Waynedale United Methodist Church
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Oct 9, 2016 Sermon

“Weeding the Seed”
Mathew 13:24 – 30 
Ted Jansen  October 9, 2016  Waynedale UMC
 
1.)        I have a container with dirt and weeds.  Where do weeds come from?  Do you want them?  One day Jesus told a story about weeds in Matthew 13:24 – 30.
            The people in Jesus’ day lived outdoors and grew plants and crops.  They knew about weeds and paid attention when Jesus told this story. 
            As we listen to this story about seeds and weeds consider what they represent.  The good seeds represent the growth and the fruit we hope that are produced.  We want good to come from seeds. 
            The weeds represent growth we don’t want to see because weeds hinder and crowd out the good seed and plants.  Weeds choke the plant so that it cannot produce fruit.  Weeds limit the good things.    
 
2.)        Jesus said that a man sowed good seed in his field and then went to sleep.  In the middle of the night his enemy sowed seeds of weeds in the field.  No one knew what the enemy did. 
            When growth started both the wheat and the weeds were growing.  The man realized that an enemy planted weeds to choke out the wheat.  It must have been shocking and disturbing.    
            An insight into the weed was that the weed seed that was sown was most likely, “darnel,” which looked like wheat when it grew.  Only at the harvest time when it was fully grown would you know that it was a weed. 
This man decided it was not worth pulling out the weeds for fear of hurting the wheat.  He told the servants to wait until harvest and then collect the weeds and get rid of the weeds and collect the wheat that was produced.  The wheat would be saved, the weeds would be burned. 
                         
3.)        Here are a few insights from Jesus parable at it relates to our lives of faith. 
*We never sow weeds, we only sow good seed.  That means that we only want good and healthy faith to grow in our lives.  We don’t want weed and the bad things they represent.    
            *We acknowledge that weeds are a part of this world.  Weeds crowd out our God life.     
            *We know that time will reveal what are weeds and what is good fruit.  When good seed and bad seed both start growing it is hard to tell what is what. We might think that something good is growing from the seed, not bad.      
             
4.)        In the United Methodist Church when a person professes their faith and joins the church they share their faith in a public worship service by responding to several vows.  The last vow that is asked is, “Will you be loyal to the Waynedale UMC and uphold it by your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness?” 
            A person will respond by saying, “I will.”  They respond that way because they believe that each of these five practices are good.  It is like planting good seed that will grow in their heart.     
            We realize that some weeds, some bad seeds, are planted in the soil of faith.  Will those seeds of weeds grow and choke out faith?
            Let’s look at each of these five areas.   
 
5.)        Prayer – What weeds would crowd out and prevent you from spending time in prayer and reading the scripture?  (Do other things in the morning, evening.  Don’t have a Bible, can’t find a quiet place, not sure how to start, etc.)   *start where you are, give God 5 minutes, or 10 minutes.  Write down your prayers, start reading the book of Mark.   
            Presence – What weeds crowd out and prevent you from being in worship and other spiritual activities?  (You want to sleep, you don’t care, you have to work, you don’t want to, etc.)   *be in worship with others, focus on God, focus on people, go to a new class or group.
            Gifts – What weeds crowd out and prevent you from giving financially to the Lord?  What prevents you from giving God the first fruits, the first tenth, of your money?  (You have debt, you spend all your money, you have a home that is too big, etc.)   *start giving money today to grow your faith.  Give 1% and each year for 10 years increase it by 1%.  You will have to adjust your lifestyle but your seed of faith will grow in spiritual life.
            Service – What weeds crowd out and prevent you from serving a need in the ministry of the church?  (You don’t know your spiritual gifts, you are doing other things with your time, you work too much, etc.)  *You are needed for the Kingdom.  Discover your purpose. Say yes to a need in church, explore your passion for service.     
            Witness – What weeds crowd out and prevent you from telling others your faith story?  (You are afraid, your faith is week, you are scared, you are not sure who to tell, etc.)  *Are you willing to listen to others and tell your faith story?  Tell about your faith in your current relationships.  Tell me you want to share your faith on a Sunday morning.  Write your faith story.          
            If you let weeds grow you will lose the beauty of your life. 
 
