. But it does not just stop with understanding 

The good soil, where they understand, it also brings forth fruit. What they hear produces something, it produces a fruit in their life. It doesn’t just take root and grow, but that word comes to fruition in their life.

When the word of God strikes our lives, it will reveal what type of person or soil we are.

There are people who talk about loving truth, but when then you watch what happens when you tell them certain truthes. And they hate it. And the hardness of their heart is revealed. Some people hear the truth and rejoice. But then they wither when the pressure comes and you never see them again. And it is revealed that they were choked out by weeds and cares and desires. When we cast out the seed, we don’t know what ground it is landing on. It takes time to watch the results. And the results will ultimately reveal to us the quality of the soil.


And in the parable that Jesus gave, there is something here that is a little obvious. The soil quality is not our concern of the sower, his concern is just to sow. He is throwing out the seed everywhere he can. He is trying to reach as many as possible. And that is true with us, we are sending out seed in every direction. We are not concerned with the quality of the soil when we are sowing. We are just making sure we sow, and then we will wait and see what the results are.

How to Sow 

And as I sow, I want to look to scripture, I want to make sure I am sowing the right thing. And that I am sowing in the way the bible would show me is the wise way way to sow.

The way Jesus would have me sow. 

And one thing I do see here is that Jesus communicates to us what it is we should be sowing. We are not throwing out just any old kind of seed. But we are sowing something specific. And, it maybe is not perfectly clear here in in Matthew, but when you to Mark, Mark records it very plain. You can turn there with me, Mark 4:14.

14 The sower soweth the word. 

Mark 4:14-20 
King James Version

And that is not just any word. That is the same word, the Logos, that is mentioned so much. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. Its that word we are sowing. The scriptures tell us that word was made flesh and dwelt among us,  That word was the light to men. That word was Jesus Christ. The chief cornerstone. The foundation upon which everything we teach is built on. That one in whom we have all faith.


And when we sow the word, it all is going to come back and point to him. There are many people, they love prophecy. They are looking for prophets. But the bible says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And God’s servants, the ones who are sowing the word, the ones who are sowing the good seed. They are people who are going to be preaching a message the brings the people to Jesus. That keeps Jesus front and center. That draws people into closer relationship with him. And when we sow Jesus Christ, and when we sow the things of Christ. Then we will reap fruit in the lives of people that matches up to the same Jesus which we have sown. The same word we are sown.


So we have to make sure we are sowing the word. Not our ideas, or opinions. Its ok to have ideas. And we certainly don’t know everything, so sometimes we have to just say, that is the best I know. But when we are seeking to sow what is in scripture. We are seeking to sow Jesus Christ, and the truth and the testimony he left us here in this book. 

And as we go forward, I know that is what we are all seeking to do. Its what my brother Jesse here is seeking to do. Its what my brothers around the world God has blessed me have to fellowship with. Its what they are seeking to do.

And if we encounter some hard ground. If we encounter Satan is opposing us, we will seek to do what Hosea said in chapter 10. Break the hard ground so a crop can be planted. And there is a right way to go about softening a hard heart. And if that is the soil we encounter, than by God’s grace we seek to till that hard ground. If people hear and understand not, then we will seek to make it more plain. And if we see things choking out the life of the plants in the field, we will seek to kill the weed and trim the briars. And we will do our best, as the Lord has equipped us. And put the rest in his hands.


And we are going to have confidence in God’s word, that when we share the truth of the gospel. It will have its intended affect. And God’s will will be done. And if nothing grows, we will shake the dust off our feet and leave. Just like Jesus said to do. If nothing grows, we will move on in search of more fertile ground somewhere else.


And in the bible, of all the people we read about. I think Paul started more churches and planted more seed that anyone else. He seems to be about the most successful one of his entire age of time in the early church. And he leaves us tremendous examples to follow. 

He recorded in the scripture much wisdom he had received from God.

We can see that once he got going, Paul had a method. Whenever he started his new churches, he tended to open them literally next door to the synagogue he had just been thrown out of. And praise the Lord, there is wisdom in that. And he never stayed too long in the same town. If nothing was growing, he moved along. And if things grew, he stayed and helped get the congregation healthy before he moved on. And the results varied. In some towns he got just a small number. In other towns he converted the whole town, it seems like.


But he was out to win souls to Christ. He was out to sow the word of God, the good news of the gospel. And the places we come from, the abandoned doing that a long long time ago, over fifty years ago now most of them. They been saying Jesus is coming next year for fifty years in a row. And there is no time to share the gospel anymore, we got to get ready for the rapture. So they don’t even bother. And in the meantime two whole generations have came, that they have utterly neglected. They stopped sharing the gospel with the lost. They stopped serving meat in due season. They stopped being faithful stewards. And they sat down and buried themselves, and have been slowly withering away and dying. They say, we are in the hour of harvest, it would be foolish to sow the fields. And the fruit of preaching is manifest. They sowed division, and they reaped division. They sowed the things of man, and they have reaped the things of man. They have sowed doomsday, and they very well may end up reaping their own doom.


