Bible verses to build your life on
Jesus said: “… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” ~ Matthew 7:24
“18 ‘Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19When 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.”
Notes: Words to note: Jesus explains the parable and here He highlights key points in the natural story and uses them to explain principles of God’s Kingdom. Notice there are 3 bad soils and 3 good soils.
Notice Jesus’ words – “When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom...” Here again, Jesus is talking about those who hear the Word of God and decide what to do with it.
The first category: 1> Those who hear the Word of God (in this passage, specifically the gospel of Jesus Christ) and don’t understand it (they don’t embrace it or search it out) - these are those who hear God’s Word, those who hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and don’t understand it – those who don’t put enough effort into learning what it means. Also it should be noted that they didn’t treasure the little bit of explanation they did receive, so it was taken away. Those who reject God’s truth are allowing Satan to take it away from them. Those who hear the Gospel of Jesus and consider it unimportant or not important enough for them to follow Him, remain unsaved.
> What should our strategy with reaching this type of soil/heart be?: Pray for them that God would break their hearts over their sins like He broke ours. Challenge them, warn them as clearly as we can to take the truth of God’s Word and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ very seriously. Warning them not to reject Jesus and His offer of salvation - in that He paid our fine for us if we accept His gracious offer – [if they reject that offer] means separation from God forever in the eternal torment of the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth of the eternal Lake of Fire.
“20But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet 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.”
The second category: 2> Those who hear the Word of God, receive it with joy, but when hard times come, they become uninterested and leave the faith. These are those who hear the truth and at first rejoice – they seem to truly appreciate hearing God’s Word taught. Apparently they hear some of God’s promises and appreciate them or as is the common tradition across America they hear a false gospel like ‘God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life’ or ‘Say this simple prayer, and you will be saved’ – Both of these presentations are tragically common across this country, but neither of them match the words of Jesus who said: “32Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in Heaven. 33But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in Heaven. 34Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” – His call to compare earthly things and Heavenly things. And He continues: “35For I have come to “set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law”; 36and“a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.” Note: This doesn’t necessarily mean our family will become our enemies, but that we need to be aware that we may have to follow Christ even if we get rough treatment from relatives who don’t want to follow Christ. And He continues with this challenge: “37He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” Pastor Ray Comfort explains that in better detail – in effect, Jesus is saying that our love and loyalty to people should pale in comparison with our love and loyalty to our gracious and loving Creator! Then Jesus concludes with some familiar and thought-provoking words: “38And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:32-39). Jesus also gave us the very clear warning that there will be many who think they have accepted Christ and even done many mighty works in His Name, but will hear “depart from Me...” – “21 ‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’“ What chilling words those will be to those who hear them! Jesus then gives a very beautiful, descriptive word picture of those who hear and obey and those who don’t! “24Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.’” (Matthew 7:21-27)
>> Notice: this seed, though it looked like this heart received and cherished the truth of God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, still didn’t produce good fruit, and when persecution came, these fell away: they left the faith they once professed – which showed they were false converts – they weren’t genuine in the first place (1st John 2:19).
> What should our strategy with reaching this type of soil/heart be?: Pray for them too, that God would break their hearts over their sins, like He broke our hearts over our sins. Remind them Jesus told us to count the cost of what it means to be His disciple (Luke 14:26-33; 2nd Corinthians 13:5-6). Remind them that Jesus told us the the way to eternal life is narrow and few find it and embrace it (Matthew 7:13-14). Warn them that Jesus said there will be many who thought they would get into Heaven, but will hear ‘Depart from Me…’ (Matthew 7:21-27).
“22Now 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.”
The third category: 3> Those who hear the word of God, appreciate it for a while, but allow other things and selfish cares to grow in their heart, and those cares eventually prevail in their heart and these too fall away, preferring the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches to the blessings of eternal life. Sad to say, but that seems to describe many Americans pretty well – being pulled on by the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and at the same time hearing Jesus’ call to be willing to leave all and follow Him. Jesus is interesting to them, but when they look at what Jesus has to offer them and then they look at the pretty wrapper that the world offers, they choose to do what they want and they allow these “thorns” to make them unfruitful. Jesus also points out: no good fruit = not saved. “17Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:17-20)
Pastor John MacArthur makes a key note in his Study Bible’s notes on this parable. ’13:7 thorns. Weeds, the roots of which were still in the ground after plowing had been done.’ All of us have the potential to become good, productive Christians, or unfruitful false converts. Every gardener knows that with most weeds, you want to rip the whole plant out, including the roots. If you leave the roots, you can pretty much predict that your going to have that pesky weed back, and if it isn’t dealt with and rooted out, it has the potential to overrun the garden. Same with us - those who are in Christ, have to battle against our selfish wants. As the Apostle Paul says in Galatians 5:16-17: “16I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Those who have committed their life to Christ still have the old nature – the old sinful desires. Our old nature, just like weeds and thorns, can overrun our life and make us unfruitful. Or, as so many have done before us, we can learn to die daily to ourselves and our sinful, selfish desires, so that we may bear fruit and be counted faithful! This is why God emphasizes this point again and again. “20I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Then again in Romans: “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:8). And even Jesus’ own words in Matthew 7 - “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’” And the familiar, treasured verse in Romans 12 - “1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2) -- All of these talk about daily decisions that, when put together, equal a lifestyle and habit or healthy pattern. But it starts with our decisions. What are we going to do with those daily decisions to follow our flesh or follow Christ? The collection of these daily decisions show what soil we are.
> What should our strategy with reaching this type of soil/heart be?: Again, we need to pray to our Heavenly Father that He would soften their heart as He did with us, and asking Him to show them what is distracting them from the invaluable treasure of following Christ and gaining eternal life - again, handling them graciously because we were once lost and blinded by sin. Also, we need to patiently, graciously teach them, warn them, and remind them that God calls us to come out from the world, to be separate to Him, holy, set apart, continually striving to learn what it means to have Him as our one desire and our first love, with Him as our Leader and we being His followers. We also need to remind them and explain to them what Jesus said. Jesus told many parables warning about those who think they are saved, but because they refuse to learn what it means to follow Him, and instead they choose to follow their own selfish desires, that He will one day tell many to depart from Him, because He never knew them. Jesus also warned that hypocrites will suffer in torment forever (Matthew 24:51). A verse that has helped me so much and I treasure it a lot is Proverbs 1:7 - “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” A healthy respect of God, knowing that He is a thorough Judge and that we will have to give an account to Him one day, like an accountant, has done a lot of good for me. I have seen God use this perspective to teach me a lot. Taking God’s Word seriously and learning to be honest with Him and ourselves is not only good for us, but is also the most blessed way to live life – keeping a clear conscience helps a lot of things in our lives work better and gets us more ready to see Him one day, with fewer regrets and fewer things to be embarrassed for when we see Him.