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Summary: Identifing ourselves in the Parable of the Soils helps us to improve our relationship with Christ.

What Kind of Dirt Are You?

Mark 4:1–20

INTRODUCTION

It is often said that a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

The first of Jesus’ Parables is about the condition of human hearts.

Jesus always emphasized that it is not a good sermon that makes for good worship but good listeners.

It is not so much the mouth of the pulpit but more the ears of the pews that make for good worship.

A good crop depends upon the character of the ground in which it is sown.

MAIN BODY

I. The Trampled Soil (The Path)

A. The Condition:

1. It is trampled down.

2. It is Hard.

3. The seed can’t penetrate.

B. The Cause:

1. It is packed down by sin.

2. It is packed down by a frequent hearing of the truth itself. Sermon hardened as well as Sin hardened.

C. The Results:

1. The seed never takes root.

2. Satan takes away the seed as soon as it is sown.

II. The Shallow Soil (Rocky Ground)

A. The Condition:

1. It has only a little soil on the surface.

2. Illustration: I am told that in many places in Palestine there is only an inch or two of soil on top of a ledge of limestone rock. If seed falls on this ground it will grow and germinate quickly. The limestone holds heat from the sun which creates ideal conditions for seeds to sprout. But after the seed puts down roots in search of water it starves and dies as quickly as it grew. There is no substance on the ledge to sustain it.

B. The Cause:

1. A lack of Bible study.

2. A lack of spiritual growth.

3. One may have been moved emotionally but haven’t fully committed themselves to God. Matt. 8:19–20

C. The Results:

1. As soon as one is knocked off their emotional mountain peak by the hard realities of everyday life they give up.

2. The lack of a sustaining root leaves them with nothing to fall back on.

III. The Infested Soil (Thorns)

A. The Condition:

1. Soil is cultivated with few rocks.

2. Conditions for growth are very good.

3. Thorns are allowed to grow along with the seed.

4. It is what the farmer keeps out almost as much as what he puts in that makes for a good crop.

B. The Cause:

1. James 1:15

2. Trying to “straddle the fence” or stay as close to the line of sin as possible.

C. The Results:

1. The weeds eventually choke out the good crop.

2. Temptation becomes “full blown” until it is sin and dominates our life.

IV. The Good Soil

A. The Condition:

1. Deep soil

2. Few rocks, cultivated and weeded.

B. The Cause:

1. These people hear the word, accept the word and:

2. Produce Fruit.

C. The Results:

1. It grows and bears fruit.

2. 30, 60, 100 Fold.

CONCLUSION

Where do you find yourself in this parable?

What are you doing to prepare your soil?

Have you cultivated the soil?

Have you removed the rocks?

Have you removed the weeds?

The condition of your heart is the final and decisive factor in your salvation.

All that God and Jesus have done will come to no effect if your heart is not prepared and ready to receive the seed being sown upon it.

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