What Kind of Soil Do You Have?

I was reading in the book of Luke the other day.  In verse 11 Jesus begins to interpret the parable of the sower.  It is about the states of our hearts, being ready to receive the Gospel or not.  The Word of God is the seed.  Our hearts are the soil.  What condition is yours in? 

The first example is likened to the side of the road.   The ground is hard and trampled upon.  Any seed is either unable to be buried, or it is eaten up by birds, or blown away by the wind (often into better soil).  When a hard heart hears the Gospel, it has no effect.  And before it can even begin to have any effect, Satan immediately removes it.  The person never even gets a chance to investigate the merits of the Gospel, but is content with self-esteem, false religions, or simply anything besides Christianity.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
— John 1:1-5

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” — 2 Thess 2:9-12

The second example is rocky ground.  The seed can get stuck enough to avoid being eaten or blown away.  It can even sprout a bit.  Individuals hear the Gospel, are excited about all that Jesus has to offer (as much as they can figure).  Actually get involved in ministry and preaching the Gospel to others.  Until, that is, they get flack.  As soon as their faith is tested they bail.

“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said:  ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’” — Heb 3:12-15

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron” — 1 Tim 4:1-2

The third example is that of seed falling among thorns.  The Greek word for “thorns” comes from a root word that means “to ache” along with “just now” “still” or “yet”.  Christianity doesn’t seem to fix all the problems in the individual’s life, they’re still there.  The person thought that coming to Jesus and living the Christian life would be bliss.  Yet in many cases life is tougher that it was before, so they return to the pains of the old life.

(Jesus said) ”In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33b

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” — 2 Tim 3:12-13

The Lord’s final example is seed falling on good soil.  This is soil that has been prepared to receive the seed.  The person’s heart is described as “noble and good”.  Basically the person agrees with God, believes Jesus for who is and what He’s done (as opposed to the first three who had their own preconceived notion of God and what they wanted Him to do for them).  This forth person “keeps” the Word, protects it, treasures it, holds on to it, continues in it, studies and grows in knowledge and application.  And finally through patience (cheerful, hopeful, consistent endurance or continuance or waiting) fruit is produced in his life.  He doesn’t have to see things happen now, and he doesn’t let circumstances affect his stance, but he trusts in the Lord to accomplish His will in his life.

Posted in Grace To It.