马太福音13:1-9 当那一天，耶稣从房子里出来，坐在海边。有许多人到他那里聚集，他只得上船坐下，众人都站在岸上。他用比喻对他们讲许多道理，说：“有一个撒种的出去撒种；撒的时候，有落在路旁的，飞鸟来吃尽了；有落在土浅石头地上的，土既不深，发苗最快， 日头出来一晒，因为没有根，就枯干了； 有落在荆棘里的，荆棘长起来，把它挤住了； 又有落在好土里的，就结实，有一百倍的，有六十倍的，有三十倍的。 有耳可听的，就应当听！”
祷告: 亲爱的主耶稣，你的话是我脚前的灯，是我路上的光! 我知道我的罪性总是找借口不愿意去学习你的话语。请赐给我力量能淹没我对你话语的厌恶感。唤醒我的快乐和喜悦，去倾听和学习你的话语。请赐给我勇气，尽我所能的向更多的人宣告福音的好消息，与更多的人分享你的话语。奉主耶稣的名求。阿们。！
Matthew 13Matthew 13: 1-8: That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Jesus will explain this parable a little later in this chapter and we will learn more about the details of his comparison about the kingdom of God and a farmer sowing his seeds. Here’s a take away for today. When you plant the seeds of the gospel, some will grow and some will not. So what does that mean for us? It means we should keep on sowing seeds, lots of them!
When I was a child, I lived on a farm and we were happy to get 80-100 bushels of corn per acre. I also remember my father saying that he planted about 18,000 seeds per acre. Now farmers get over 200 bushels in acre. Of course, they use more fertilizer and herbicides and pesticides. But one reason they get more corn is because they sow close to 40,000 seeds per acre. Lesson for the kingdom? Sow more seeds of the gospel. Teach God’s Word to more people more often.
Apply that today to yourself and to your family. If you want to grow in your faith, then sow more seeds in your heart. Study God’s Word diligently. Read a psalm in the morning. Take a chapter at lunch. Read a devotion with your family at supper. Read God’s Word before you to to bed, and tell your children a Bible story. Does it sound like too much? You can never get too much of the Word!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path! I know my sinful nature will always find an excuse not to study your Word. Give me strength to drown my aversion to your Word. Waken in me a joy and delight to hear and learn it. Give me the courage to proclaim it to as many people as I possibly can. I ask this in your name. Amen.
马太福音 13:18-19 “所以，你们当听这撒种的比喻。 凡听见天国道理不明白的，那恶者就来，把所撒在他心里的夺了去；这就是撒在路旁的了。
第一种，是撒在路旁的种子。它不能生根，因为它是落在坚硬的地面上。有多少次你读了圣经，或去了教会，却没有真正把神的道听进去呢? 你听了上帝的话语，你的想法总是关注在现实物质生活层面，导致神的道常常不能引导你的生活。你真的把神的道放在你的心上了吗?你有没有问过自己这样的问题: “在这一段经文中，上帝今天要对我说什么呢? ”我如何把它应用在我的生活中?”
Matthew 13: 18-19: 18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
Jesus gives four different types of “listeners” when it comes to hearing God’s Word. We could also use these types to examine how we are listening to the Word of God. In my sinful nature, I sometimes show all three of the examples of not listening to God’s Word carefully.
The first is the seed sown on the path. It never takes root because it falls on hard ground. How many times have you read your Bible, or gone to church, and failed to really listen? You heard the words. Your mind may have absorbed the facts, and often you even failed on that level. But did you really take the Word to heart? Did you ask yourself the questions, “What does this portion of god say to me today? How does it apply to my life?”
I remember my grandmother, who came to live with us, taking out her hymnal on Saturday night and reading the lessons and collects and prayers for the next day. I asked her why she did that, and she said, “Because I don’t hear as well as I used to, and I don’t want to miss a single word that the Lord has to say to me.”
One way to avoid reading and not really listening is to keep a simple journal as you read and write down a few thoughts on what you read that day. Listen all the way through and you will be blessed!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, open not only my ears to listen to your word, but my heart and my mind as well! Teach me to listen for more than information so that I can apply your wonderful truths, and especially your gospel promises, to my life. I ask this in your name. Amen.
马太福音 13:20-21 撒在石头地上的，就是人听了道，当下欢喜领受， 只因心里没有根，不过是暂时的，及至为道遭了患难，或是受了逼迫，立刻就跌倒了。
20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
I think a classic example of someone who fits this description is the person who goes off to college and loses his or her faith when challenged by the brilliant professors who intentionally aim to destroy a Christian’s faith. You might think that doesn’t happen, but I have been told more than a few times that it does. That’s why it is so important to teach our children well and often. Plant more seeds when they are growing up and at your table!
At the same time, all of us can take this admonition to heart. Do we listen to the Word deeply and take it to heart? If you are reading this devotion, you might think that I am writing these for you. I am not. I write these for myself. It’s my daily exercise to take a small portion of God’s Word and root it deeply in my heart. God’s Word should not be like fast food that’s eaten quickly, but like a seven course meal that’s eaten slowly and savored.
Rooting God’s Word deeply in our hearts takes the one thing we have so little of in our culture. It takes time. Time to reflect. Time to meditate. Time to pray. When it is deeply rooted in our hearts, trouble and persecution will not uproot it.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I pray that I will always take your Word deeply into my heart! Keep me from rushing rushing through my devotional time. Let me meditate on your Words all day long. And when times of trouble come, then bring me back to your Word again and again so that my faith is refreshed and made even stronger. I ask this in your name. Amen.