YOUR SOIL…GOD’S SOIL?
Let us read a well-known parable taken from
A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bear fruit a hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, what might this parable be? And he said, unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 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. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
So, in this parable it says that the sower sowed his seed and it fell in all different kinds of soils. When we look at this, we need to understand that the seed spoke about here is the ‘Word of God’. We need to take every opportunity to understand the word of God, to hear it, to listen to it, to look for it, to study it, to start reading the bible.
Most people do not want to go to ‘church’, or even hear about Jesus, now why is that, is it not because we as Christians criticise, judge the word given, the pastor giving it? We moan about how the sermon was or speak out against the pastor instead of asking what I can take from this sermon today and apply it into my life. Do not look at me like that, each one of us is guilty of this, the church will never grow until people’s hearts change, until they HUNGAR and WANT the WORD OF GOD.
The next part that we can take from this is that Jesus is saying ‘all of this is given to every type of person, it is never withheld, it is given again and again in every possible way’. So, what motivates us to be receptive?
I mean everyone has the capacity to become good soil. It requires our assent, our willingness to co-operate with the word of God. Just like there are different types of soil, there are different types of people.
So, what type of soil are you?
I want to speak about your soil today, even you are a leader, a pastor with a ministry of your own, I would like to know how is your soil? Is it prepared?
The first soil that we are going to look at, is the seed that fell on the hard-packed path between the fields, the seed never sinks into the soil and the devil, represented in the parable by birds that gobble up the seed before it has any effect. Now these people are the unbelievers who hear and have closed minds, they are unteachable, unreceptive, the words just bounce of them, their hearts are not open.
Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
Soon the devil takes the truth away, their opportunity will be stolen.
The second soil that we are going to look at is where some of the seed fell on rocky places, there is just enough soil for a seed to take hold, has a early growth when the soil is moist however dries up when the summer heat comes, the little plant looks lovely, beautiful green leaves, maybe a flower or two yet it has no roots, no system underneath in the ground, the rock has stopped its growth and it dies.
These people hear the message with great joy and excitement but there it ends; they seem happy to hear about Jesus, but it does not sink into their hearts. They express great enthusiasm yet no heart behind it. Remember that there were great crowds who followed Jesus however only a few were His true disciples. When these people face pressure or find themselves in a difficult situation, they quickly forgot God’s word.
A TRUE BELIEVER FOLLOWS JESUS NO MATTER WHAT.
We must understand that God’s word never promises that life will be easy without any trials, some people think that God will take away all their problems, a quick fix solution. However, God foes promise that He will be there with us in our problems, that everything will work together for our good and in the long run to bring glory to God.
The third type of soil that we are going to look at is the soil that anything can grow in, where thorns and weeds grow alongside the plants and competes with them for sunlight, water and nutrients. As a result, the plant does not grow to full maturity. Some people hear God’s word, start to grow, and bear fruit then they get distracted from God and become concerned about daily living.
These wrong beliefs take up all their time, energy and focus, they no longer have ‘time’ for God and His word. They lose all spiritual fruit and growth, no trust in God, the problem is the weeds, thorns in their soil. What are the thorns I am speaking about?
Anxiety, doubt, confusion, unworthiness is the opposite of trust which is the root of faith. We all have worries, Jesus did, it is how we handle them that decides whether they choke the spiritual life out or allow it to live in us.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again, I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful about nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Most people actively seek riches, more and more greed, people love riches rather than God.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
How about you? Is your quest for more, greater material wealth, security taking more focus away from your relationship with God? Would you give it all up if God required it of you?
Most people want to be happy; we have replaced righteousness and honour with luxury and items. It chokes the life out of us and makes us barren.
2 Timothy 3:4
Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.
4) Good soil
Still other seed fell on good soil and it produced a crop larger then that was planted, this represents the people who hear God’s word and believed it, they put their trust in God, their hearts received the word, however just like we plant a seed into the ground, we do not see a plant the next day, it takes time, water and nutrients to grow.
True growth takes time, we need to hear the word, retain the word, persevere in the word and produce a crop worthy of harvest. Teachable faith filled hearts will produce spiritual fruit. We are responsible to keep the soil in good condition.
So what soil are you?
Do you have a problem soil?
Is your soil prepared for God?
If not, there is only one way to make a change! Jesus says He is the way…
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Tell the Lord that your heart has not been a good soil, ask Him to plough up the hard places and replace them with a good, soft heart that will be the perfect place for His truth to take root and grow.
Listen to God’s promise:
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
This parable helps us Christians take more our role seriously. So many so-called Christians are just that and we need to become earnest and true.
Sow the seed, sow it faithfully and see that it finds fertile soil, even in your own heart.