6.)        Have you ever seen Kudzu?  Do you know what it is?  While the Mission Team traveled to Henderson there were several places along the road where we saw Kudzu.  This is a vine that takes over the ground, the bushes, the trees, the flowers.  It covers everything.  It takes all the nutrients out of all the plants, grasses, bushes, flowers and trees.  It is hard to get rid of once it gets growing.  It is not a “pretty” sight when Kudzu overgrows everything.        
            One thing I gained from Jesus telling the parable of the weeds was to teach us to focus on priorities.  We need to be aware, diligent and guard our heart on what is most important.
 
7.)        A number of years ago a fascinating interview took place between Mr. Charles Schwab, then president of Bethlehem Steel, and Ivy Lee, a self-styled management consultant.
Lee was an aggressive, self-confident man who by his perseverance had secured the interview with Mr. Schwab, who was no less self-assured, being one of the most powerful men in the world. During the conversation, Mr. Lee asserted that if the management of Bethlehem Steel would follow his advice, the company's operations would be improved and their profits increased. 
Schwab responded, "If you can show us a way to get more things done, I'll be glad to listen; and if it works, I'll pay you whatever you ask within reason." 
Lee handed Schwab a blank piece of paper and said, "Write down the most important things you have to do tomorrow." Mr. Schwab did so. "Now," Lee continued, "Number them in order of importance." Schwab did so. "Tomorrow morning start on number one, and stay with it until you have completed it. Then go on to number two and number three and number four...Don't worry if you haven't completed everything by the end of the day. At least you will have completed the most important projects.
Do this every day.  After you have been convinced of the value of this system, have your men try it. Try it as long as you like, and then send me your check for whatever you think the advice is worth."
The two men shook hands and Lee left the president's office. A few weeks later Charles Schwab sent Ivy Lee a check for $25,000--an astronomical amount in the 1930s! He said it was the most profitable lesson he had learned in his long business career.  K. Hughes, Liberating Ministry From The Success Syndrome, Tyndale, 1988, 
 
  8.)      As you focus on the good seed that you want planted you need to guard your heart.  Consider the “safeguards” that are in place when you drive a car on the highway.
Your plan is to arrive at a destination in a timely manner while being safe.  How can safeguard ensure that you will have good results?  You let them help you guard your car as they guide you.  When your car is guarded you are safe and so are others.   
            The first priority is to stay in your lane and see the lane marker.  This is a visual guarding.  When you have crossed the lane marker, get over.     
The second priority is to get in your lane and hear the sound of your tire going over the groove in the pavement.  This is a sound guarding.  When you hear the buzz, get over. 
The third priority is to get in your lane when you hear and see that you have hit the guard rail.  This is a sound and visual guarding.  You have not acted on the first two safe guard and you will have body damage but you are still alive.  The rail has kept you from going over the side of the road to the hazards.    
            We need ways to guard our heart and stay focused on what is most important.  The warnings will come to us in different ways.  We might see the warnings in our health, our finances, our relationships, our attitudes, our jobs, etc.  We might hear sounds that are alarming us.  We might crash into something.  We are still alive.  Focus on the good seed.        
 
9.)        Jesus had to guard His heart from all the distractions when He was here on earth.  He had distractions from the Pharisees, and Religious leaders who argued and harassed Him.  He had distractions from His own disciples who wanted to be first, who were confused about who He was, about His agenda, about not wanting Him to die.  He had distractions from the hungry who kept following Him because they wanted more food.  He had distractions from the sick who knew He could heal them.  He loved all the poor He met but knew that He was not here to help all of them. Jesus had distractions from Satan and people who were demon possessed.  Jesus was distracted a lot while He was here on earth. 
He kept His focus of love, of salvation and sacrifice on the cross.  Jesus stayed focus on His priority and finished what He came for.    
 
10.)      You have an opportunity to plant a seed of faith.  What type of seed are you planting?  Be aware that weeds grow and crowd out the good seeds.  Be intentional and don’t let the weeds choke your life.  
            In her book A Practical Guide to Prayer, Dorothy Haskins tells about a noted concert violinist who was asked the secret of her mastery of the instrument. The woman answered the question with two words: "Planned neglect." Then she explained. "There were many things that used to demand my time. When I went to my room after breakfast, I made my bed, straightened the room, dusted, and did whatever seemed necessary. When I finished my work, I turned to my violin practice. That system prevented me from accomplishing what I should on the violin. So I reversed things. I deliberately planned to neglect everything else until my practice period was complete. And that program of planned neglect is the secret of my success."   Daily Bread.
 
11.)      Be the best disciple of Jesus and plant your seeds of faith with your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness.