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Aug 11, 2019

Unlimited Yield

Unlimited Yield

Passage: Matthew 13:1-9

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: The Stories In-Between: Parables

Keywords: matthew, gospel, productivity, parables

While we speak of the bible as having a kind of authority, this parable of Jesus helps us think of it in terms of its productivity--what it can produce, and in what kind of heart the yield God intends is possible. He loves nothing more than to see hearts like his own spring up and do likewise.

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: Matthew 13:9
Call To Worship: Psalm 100
Congregational Prayer
Old Testament Reading: Psalm 1
Sermon Title: Unlimited Yield
Central Text: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Benediction: Ephesians 3:20-21
Post-Service Text: Proverbs 20:12

08.11.19 Sermon Notes


Sunset Limited - Best Book

Sunset Limited - Don't Understand

Sunset Limited - Not Listen

Sunset Limited - Be Quiet

Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: Matthew 13:9
9 He who has ears, let him hear.

Call To Worship: Psalm 100
LEADER: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

PEOPLE: Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

LEADER: Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

ALL: For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Congregational Prayer
Our Father in heaven, whose being and perfections are infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, the same yesterday, today, and forever: You are glorious in holiness, full of love and compassion, abundant in grace and truth. All Your works deserve praise in all the places of your dominion; and Your Son has glorified You upon the earth. Therefore we bow down and adore You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, blessed forevermore. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Central Text: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear. . . .”

Matthew 13:18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Benediction: Ephesians 3:20-21
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Post-Service Text: Proverbs 20:12
12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
the Lord has made them both.

Related Scriptures:

  • Psalm 1
  • Proverbs 20:12
  • Isaiah 55:6-13
  • Matthew 4:1-11
  • Acts 5:17-42
  • Ephesians 3:14-19
  • James 1:19-25

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. When you were younger and given instruction were you more likely to be distracted--off doing your own thing--or dutiful--always compliant and responsible? Why?
  2. If you had to guess what Jesus means by the “word of the kingdom,” what would you say? Why is the receptivity to that word that leads to fruit-bearing so important? What might be examples of that fruit that comes from hearing and receiving?
  3. What are all the things that keep the heart from being receptive to the word, and which then keeps the heart from yielding what the word intends?
  4. For some, trials and rejection steals their faith; others are steeled by those trials (cf. Acts 5:17-42). What might account for the different outcomes to the same kind of experience?
  5. He who told this parable died for those who heard--and hear--this parable. How is what He did on our behalf meant to nurture the kind of receptivity he insists on in the parable? How does what He did help answer the unwillingness to stand under what He says (vv. 4, 19), learn resilience by it (vv. 5-6, 20-21), and refuse to let concerns and greed compete for our attention and allegiance (vv. 7, 22)?
  6. Why might you have become indifferent, or too beaten down to listen on, or too distracted with worries and wealth? What’s one simple way you can make room again for what He is always faithful to tell us?



  • Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. - Thomas Merton
  • I react to the suggestion of a miracle—or for that matter, any thoughts about God, the spiritual, or the transcendent—with skepticism and cynicism. It is my default setting.1 I am programmed to expect that the world is what I can see, touch, and measure, and any thought or idea that runs against that expectation is met with resistance. Programming is actually a great way to think about it. I have learned to see the world this way, and I don’t have to think about it anymore. - Mike Cosper Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World
  • Attention is a resource; a person has only so much of it. And yet we’ve auctioned off more and more of our public space to private commercial interests, with their constant demands on us to look at the products on display or simply absorb some bit of corporate messaging. Lately, our self-appointed disrupters have opened up a new frontier of capitalism, complete with its own frontier ethic: to boldly dig up and monetize every bit of private head space by appropriating our collective attention. In the process, we’ve sacrificed silence — the condition of not being addressed. And just as clean air makes it possible to breathe, silence makes it possible to think. - Matthew Crawford
  • Let not thy Word, O Lord, become a judgment on us,
    That we hear it and do it not,
    That we know it and love it not,
    That we believe it and obey it not.
    Thomas a Kempis
  • O to grace how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be.
    “Come thou Fount”
  • People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated. - D.A. Carson
  • I understand in the past there have been many heretical movements, and we still need to maintain sound doctrine in terms of a good understanding of how God works and operates. But I think our real doctrine is that doctrine that is born out in our character. I think you can profess the Apostles' Creed until Jesus returns, but if you don't love somebody you never were a Christian. - Rich Mullins
  • Saints in this world are not perfectly free from the remains of sin; but happily freed from the reign of it.-  John Calvin