The Parable of the Sower July 30, 2014

In The Parable of the Sower, Jesus presented four types of listeners to the Word of God. This past Sunday we saw that some had hardened hearts, others had superficial hearts, and still others had crowded hearts. But those who are like “good soil” are those with receptive hearts. This is indicative of those who go on to produce fruit; some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

What’s interesting is what Jesus doesn’t say: He never presents a category where good soil produces fruit zerofold.

Thus, our main lesson from the parable: those who belong to the kingdom of heaven will be known by their fruit.

This leads us all the way back to an examining of ourselves, and a challenge: we must be not just listeners of God’s Word, we must be doers!

Jesus said, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:8). So if we’re going to be genuine listeners, we must be fruit-producers. How can we do this? By simply listening, applying, and obeying the Word of God.

And as we each listen, apply, and obey, we become a people who produce a whole lot of fruit—perhaps even a hundredfold.

Did you know a successful yield in Jesus’s day was a tenfold harvest? Certainly hundredfold harvests weren’t necessarily impossible—Isaac had a hundredfold harvest in Genesis 26. However, this was an extremely rare exception.

Historically, if someone yielded a tenfold harvest, it was considered to be a very good year. Nonetheless, Jesus said some will produce fruit up to a hundredfold, highlighting the fact that genuine listeners will produce so much more than what would be expected—so much more than what could even be imagined!

What would Lake Murray Community Church look like if we each continue to listen, apply, and obey? I can tell you this: our storehouse would overflow with fruit, all for the glory of God. So let this parable be not only a challenge, but an encouragement—Jesus can certainly use our local church to impact the community around us in ways we can’t even begin to envision.

It starts by each of us softening our hearts to His Word, so that our hearts would always remain receptive, just like good soil.

-Pastor Marttell Sánchez

Heaven Resources July 14, 2014

This Sunday I will be finishing up our short series on Heaven.  In the short time we have been able to dwell on this wonderful topic together I know we have hardly begun to scratch the surface.  In light of this fact, you may want to continue your own study and reading about our future as Christians.  Here are two resources I found particularly helpful in the preparation of my sermons on Heaven.  Maybe you will be encouraged by them as well.

SettingSightsOnHeaven

I had not heard of Paul D. Wolfe before I read this book, but I was very impressed!  A wonderful book on being heavenly minded.

forever-by-tripp-image

It is probably worth reading anything written by Paul Tripp, and this book is no exception!  Tripp always has wonderful insights about human nature and motivation, and he applies this skill to how an eternal perspective (or lack thereof) impacts us as Christians.  The book covers some of the same ground as Wolfe’s book, but their styles and perspectives are varied enough that you could read both books and not feel like they were redundant.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan