Understanding God's Word
Luke 8:12, "Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved."
The first type of person Jesus describes is someone who doesn't understand God's Word (Matthew 13:19). Before God's Word can penetrate your heart, you have to understand (not comprehend) what it's saying. If the Word isn't understood, then it will be like seed scattered on top of hard-packed ground (the wayside). The birds will eat the seed and there will be no fruit.
Mark 4:15 and Luke 8:12, make it clear that these birds represent Satan, and Mark says the devil comes immediately to steal away the Word. Satan did not have direct access to the Word in any of the other heart-types which Jesus described. Satan cannot steal the Word from us if we will hide it in our hearts (Psalm 119:11). This first type of person simply heard the Word but didn't receive it. He never applied it to his life, so he lost it.
Notice that Luke links belief and salvation with the Word being sown in our hearts in the same way as Romans 10:14-17. If there is no Word, there cannot be any belief or salvation (1 Peter 1:23). We must preach the Word - not just morality or social issues.
Luke's use of the word "saved" could include, but is not necessarily limited to, forgiveness of sins. Salvation includes much more than forgiveness of sins. This verse could describe a person who didn't receive the Word and, therefore, was eternally damned. It could also be describing a Christian who simply doesn't receive the Word in a certain area of his life and therefore doesn't experience the victory that Jesus provided for him. Are you experiencing His victory in your life?
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