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Paul J. Bucknell
Purpose of Luke 8:1-15: To help us rightly approach God’s Word so that we can bear a rich crop. We are not focusing on the four categories as much as seeking to understand our own responses towards God’s Word and have a heart described to rightly receive God’s Word even as the good soil received the seed.
The seed with its potential of life contrasts much with the secular society which stresses that a full life can only be found by not being subject to spiritual things. Jesus’ words, however, are truth: a full life can only be found as we allow God’s Word to fill the vacuum of our hearts.
Let me give one example of social injustice that is being fostered by our society. Think of the man encouraged by his friends, laws and society not to wed but to have careless intimate relationships, having children at random, though perhaps not planned. These decisions not to be faithful to one woman in marriage bring about the awful situation where delinquent children, abuse and poverty arise. Women are despised and used and children abandoned.
Statistics clearly demonstrate this. If we simply follow the lusts of our physical drive, then we and those around us will end up in destitute situations. Monogamous marriages make a key difference to social issues despite what people will suggest. If you care for the poor, rejected children, health issues, poverty problems and abused children there is no greater and clearer connection than to fatherlessness which marriage fights against.
Fatherless: twice as likely to go to jail
increase of juvenile suicides (63%)
85% of behavioral disorders
71% of high school drop outs
great increase of delinquents (87%).
How many children are killed (abortion –unwanted) because of this?
In the United States, marriage drops the probability of child poverty by 82 percent.
This is our society apart from God’s guidance from God’s Word. God knows how He designed us to best function. We need to know what is good and right, and to have a deep vision for what is good so that we can refuse selfishness breeding evil.
God sows His Word to help us properly function. He tells us that marriage is good and that people should not get divorced and remarried. Society is giving all this counter advice that cripples our lives and freedom–to enslave us. God’s Word brings the guidance and motivation resulting in good, represented by a seed grown up and bear fruit–things like good relationships, forgiveness and mercy rather than bitterness and arrogance. Are you ready to hear God’s Word? Only God’s Word will protect and bless us.
God’s Word inspires a couple to be faithfully married, committed, enjoy good relationships, and care for and train up godly children. Our society-poverty, crime, abuse, death is largely fostered by those who do not want God to speak. Do you ever wonder how people on the one hand say they are concerned with the poor, abused children and battered women but then disparage or undermine the sanctity of marriage? You should. Actually, Jesus tells us why this is so. Something else is working behind the scenes.
12 “And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved.
Jesus mentions the devil in verse 12. He “comes and takes away the word from their heart.” Clearly, Jesus knows that the devil hates God’s Word as it undermines his own evil purposes. If God’s Word is known and trusted, then the devil has no power or deceit to control mankind. From the beginning the evil one was confusing people and causing them to distrust God’s Word. Remember the serpent in the Garden of Eden? The same serpent cleverly hides behind the scenes trying to manipulate us so that we do not trust God but his advice.
We don’t expect to find the devil in the field here, do we? But Jesus knows he is there trying to confound people. Sometimes very directly, like in the first scenario. The road is a dirt or rocky path, hardened by the people and carts going across it. Without faith in God’s Word, there is no place for the seed to enter the ground. It’s too hard. The end result is that people do not believe and are not saved. People might be moved to believe but not follow through on that commitment. They become easily distracted, which is often due to the evil one, and the word is forgotten (the devil steals it). A person can hear the gospel but not respond to it. This is risky, but we see it is a where the spiritual world collides with the physical one.
The seed falls on other ground too. In the second scenario, there are many rocks preventing the roots to going deep. The plants cannot stand strong. Though they receive the Word with joy, they have not found a deep commitment to the Lord. Easy believism. They believe only if it does not threaten their lifestyle. People believe, and sometimes wrongly told, that belief is a simple understanding of forgiveness and nothing more. They tell people nothing of repentance and following Jesus.
More and more believers around the world are being challenged by opposition and persecution. One pastor in India told me that the other pastors have accepted the challenge. They will go on. This was after one of the evangelist’s young boy was found choked to death along with increased threats and opposition. But not all are ready to live out their faith, “They believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.”
In the third situation, the seed fell among the thorns. They received the seed, like the others, but their interest in the Lord’s word began to lessen as they started focusing on the things of this world. “They are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.” How do we live in such a way that, though we have the things of the world, they do not enchant or distract us? I think the point is, unless our hearts have made a nice place for that seed to grow because we want it to grow, it will not. The seed doesn’t just happen to grow.