And then they use their view of predestination to justify themselves. Well, if they were chosen of God, they will come on their own.

They have found so many reasons to justify their utter disobedience to Jesus Christ and his word. They have disobeyed the great commission. They have disobeyed command to make disobeyed of all men. They have failed to plant the good seed. And they have failed to produce a good fruit. And the hour is coming when the axe will be laid to the root of the tree. The hour is coming when they will answer for their corruption, for their wickedness, for their disobedience.


They are going to have to stand before their maker and explain to him. Every tongue will confess.


But as for, I want to look to scripture. I want to see how the bible would inspire to be. And turn with me over to 1st Corinthians 9. And there is just one short passage I will read there, and I will close looking at it.


Paul planted a lot of seed successfully. He dedicated his life to it. And it is a good thing when we dedicate our life to sowing the good seed. And God bless each of my brothers who has dedicated their life to that cause. Because its not an easy task. It is a high calling. James said, be not many preachers, because the preachers have a greater responsibility.


And when we read here in 1st Corinthians, Paul says some things here that really challenges me. Paul sets a very high bar. And let me read it, because it is scripture I seek to follow after. It is an example I strive to follow.

19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 

21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 

23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. 

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 
King James Version

You know, where we come from, absolutely no one believed in these verses. The only person my whole life I ever heard even preach these verses was myself. The truth is, we neglected most of the bible where we came from. And the parts that didn’t fit with the character they wanted to live by, they left out.


But Paul here is talking about sowing seed. He is talking about winning souls to Christ. He is talking about converting people to the right path and the right walk, to salvation in Jesus Christ.


And he starts there in verse 19 by saying he has great freedom given to him by Jesus Christ. A freedom we all have. But he tell us that he willingly sacrifices that freedom to win people to Christ. And that is something he does because he loves them. No greater love hath a man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.


And there are more ways to lay down our life, that to hang on a cross and die. Sometimes we lay down our life by sacrificing parts of it for a greater good, a greater cause. Sometimes we take things that are our right, and our freedom, and in our power. And we sacrifice it, because we love others. And that is exactly what Paul is talking about.

Paul is talking about sacrificial love. And if you think about it, that is the fruit of the spirit 

Paul is a fruitful plant. And the fruit in his life, this sacrificial love, it is pushing him and leading him to win even more people to Christ.


And he talks about the way he sacrafises in these verses. Let me read verse 20 again. 

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 

When Paul was trying to convert the lawkeepers, he behaved as if he was under the law himself. So he could open the door. So he could have a conversation. Because he knew there were certain things that, if he let it get in the way, it would keep him from ever being able to have a conversation about Jesus Christ.

It would hinder him from ever having a change to win the people to Christ. Their lawkeeping was not the right place to start a conversation with them. The right place to start the conversation was with Jesus, with grace. And if he could get them to see Jesus, then the rest would follow.


And verse 21 

21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 

And he was the same way to the raw sinner of the world. When he came to them, he didn’t start with nitpicking their life decisions. He didn’t start by talking about all the immorality in their life and dressing them down.

He started with Jesus. His goal was to bring people to salvation, to lead people to Christ 

And when the goal is leading people to Christ. We do anything we can to remove every obstacle from a path that would hinder our goal. And that includes sometimes removing ourselves. You know, Paul didn’t think there was anything wrong with eating pork. 

He ate all kinds of pork. But when he went around the Jews to share the gospel, he wasn’t eating pork. He wasn’t going to let that hinder his opportunity to speak to those people. And when he went to world, he knew sexual immorality was a sin. But he was not going to let that stop him from preaching to the sexually immoral and leading them to Christ. There were former sodomites even, sitting in the Corinthian church, because Paul had preached to them and led them to Christ. He wasn’t going to let those things get in his way and sharing the gospel. But like I said, where we come from, no one believes any of this. No one believes we should ever seek to be as welcoming as possible to unbelievers at all.


But I can’t be that way. Because I am actually a Christian. I actually have the love of God in my heart. And the love of God in my heart won’t let me act that way. The love of God in my heart wants to do everything in my power to show people Jesus. I want to know what the end of the day I’ve done my best, I’ve been the best sower I can be. And until I have done that, until I have given my best. I can’t blame the soil.

I have to give my best, so break up the hard ground. I have to do my best to combat the weeds and briars. I have to put up some scarecrows to keep the birds away. I want to do my best. And then, after I have done my best. I can look at those results and know of certainty in my heart. Whatever happens, whatever the results. It’s the soil.

