Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
What Are You Sowing And Reaping?
Matthew 13:18-23: "Therefore hear the parable of the sower:
19. "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
20. "But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21. "yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
22. "Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
23. "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.''
In these verses Jesus explains the parable of the sower.
The seed is the Word of God. It gets sown into different types of soil and either produces or dies!
It can fall on the wayside and the devil comes and snatches it away before it can even begin to take root, even before you can receive it.
The seed can fall on stony soil. You hear the Word and receive it with joy, but the soil is shallow and no root can form so it dies. It cannot survive trials and tribulations because there is no root!
The third type soil is the thorny soil. You receive the Word but the care and allure of the world choke it out before it can take root and grow.
The last place Jesus tells us the seed falls is on fertile soil. The Word is sown, heard with joy, understood and obeyed because the soil was prepared for it. It was fertile, it had in it the things needed to help it take root and grow, so it could produce fruit.
What kind of soil is your heart?
Is it the wayside, where Godís word and promises are immediately stolen by the enemy?
Is it the shallow stony ground where it starts to grow but cannot take root and dies?
Or could you be the thorny soil, where it is choked out by the cares and lusts of the world?
The cares and lusts of the world grow fast, just like thorny weeds, and choke out the Word of God in you heart.
The soil God is looking for is fertile soil, prepared soil, soil that is ready for the Seed of Godís Word. In this soil it can take root, because it is received with joy and studied and accepted.
It grows and produces fruit. In the natural world when you plant corn seed, you produce corn.
If you plant squash you produce squash. If you plant tomatoes you produce tomatoes. You cannot, cannot plant tomatoes and produce squash! It doesnít work that way, like produces like. Sowing and reaping is a spiritual principle as well as a natural principle.
Galatians 6:7-8: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
What are you sowing into your heart and what are you reaping?
Have you sown the love and forgiveness of Jesus in your heart? Have you let Godís love - His absolute pure love dwell in you?
Corinthians 13:4-8a: Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5. does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6. does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7. bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8. Love never fails.
If you let Godís love, love that does not envy, boast, is not prideful or resentful be planted in your heart and you nurture it, it will grow and produce fruit.
Nurture it daily by spending time with God, spend time in Godís word, think on the things of God and your seed will grow and produce things of God.
Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things.
Stop and ask yourself what kind of fruit are you producing? What are you filling your heart and mind with? When others see you are they seeing the fruit of Godís love, joy, peace, giving, concern for others, forgiveness or are they seeing selfishness, worry, doubt, unbelief, anger, resentfulness, meanness, unforgiveness, hatred or anger?
If your fruit does not reflect God, then maybe you are planting the wrong fruit in your spirit.
Matthew 6:33 tell us to seek first the kingdom of God, the things of God. We should
plant the things of God into our spirit, nurture them so that we can produce, Godly Fruit!
Remember what a man sows he shall also reap. Are you sowing peace in your home or anger?
Are you sowing worry and doubt in you life about your children, your marriage, your finances?
If you sow worry and doubt you will reap anxiety and depression! But if you cast your cares on God, and plant faith, you will reap joy, peace and answers to your prayers!
1 Peter 5:7: casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When you are not worried about how you will pay your bills, buy groceries, or buy school clothes for your children, then God's peace will rule in your heart. In other words, if you cast your care upon Him, you know things will be taken care of and you will have peace in your heart. You will sleep better, eat right, smoke less and best of all not worry.
Yes, that's easy for you to say, but how do you really do it?
You do it by standing on God's Word! Just as we read our text in the beginning of this lesson
You put God's Word, what He says about your situation, in your heart, accept it, receive it and then look the enemy squarely in the face and say, "I don't care how it looks, what is going on or how I feel, God's Word says He will meet my needs and He will!"
Matthew 6:31-34: 31. "Therefore do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' 32. "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Take this promise, read it every day, meditate on it, get it into your heart, stand firm on it and God will meet your needs. Amen!
Think on These Things
Sow Godly seed, His word into the fertile soil of your heart.
Donít let the stony soil, soil by the wayside or thorny soil kill or destroy Godís Word, seed in you.
Remember you reap whatever you sow!
Sow the pure love of God into your heart and the fruit you bear will be to overflowing, Godís love will come pouring out of you!
Sow faith and not doubt into your fertile heart and cast all your cares on Him!
Prayer of Consecration
Father, I thank you for your Son Jesus who died for me.
Thank you for your Word, Father that is the seed of Your Will in my life.
Father, I ask you to help me, strengthen me, open my spiritual eyes and ears and give me your wisdom so that the seed I plant in my heart will fall on fertile soil.
Father, I ask that what I plant in my heart will bear fruit - 100 fold- so that I will be full of your love and peace and that the fruits of love and peace will be evident in my life.
Father your Word says that we have not because we ask not, I am asking now Father, for my soil to be fertile. That everything I do will bear fruit in your name.
In Jesus name, I thank you and receive your blessings. Amen.
If you do not already know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and want to be a joint heir with Christ?
Then, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.