"While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. " Luke 8:4-15
God's love is amazing! You have been reminded of that in powerful new ways during this study. And God's love is available. That, too, has become evident during the reading of CRAZY LOVE!
Now all that is left is to understand how to receive it and Jesus provides a powerful insight through His parable of the sower and the seed. To receive God's love and have it take root in you spirit you must cultivate good soil in your spirit.
For the longest time I saw this parable as representing four different people with four different spiritual conditions. I guess that can be one of the interpretations, but more helpful to this study is the understanding that in order to produce good soil you must deal with the thorns and the hard places and the shallow spots in your spirit.
Hard soil will not allow the seeds of God's love to take root unless you break it up. Hard soil is the result of disobedience. When you hear God's Word but refuse to heed it your heart gets hardened. Be careful when you go to church Sunday after Sunday and hear the messages but fail to mind the Holy Spirit's promptings. Obedience cultivates good soil, disobedience does the opposite.
Shallow soil allows seeds to sprout but not to put down roots. Without roots there can be no lasting growth and never any fruit produced. The purpose of seeds is to produce fruit not roots. What does shallow soil signify? It represents a disinterested approach to faith - a religious observance rather and a relationship. To cultivate good soil you have to engage your heart, not just your head.
Thorny soil is overgrown with weeds that compete with the seeds for moisture, sunlight, and nutrients. If you have healthy weeds you will have struggling seeds that will eventually be choked out. Thorny soil repesents the distractions of life that keep you from focusing on things that produce growth. The only way to get a fruitful harvest is to pull the thorns out by their roots. Weed grow quickly and require constant attention, attention that should be given to spiritual growth.
Good soil requires great effort! If you don't obey God you won't have good soil. And if you don't pray you will have shallow soil not good soil. And if you don't stay focused you will be choked by the thorns of stress and distracted living.
So, the better your soil, the better God's love will take root in your soul!
How is your soil?
Which soil best represents the condition of your soul?
What do you intend to do about it?