Matthew 13:23 - The Word of God in Good Hearts.

Matthew 13:23 - The Word of God in "Good" Hearts.

Matthew 13:23 (NKJV) But he who received seed on the good ground 
is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit 
and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."  

Matthew 13:23 (CWR)  Finally, there are those who listen 
attentively and receive the good news in their hearts and fully commit 
themselves to it. They live their lives in such a way that the good news 
always has priority, and they bear fruit accordingly. Through their 
influence some of these people will win a hundred to the gospel, others 
sixty and still others thirty. They are represented by the seed sown 
in the good part of the field." 


Simple but Very Valuable. Because of its simplicity the parable 
of the sower has not been valued as it should be. From the natural 
seed cast into the soil, Christ desires to lead our minds to the 
gospel seed, the sowing of which results in bringing man back to his 
loyalty to God. {COL 33.1}  [Remnant SOP SB] 

The four types of soil represent different responses to God's 
message. People respond differently because they are in different states 
of readiness. Some are hardened, others are shallow, others are 
contaminated by distracting worries, and some are receptive. How has God's 
Word taken root in your life? What kind of soil are you? [Life 
Application SB] 


   The sower is not always to meet with disappointment. Of the 
seed that fell into good ground the Saviour said, This "is he that 
heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and 
bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." "That on 
the good ground are they, which, in an honest and good heart, having 
heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."  
   The "honest and good heart" of which the parable speaks, is 
not a heart without sin; for the gospel is to be preached to the 
lost. Christ said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to 
repentance." Mark 2:17. He has an honest heart who yields to the conviction 
of the Holy Spirit. He confesses his guilt, and feels his need of 
the mercy and love of God. He has a sincere desire to know the 
truth, that he may obey it. The good heart is a believing heart, one 
that has faith in the word of God. Without faith it is impossible to 
receive the word. "He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and 
that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Heb. 11:6.  
   This "is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it." The 
Pharisees of Christ's day closed their eyes lest they should see, and 
their ears lest they should hear; therefore the truth could not reach 
their hearts. They were to suffer retribution for their willful 
ignorance and self-imposed blindness. But Christ taught His disciples that 
they were to open their minds to instruction, and be ready to 
believe. He pronounced a blessing upon them because they saw and heard 
with eyes and ears that believed.  
   The good-ground hearer receives the word "not as the word of 
men, but as it is in truth, the word of God." 1 Thess. 2:13. Only he 
who receives the Scriptures as the voice of God speaking to himself 
is a true learner. He trembles at the word; for to him it is a 
living reality. He opens his understanding and his heart to receive it. 
Such hearers were Cornelius and his friends, who said to the apostle 
Peter, "Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all 
things that are commanded thee of God." Acts 10:33.  
   A knowledge of the truth depends not so much upon strength of 
intellect as upon pureness of purpose, the simplicity of an earnest, 
dependent faith. To those who in humility of heart seek for divine 
guidance, angels of God draw near. The Holy Spirit is given to open to 
them the rich treasures of the truth.  
   The good-ground hearers, having heard the word, keep it. 
Satan with all his agencies of evil is not able to catch it away.  
   Merely to hear or to read the word is not enough. He who 
desires to be profited by the Scriptures must meditate upon the truth 
that has been presented to him. By earnest attention and prayerful 
thought he must learn the meaning of the words of truth, and drink deep 
of the spirit of the holy oracles.  
   God bids us fill the mind with great thoughts, pure thoughts. 
He desires us to meditate upon His love and mercy, to study His 
wonderful work in the great plan of redemption. Then clearer and still 
clearer will be our perception of truth, higher, holier, our desire for 
purity of heart and clearness of thought. The soul dwelling in the pure 
atmosphere of holy thought will be transformed by communion with God 
through the study of Scriptures.  
   "And bring forth fruit." Those who, having heard the word, 
keep it, will bring forth fruit in obedience. The word of God, 
received into the soul, will be manifest in good works. Its results will 
be seen in a Christlike character and life. Christ said of Himself, 
"I delight to do Thy will, O My God; yea, Thy law is within My 
heart." Ps. 40:8. "I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father 
which hath sent Me." John 5:30. And the Scripture says, "He that saith 
he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He 
walked." 1 John 2:6.  
   The word of God often comes in collision with man's 
hereditary and cultivated traits of character and his habits of life. But 
the good-ground hearer, in receiving the word, accepts all its 
conditions and requirements. His habits, customs, and practices are brought 
into submission to God's word. In his view the commands of finite, 
erring man sink into insignificance beside the word of the infinite 
God. With the whole heart, with undivided purpose, he is seeking the 
life eternal, and at the cost of loss, persecution, or death itself, 
he will obey the truth.  
   And he brings forth fruit "with patience." None who receive 
God's word are exempt from difficulty and trial; but when affliction 
comes, the true Christian does not become restless, distrustful, or 
despondent. Though we can not see the definite outcome of affairs, or 
discern the purpose of God's providences, we are not to cast away our 
confidence. Remembering the tender mercies of the Lord, we should cast our 
care upon Him, and with patience wait for His salvation.  
   Through conflict the spiritual life is strengthened. Trials 
well borne will develop steadfastness of character and precious 
spiritual graces. The perfect fruit of faith, meekness, and love often 
matures best amid storm clouds and darkness.  
   "The husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, 
and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter 
rain." James 5:7. So the Christian is to wait with patience for the 
fruition in his life of the word of God. Often when we pray for the 
graces of the Spirit, God works to answer our prayers by placing us in 
circumstances to develop these fruits; but we do not understand His purpose, 
and wonder, and are dismayed. Yet none can develop these graces 
except through the process of growth and fruit bearing. Our part is to 
receive God's word and to hold it fast, yielding ourselves fully to its 
control, and its purpose in us will be accomplished.  
   "If a man love Me," Christ said, "he will keep My words; and 
My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our 
abode with him." John 14:23. The spell of a stronger, a perfect mind 
will be over us; for we have a living connection with the source of 
all-enduring strength. In our divine life we shall be brought into captivity 
to Jesus Christ. We shall no longer live the common life of 
selfishness, but Christ will live in us. His character will be reproduced in 
our nature. Thus shall we bring forth the fruits of the Holy 
Spirit--"some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred."  [COL 58-61]  

