10 Jan 2017

The People Stood on the Shore

by Noel Sardar

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In reaction to the story in Matthew 13, Charles Spurgeon, who has been referred to as ‘the prince of preachers’, once remarked: “The teacher sat, and the people stood: we should have less sleeping in congregations if this arrangement still prevailed.”

This is an inspiring thought, but it would be very difficult for elders to approve this in our churches today because standing has very little to do with posture and everything to do with state of the heart.

To understand what Jesus is saying in Matthew 13, consider the wisdom of the following verses.

Psalm 19:10 says:

“[The laws of God are] more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.”

Proverbs 10:8 says that “the wise are glad to be instructed”.

The wise will always seek God’s instruction, even if it means they must stand on the shore.

Jesus said that whoever has ears to hear, let them hear (see Mark 4:9; Matthew 11:15). He is speaking to specific people; those who are spiritually sensitive and ready to give His teaching a special place in their hearts.

What state is your heart in? Is the word landing on the wayside, or is it landing on a stony place? Have the words of Jesus landed among thorns or have they landed on good soil?

The same sun that softens the wax hardens the clay. Is your heart like wax, ready to be softened and absorb the word? Or is it like clay: hard, dry and impenetrable?

Pause and reflect: Ask God for a new heart today! Remove anything from your life that is making your heart hard. Repent of all unforgiveness, bitterness, jealously and greed.

Let the words of Jesus penetrate into the deepest parts of your soul. Treasure His words. Stand and listen!

Noel Sardar
Noel Sardar

Dr Noel Sardar is a clinician with a BSc (Hon) in Pharmacology from Cardiff University and a MD from Charles University, Prague. He has a keen interest in apologetics and theology. He enjoys communicating ideas that bridge the gap between science and faith. He loves building relationships and is a life-long learner, who is always discovering new things. He serves as a core leader at Victory Church and is married to Daniela. The couple have two children, Timmy and Abigail.

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