Matthew 13:3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds ...... 18 "Hear then the parable of the sower.

Tonight we have a parable in 2 parts, there is a public message, which is for everyone and there is a private message, one that is only for believers. So tonites sermon has 2 parts.

If good seed is seed, why is it that some makes a good crop and others make no crop? That is the question, and although we are entering an age of satellite imaging and massive computer databases on seed, on fields, on weather, and on everything else, for all the science, thereís still an awful lot that is out of our control, in some way we have not progressed beyond the farmer broadcasting seed by hand over the newly plowed field.

In Jesus day, as in ours people knew about these differences and Jesus used this knowledge to explain Godís will. Many say that some people were never destined to be saved, the cards were stacked against them. Jesus answers this by saying - NO! that is wrong God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. The reason that all men are not saved is not because God doesnít want them to be saved, but because there is someone working against God.

In the catechism we often speak of our 3 enemies, and it is right and scriptural to do so. You know them, the foes we face daily - the devil, the world and our sinful nature. They keep trying to get us into trouble, sometimes... too often they are successful. They want to stop the kingdom of God, they want to stop us from living by faith, they want to do anything they can to prevent Godís name from being holy among us, and so they try to water down Godís Word, and keep us from living holy lives. God wants all people to grow and flourish.

Thatís the one thing that we do not want to loose sight of. When we pray the Lordís prayer, donít we pray - "deliver us from evil"? Birds that eat the word before it takes root - that sure looks like evil. God is saying that his grace will protect us from birds who seek to destroy faith. Thatís good news. In the same way, the scorching sun seeks to dry up faith with no root, Godís grace would have us tap in to a deep rich river of living water - God doesnít want faith to dry up...

thorns choking the young plants

and some has an abundant yield - it is the grace of God at the bottom of all these things...

the second part is the part that is for Christians only -

once we know that God wants all men to be saved.

once we know that we are already saved, by grace though faith in Christ Jesus

then God is telling us about what we can do to work with him in building up his kingdom....

chasing away the birds

adding a bit more soil to promote deep roots

working to take care of the thorns

God has given us tools in his word to deal with each of the obstacles, and that is why we are here