   Helmut Thielicke tells an intriguing story on himself. As a 
young pastor in Nazi Germany, he was determined to appropriate Jesus' 
statement, "All power is given me in heaven and earth." In the nation at 
that time, Adolf Hitler held sway, but the young Thielicke repeated 
in his mind Christ's audacious words. He thereby assured himself 
that Hitler and his dreadful Nazi machine "were merely puppets 
hanging by strings in the hands of the mighty Lord." 
   At his first Bible study, however, he found himself facing 
two old ladies and a still older organist with palsied fingers. Was 
this what the Lord with all power in heaven and earth was about? 
Outside marched battalions of youth who were subject to totally 
different lords. 
   That evening, he wondered what God offered. Didn't this 
"utterly miserable response" refute Jesus' declaration? 
   Thielicke compares his feelings that evening to those of the 
disciples when Jesus announced his coming Kingdom. They knew the Romans 
still occupied the seats of power. 
   But the disciples' hope that Jesus would usher in the 
"kingdom"--rising as a conquering Messiah and booting out the Romans--was not what 
Jesus intended. His Kingdom was not of this world. Instead, he 
revealed the nature of his Kingdom in the parable of the mustard seed--the 
tiny seed that would become a great tree the birds could nest in. 
   Thielicke says of the parable, "The Word of God, which has 
fallen like seed into our hearts, contains within it a tremendous 
explosive power; it wants to get out, it yearns to become a tree and bear 
   We who are privileged to have the Word simply need to be good 
soil in which it can grow. The seed in us has the power to change 
everything, for God is at work in us to do his will. In one sense we need do 
nothing but let the seed germinate and flourish within us. In other 
words, we simply grow into ever-deeper fellowship with Christ. 
   Lord, let the seed of your Word flourish in me. Enable me to 
nurture your Spirit within me and bear fruit as you create the growth. 
   The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly 
hear and understand God's word and produce a harvest of thirty; sixty 
or even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Matthew 13:23 
NLT [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra] 

God wants us to hear, understand, and put into practice His 
counsel and instruction.  He doesn't see us as vaults into which He 
hides His Word, but rather as gardens in which His Word can sprout and 
grow. [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley re Mat. 13:23] 


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