January 19

Matthew 13:1-23


After ministering to a great multitude, Jesus went out of His house and sat by the sea. The multitudes see Him and come to Him, so He gets into a boat, probably to put a bit of distance between Himself and the crowd. 


He teaches the parable of the sower, who is the Lord, who sows seed, which is the Word of God, on different types of soil, which are descriptive of four different types of hearts. Let’s look at some points:

  1. The parable was spoken as a mystery, as spiritual matters are like a treasure, meant to be pursued to be understood. Revelation knowledge comes to those who are humble in faith, yielded, and in pursuit of the Lord. The Holy Spirit is our mystery solver, one who uncovers the true meaning. 
  2. Those who are naturally minded are proud in the sense that they focus on themselves. They may try to interpret parables like a riddle, but true spiritual understanding has to be revealed. 
  3. Jesus quoted an old testament scripture, Isaiah 6:10-11, fulfilling more prophetic words of His ministry. This scripture also refers to Isaiah, so to understand that it was also prophetic for Christ’s day takes an uncovering, a revealing by the Spirit. 
  4. Religious pride will cause spiritual blindness. People may think they see, but they don’t really see. Furthermore, spiritual pride usually involves attempted control:  self-discipline, control of others, control of a spiritual leader. 
  5. The mysteries were given, GIVEN, to the disciples. They were not earned. They were not achieved. Jesus gave explanation, but it was also by the Spirit of God that the disciples were given spiritual understanding. 
  6. Jesus said if you have spiritual knowledge, you have a heart that hears, and you will receive more and more understanding. 
  7. Jesus said if you don’t have spiritual knowledge, you have a closed heart, and even what you do receive won’t stay with you. 
  8. The sower sowed everywhere, not just the good ground. He didn’t discriminate.


Not only receive the Bible with understanding, but receive the word of God that heals, baptized, provides, and works wonders. Receive it, whether you see it yet or not. Take it in the spirit and from your spirit as yours. Maybe you don’t look healed right away or feel healed right away, but when you receive it, you know it is yours. Other people may tell you that you are not healed because they don’t see it, but you hold on to the word that you are healed (Mark 11:22-24). The manifestation will come. We have received healings in our family many, many times by operating by faith. 


For me, when I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a minister instructed me to believe I received it like I received salvation, by faith. I did, but I didn’t have the evidence, speaking in tongues, until a couple of weeks later. God said if I asked, I could have it, so I believed I had it. What was my proof? My faith was my proof. I knew, and no one could tell me any differently. Then one day I just knew it was my day for the manifestation. A friend came over and said “God said today is your day.” And we prayed together in the basement of my home and I spoke in those glorious languages that only the Holy Spirit can give. Hallelujah! Believe that you have received it, and you will have it. I had it, and then I received the manifestation of what I already received in my heart. That seed of God’s promise was in my heart, and I refused to let the enemy steal it. I refused to let other things choke it. Praise the Lord! 


Here is another mystery. The Word isn’t just words on the pages of the Bible.  The Word of God is the life of God. The Word of God is Christ. The Word of God are the promises of the covenant. His words are His heart, breathed by the Spirit, spoken into the atmosphere, and hopefully, landing in our hearts. Don’t let the enemy steal what God is planting in you, depositing in you. Believe and speak it – “I am saved. I am healed. I am filled. I have more than enough.”  



  • The birds came to eat the seed off of the hard soil, the wayside, the soil that had not been tilled or opened up to receive the seed. This is the hard-hearted person, the closed-off heart. Typically, people who develop a hard shell are those who have been hurt in their past and refuse to be hurt anymore. However, the walls built to keep people out will also keep the Holy Spirit out.  The enemy comes and steals the word. 
  • The stony ground is the heart where the word can’t take root in the heart. This person is immature in their faith, and even though he or she receives the word in their heart with joy, because there is no root, when tribulation and persecution come, they fall away. We’ve all seen plants that grow, but then die young when they don’t have strong roots. Not only does this describe the immature, as a young believer, but this also describes the Christian that doesn’t give attention to growth or refuses to grow. It takes effort to grow spiritually. 
  • The thorny ground is the ground that has distractions, plants with no purpose, that take away from the growth of the plant. It stunts spiritual growth. 
  • The good ground are hearts that are ready to receive the Word. They are open and in pursuit of God. They have a depth of heart. They have a heart that has not allowed or has removed things in their life that are not of God. This heart will receive that word, let it form roots, and nurture it as it grows. 


In conclusion, I want to encourage you to continue to let the Spirit work on your heart. Notice the sower isn’t going to change. The seed doesn’t change. However, the heart can change. For the hard heart, allow the Spirit to move into those places, remove those closed, hard places. For the stony heart, allow the Spirit to go deeper, giving you maturity and strength. For the thorny heart, allow the Spirit to help remove those things that are stifling you from receiving more. The good news is that the heart can change! Life really can get better and better and gooder and gooder as we grow in Him! 


Genesis 46-48


God’s plan was for the Hebrews to grow into a nation while in Egypt. His plan included slavery to the Egyptians for 400 years (Genesis 15:12-21; Acts 7:6), also said to be four generations (one generation being 100 years). There was purpose in the slavery, a foretelling of the redemption found in Christ. In addition, there is another thirty years that is mentioned in Exodus 12:40-41 and Galatians 3:16-17. There are different ideas people have on the extra 30 years, but we won’t get into that here. 


It is interesting to note that the number 430 pops up a few times in Jewish history. It is also interesting to see that the 1290 days of the Great Tribulation is 430 x 3. There are a lot of speculations and opinions surrounding numbers in the Bible. I find numerology to be interesting, but these things should only confirm God’s Word, and they certainly are not worth debating over. I believe it falls under Paul’s admonition in Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.”


God appears to Jacob in a dream, telling him not to fear moving to Egypt, confirming His plan to make his descendants into a great nation there. God uses Joseph to administrate the food, giving his family favor to live in Goshen. There was also racial tension in Egypt, the Egyptians despising the Hebrew people, leading to slavery and oppression. However, God’s message of freedom and redemption will be seen through the Jewish nation in years to come. 


Jacob blesses Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, who later become two of the twelve tribes of Israel. The blessing of the father was not a small matter. It was prophetic and anointed. 


When we give or receive prophetic words, we should take it to heart. They declare the plan and the will of God. When we see the plan come to pass, God gets the glory, showing the world and us that He knows the end from the beginning. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He holds our world in His hands. We can trust that we are held in the grip of His love. 


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