Father in Heaven,
This morning's text is about the text itself. The word of God. Not once, not twice, but three times, Lord, in Luke 8:4-21, we learn about the word's work in the world. A picture's worth a thousands words, and these three images in today's reading speak volumes. These Spirit-inspired portraits are mighty powerful. O God, your word is a seed (Luke 8:4-15). Your word is a light (Luke 8:16-18). Your word is a blood test (Luke 8:19-21). Each illustration rich in its own way. For today, we'll focus on the seed and the soils.
Your word is a seed (Luke 8:4-15). The parable of the four soils is such a gift to us, Lord Jesus. These images put us on the alert to the momentous realities taking place when the seed of the word of God comes into contact with a human heart. O that you would guard us from the craft and power of the evil one - that by your mercy our hearts would not be footpath soil - seed plucked up before its planted (vv.5, 12). Spare us, too, from the short-lived sprout of rootless, waterless faith that withers with the first sign of the heat of suffering (vv. 6, 13). And allow our vision to be singular and undistracted by the cares, riches and pleasures of life - for such thorns choke our growth and inhibit our maturity (vv.7, 14). Instead, Lord God, create the conditions in our hearts for good soil (vv. 8, 15). Hearts that hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, bearing fruit with patience - through the onslaughts of the devil, through adversity, even through prosperity. How we need your sovereign work not merely in the seed of your word but in the soil of our hearts!
May we of Mound Evangelical Free Church have ears to hear as the forth soil, O God. And may the result not simply be the perseverance of our own souls, but the yielding of a mighty crop - 100 times what was sown!
In Jesus' Name,
"I simply taught, preached, and wrote God's word; otherwise I did nothing...I did nothing; the Word did everything...I did nothing; I let the Word do its work...spread the Word alone and let it alone do the work...For it is almighty, and takes captive the hearts, and when the hearts are captured the work will fall of itself."
- Martin Luther, "The Second Sermon". March 10, 1552. Luther's Works, Volume 51. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press.