Patience might be something you wish you had but don’t. When it comes to our kids, we sure could use a whole lot more. When it comes to our faith, patience is something that will make it possible to grow into the woman God created you to be.
Digging Deeper: Luke 8:1-15
Key Verse: But that on the good ground are they, which an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)
Parables are ways that Jesus taught the people who followed after Him on the hillsides of Israel.
These parables were stories that made the gospel a total mystery to those whose hearts were hardened to God but opened up hearts who were softened hearers.
The parable of the sower was the story Jesus shared that day as he was surrounded by his disciples, many women who supported his ministry financially, and many other people (Luke 8:1-4).
You have likely heard this story over and over to the point that you might not have slowed and paused to look at it more carefully.
4 Kinds of Hearers
There are four kinds of hearers and only one way of hearing that will grow your faith.
In this story, the farmer is walking out in a field as he plants his seeds. He is in a large field that stretches in all directions, walking with a bag of seeds on his shoulder and spreading the seeds in an arch from side to side. The field has different terrain and the growth of each seed depends on how receptive the soil is where it lands.
- Wayside Hearers – When a seed lands in the path where people walk, it gets trodden down and eaten by birds. This hearer listened intently to the Word of God but her heart was trodden down and hardened. She has rejected God’s Word so often that now her heart is too hard to hear. Jesus is saying something much deeper than giving a description of the ground. She is describing the kind of heart this person had.
- The Rootless Hearer – This seed landed on a rock. Have you ever been on a hike and seen a tree growing out of a rock? It is amazing that the tree is even growing. The tree is rather small and before it matures it will wither and die in drought or storm. It has a poor root system and cannot sustain its life for the long haul. A rootless hearer is often the most joyful and exuberant Christian. They are true believers but can be the first one to fall away when temptation hits. A rootless believer can agonize when they backslide into their old addictions and problems.
- Thorny Hearer – Some of the seeds fell in the thorns and grew up along with the thorns. It was impossible to weed out the prickly thorns. This believer is in such a sad state. She goes to church year after year and looks like the best Christian but without fruit in her life. She is bogged down with cares and riches and unable to grow because too much of the old things are in her life. The thorny Christian can have the most horrible impatience gripping her. She can be high-powered, successful, entrepreneurial. What “chokes” her is making her career and endeavors secondary to Christ. She is “choked” with the financial cares of this life. Don’t let your financial gain choke out your love for Jesus.
- Good Ground Hearer – The fourth hearer demonstrates the ways that I want to grow my faith in patience. As the farmer walked along through his field, some of the seeds fell on good ground. These seeds were amazing as they sprang up and bore fruit one hundred times greater!
5 Ways to Grow Your Faith with Patience
Hopefully, you want to be the seed that fell on the good ground as that kind of hearer has amazing results in his walk as a Believer!
“But 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” (Luke 8:15).
1. A Good Heart
What kind of heart is that?
“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ” (2 Thessalonians 3:5).
A hearer that has a good heart has (1) a heart that is set on loving God, and (2) one that believes that Jesus will always deliver on time.
These two characteristics are what it takes to produce lasting fruit.
2. An Honest Heart
An honest heart will be like the Bereans who examined their heart daily. You will never blindly accept what is being taught but will check it against Scripture.
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (ESV Acts 17:11)
3. A Hearing Heart
If you have a hearing heart you will be receptive to what you are reading in the Bible and learning from the Lord. You will have a deep interest in the truth and be eager to listen.
4. A Fruitful Heart
When you have an honest and good heart, the fruit will come as you live it out. Although we are not saved by doing ‘good works,’ we demonstrate our faith through our works. You will want to live a life poured out for Christ in your home with your family and in serving others.
Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (NKJV – 2 Timothy 1:13)
5. A Patient Heart
Remember that there are 4 different kinds of hearers that are illustrated by where the seed landed when the farmer threw it on the ground.
The hearer indicates what kind of heart a person has.
This hearer has a good, honest, hearing, fruitful heart and has patience with herself in her growth as a Believer.
Do you often fail?
Do you lay your head down on your pillow each night and think over your day and the day to come? Are you often finding yourself discouraged with your growth (or lack) in Christ?
Don’t be discouraged but instead, fix your eyes on Jesus and remember that tomorrow is a new day to start all over again. Don’t be like a reed blowing in the wind because you have the Holy Spirit living in and through you.
You can do this through Christ who strengthens you!
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
What is your biggest struggle in your growth in Christ? Do you go to bed discouraged at the end of the day?