And there are many problems, there are many issues, there are many things that need tackled. But one thing is most important of all. One thing is overriding. And If we can get that one thing, the rest will follow. And as I read Paul’s words I can realize that he is prioritizing issues when he deals with people. And when he was in the planting phase, he focused on the top priority.


Where we come from people might call that hypocrisy. But that is not what it is all. We don’t just let people walk all over us. But we subject everything, and we seek to use every means possible, to achieve the objective. Let me read verse 22. 

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 

I can say that myself. I want, by all means, to save some. I am employing all means at my disposal, to save come. And some of those means may require me to do things or sacrifice things.

Paul willingly sacrificed things he has a perfect right to, for the purpose of winning souls to Christ. He was willing, for a season, to change his habits, his routines, and adjust his lifestyle if it will help win souls to Christ. He was not changing the gospel, or changing the truth. But within the framework of the gospel, he was making a personal sacrifice.


And Paul wasn’t doing it to make people like him. But he was doing it to win them to Christ. When he went around the Jewish people, he behaved as Jewishly as possibly to win them to Christ. He won’t admit their doctrines is right, he won’t compromise on the law. But he won’t be needlessly offensive. Whatever he can accommodate to win them to Christ, he was willing to do.


Paul was willing to meet the people where they are. Often times, when we start preaching the bible to people. They may not be ready to accept the totality of it. So its just a little bit at a time, starting with what is most important. And these verses also let me know, there are different approaches to be taken for different kinds of people. And tailoring or our message to specific groups, that can be important thing to do. How we come at the subject matters. And to be effective, different groups will require us to take different approaches.


Another thing I see in Pauls words is that gospel is for everyone. And everyone deserve our best effort. The gospel is for the pharisee. It is for the jew. It is for those under the law. And it is for the world. Its for the lawless. Its for all these different categories. And each one of them is worthy of us making our best effort, and follow Paul’s example to win them to Christ.


We could even look to Jesus Christ for his perfect example. We can see how he approached the down and out. Take the woman at the well. She had five different lovers 

And Jesus took a certain approach with her. We can also see how he approached the Pharisees and the law keepers. Nicodemus is a great example of them. And the way he approached him was entirely different. Because they were two very different people, living very different kinds of lives. But Jesus loved them both. Jesus loved Nicodemus just as much as much as the woman at the well. And he met both of them where they were at. And with both of them, he was seeking to reveal himself to them as their messiah, their savior.


On both sides, there are people you will never convince. There is stoney ground, there is gardens full of thorns and briars, there is shallow soil. There are people who can’t see beyond their prideful faith in their own ability. There are people who are so in love with their sins they won’t let them go. There is bad ground that nothing we plant there will grow in. But as sowers, our job is casting forth the word. There is a methodology, there is a right attitude to have, and there is a wise way to approach things. And I hope, you can see, that is what I am seeking to do, in the best way I know how.


God can save anyone. God can save a woman at a well who had been through five live in lovers. God can save homosexuals, there were several in the Corinthian church. And God can also save harsh proud cold hearted pharisees like Saul of Tarsus. And he can change them, and put a love in their heart. Where they will say words like these we have read here in 1st Corinthians. Let me read it one last time before I close in prayer.


19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 

21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 

23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. 

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 
King James Version

Bringing people to Christ takes crossing barriers and boundaries. And sometimes those boundaries are manmade, maybe even ones we have erected ourselves. Some people have pet issues. Pet problems. And we can be tempted to try first thing to tackle that really glaring problem we see. But when let the love of God guide our path, and let his wisdom show us the best way forward. We can often realize and see that pet problem, that thing that is so glaring to us, is just a symptom of a much bigger problem. They need to see Jesus. And if we will focus on planting Jesus and the things of Christ. In time those more difficult problems can be tackled and dealt with.


Amen. So I hope, if nothing else, I have shared with you how I am looking at things. And the scriptures that have inspired me to look at it this way. And I hope and pray that this message tonight has shed a little light.


Let me close in prayer.

Heavenly father, I thank you for being so good to us, I pray you take these few words that are spoken tonight and let them be a strength to us. Lord, we are sowing the good seed. We seeking to be all things to all men, so that by all means, some might be saved. And Lord when we our work is accomplished, what will be revealed is the quality of the soil we have planted in. We will be able to have clean hearts, knowing we sought to do your will. Lord as the days and weeks pass, I pray you let the light of your truth shine from this place. You have inspired this work, and we ask you to bless it. Our desire it not to find bad ground, but good ground. Our desire is to see fruit bore for your glory. So lord, help us to be fruitful in our own lives. And bless our efforts to sow the truth of your word to the lives of others. Let it be now, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.