Green triangles are narrated and fully illustrated and will have simple animation added along the way. Yellow triangles have narration, but the illustrations aren't done yet. Videos with red triangles are planned. New and updated videos will be added very often.
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One day, Jesus sat down by a lake. Such a big crowd gathered around Him that He got into a boat to sit while the crowd stood on the shore.
He told them a story: “Once upon a time… A sower went out to sow some seeds. Some seeds fell along the path, but the birds came and gobbled those seeds up.
“Other seeds fell on rocky ground where they did not have much dirt. They sprouted up quickly because the soil was not deep. But when the sun came up, they were scorched by the hot sun. They withered and died because they didn’t have deep roots.
“Other seeds fell among the thorns, but the thorns grew big and choked the good plants to death.
“BUT! Other seeds fell on good, soft, rich soil. And those seeds grew tall and strong with roots down deep. They grew, grew, grew to be good food and many crops. Each little seed produced 30, 60, and even 100 times more!”
As the people listened to the story, Jesus said to them, “Anyone who has ears had better listen carefully!”
Later the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked, “Why do you talk in stories like this, Jesus?”
Jesus answered them, “I don’t tell the wondrous secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven to just anybody. That’s why I talk about it in stories. The prophet Isaiah talked about this long ago. Remember how Isaiah said:
‘They will listen carefully but not understand, they will look closely but not see it. For the heart of this people has become dull, dull, dull; they’ve plugged up their ears and shut their eyes. So they don’t see or hear or understand with their hearts and turn, so that I would heal them.’”
Did you know that people can’t just “decide” for themselves that they are a person who Sees and Understands God’s words? You can’t be a Heaven-Seer and a Heaven-Understander just by being really smart, or trying really hard, or wanting it really badly.
Jesus was telling His disciples that He talks in these stories because He doesn’t want people to think they can just figure out the Kingdom of God with their minds. To those who don’t really choose to listen and obey with their hearts, the stories keep the wonderful mysteries of God just a little perplexing (kind of like a little secret).
But He’s not making it hard. He’s making it Super-Natural — Real! If you don’t have supernatural, then you don’t have anything Real because being a follower of Jesus is not about just our brain thinking or saying good things, or our hands and our feet doing good deeds. It’s about making flowers bloom where there were none.
It’s a gift from Heaven to be able to See and Understand God’s Heart. It always has been and it always will be.
But Jesus is about to explain something we can all do to give that seed of God’s word the best chance of sprouting into Miraculous Life. We can’t make the miracle of heart-understanding happen, but there is something else we can do… So listen carefully.
Then Jesus looked in His followers’ eyes, and said, “Ah, but you… your eyes are blessed because they do see, and your ears are blessed because they do hear.”
Jesus continued, “Let Me tell you what the story about the guy scattering the seeds means:
“The seed is the word of God.
“The seed scattered along the path is when someone hears God’s words about the Kingdom of Heaven and doesn’t take hold of it, so the evil one comes and snatches what was planted in his heart.
“The rocky ground is the person who hears the word and right away is so happy about it. But he has no deep root in himself so he doesn’t survive. When trouble or hard stuff comes, he gives up.
“The thorny ground is the person who hears the word, but the seeds are choked by their worrying, and caring too much about this world. They want more and more stuff and money and fun, so the seeds are choked and produce nothing.
“But the seed planted on good soil — this is the person who hears the word, and grabs hold of it. He clings to it with a good and honest heart… and he doesn’t let go. This person bears fruit, producing 30, 60, or 100 times more than what was planted.”
So you see? We’re still all just a bunch of dirt. It’s not our smartness or great effort that decides when God’s miracle-seed will be planted and spring up to life. But it is up to us whether our soil is ready when that seed falls on our ground!
Remember what Hosea and Isaiah told the people? “Break up that hard ground of your hearts!” You can do that.
It’s up to you whether your heart is hard, or you care too much about worldly things, or you choose to be shallow. You decide that by each of the little choices that you make every day.
So tend your soil! Be soft… honest… teachable… humble… say you’re sorry when you’re wrong… be a giver… obey… and trust. Those are the choices that make the soil of your heart rich and soft — just the kind of soil God can use to cause His miracle-seeds to burst into life.
God’s word, the miracle-seed, is packed with all the potential of new Life. So make sure God’s seed has a good place in your heart to land so that it has the best chance to produce fruit.
And if you’re ever wondering what kind of soil you are, it’s an easy answer. What does your heart grow, grow, grow? Your fruit shows what kind of soil you really are and what you super-naturally “understand.”
Remember what John the Baptizer said to the people? “Produce fruit that shows you’re changing.” You (and others) can see whether your heart is growing. That’s how you know.
That’s what Jesus was saying, too: A heart of good soil produces 30, 60, 100 times more than what was planted. That’s your “proof” — good stuff growing! (Although remember how we told you that you’re still little… so keep hoeing and sowing, but be patient… seeds take time to grow, grow, grow.)