PROOF THAT A PERSON IS FOLLOWING JESUS

This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. —Luke 8:11-15

There are four types of “hearers” in this parable that Jesus taught. Which one are you? Remember also how the wise and foolish builders both heard (Matt. 7:24-27).

· The first hears “and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”

· The second hears and “receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”

· The third hears “but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.”

· The fourth hears the “word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

Only the fourth hearers are mentioned as good soil and only this group produces fruit. Satan, times of testing, worries, riches and pleasures cause the other hearers not to produce fruit. Jesus said “by their fruit you will know them” (Matthew 7:20). Fruitlessness bears no evidence that a person is a follower of Jesus. Again, Jesus said in John 15:8 that “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Fruit-bearing proves a person to be a follower of Jesus!

Are you bearing fruit? (Proverbs 11:30; Matthew 3:8-10; 12:33; Luke 6:43-45; John 15:1-17; Romans 6:22; Romans 7:4; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:8-10; Philippians 1:11; Colossians 1:3-7; Titus 3:14; Hebrews 12:11; 13:15; James 3:18; II Peter 1:3-9).

Dear Father, may I bear much fruit in the authority of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit to honor Your Name. Yes, may this be so!

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