I acknowledge it becomes a continuous challenge in our modern society rushing along to pause in the midst of one’s busy schedule and reflect on God’s Word. If I want a good garden, I need to get rid of the weeds because they counter the abundance I seek. Worries keep people from God’s Word because they are focused on their concerns. Those that are rich are trying to protect the riches or make more. Be wise and yet do not get preoccupied. God’s Word offers so much more. These are the devil’s traps that he regular uses with believers and unbelievers. Traps keep God’s greatest from us.
The material on the web here is only a small portion of the great media-enriched resources that we have both on the OT and NT. Click here or on the picture to look at our New Testament resources. This is just the beginning of our huge library of quality biblical training materials–always filled with many applications.
Biblical Foundations for Freedom - Resources on the Gospel of Luke
INTRODUCTION TO CHRIST
|Luke Introduction web
Luke Teaching Outline (Check NT Library)
Luke 1:26-38 Christmas Lights pdf
Luke 1:31-33 Be Great pdf
Luke 1:45-55 Christmas Prayer (Check NT Library)
Luke 1:56-75 Notes (Check NT Library)
Luke 1:57-80 John's Birth pdf
|Luke 2:1-20 Jesus' Birth pdf
Luke 2:8-20 Good News (Check NT Library)
Luke 3:21-38 Genealogy (Check NT Library)
THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST
|Luke 5:27-32 Needy pdf
Luke 5:33-35 Fasting Discipline pdf
Luke 5:36-39 New-Wineskins pdf
Luke 6:1-11 Sabbath pdf
Luke 6:11-19 Character & Calling (Check NT Library)
Luke 7:1-10 Faith web
Luke 7:11-17 Widow & Son web
Luke 7:18-35 John the Baptist web
Luke 7:36-50 Two-debtors web
Luke 7:1-50 Faith pdf
THE REJECTION OF CHRIST
|Luke 9:37-48 Greatness (Check NT Library)
Luke 9:45-55 Pride & Leadership pdf
Luke 9:57-62 Discipleship web | pdf | Questions web
Luke 9:57-10:2 Mission Ready web | podcast
Luke 10:1 Mission Involvement web
Luke 10:2a Mission Worldview web
Luke 10:2b Prayer & missions web
Luke 11:1-5 Content of Prayer pdf
Luke 11:14-26 Participating in Prayer (Check NT Library)
Luke 11:14-28 Prayer Strategy pdf
Luke 11:5-13 Persistent in Prayer (Check NT Library)
INSTRUCTION IN VIEW OF CHRIST'S REJECTION
|Luke 12:25-26 A Perspective on Worry web
Luke 13:1-5 Understanding Disasters web
Luke 13:18-19 Mustard Seed pdf
Luke 13:20-30 Leaven & Decisions pdf
Luke 13:31-35 Mission Growth (Check NT Library)
Luke 14:1-14 Teaching web | pdf
Luke 14:15-35 Commitment web | pdf
Luke 15:1-2 Lost pdf
Luke 15:3-10 Lost Sheep (Check NT Library)
Luke 15:11-32 Lost Son (Check NT Library)
Luke 16:19-31 Lazarus pdf
Luke 17:11-19 Perfect Response pdf
|Luke 18:1-34 Being Prepared (Check NT Library)
Luke 18:1-8 Hopelessness web
Luke 18:9-14 Self-righteous web
Luke 18:15-17 Neglected web
Luke 18:18-27 False-Confidence web
Luke 18:28-30 Faithfulness web
Luke 18:31-34 Remember web
Luke 18:35-43 Blind Man (Check NT Library)
Luke 19:1-10 Tax Collector pdf
Luke 19:11-27 Ten Minas (Check NT Library)
PASSION OF CHRIST & BEYOND
|Luke 19:28-40 Palm Sunday pdf
Luke 19:35-38 Entry web
Luke 19:41-44 Weep Lost (Check NT Library)
Luke 19:45 20-47 Preach pdf
Luke 20:26-40 Eternity (Check NT Library)
|Luke 22:1-06 The-Plot web
Luke 22:1-30 Introduction web
Luke 22:7-13 The Preparation web
Luke 22:14-23 The Passover web
Luke 22:24-30 Leadership web
Luke 22:1-30 Lord's Supper pdf
Luke 22:29-36 Temptation (Check NT Library)
Luke 22:31-65 Temptation Handout (Check NT Library)
Luke 24:13-35 Questions pdf
Luke 24:13-53 Resurrection (Check NT Library)