FERTILE SOIL

7 November 2013 |

FERTILE SOIL

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Luke 8:4-15

Luke 8

New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

4 One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd
that had gathered from many towns to hear him: 5 “A farmer went out
to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell
on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. 6 Other
seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and
died for lack of moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up
with it and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seed fell on
fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred
times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called
out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He replied,
“You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of
God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures
might be fulfilled:

‘When they look, they won’t really see.

When they hear, they won’t understand.’

11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. 12
The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the
message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their
hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. 13 The seeds
on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it
with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a
while, then they fall away when they face temptation. 14 The seeds
that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but
all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and
pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. 15 And
the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted
people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a
huge harvest.

The parable of the scattered seed is usually a well known parable, and
one that makes its way into the prayers of many pre-service prayer
meetings. Often we’ll pray that the Word that is preached would land
on “fertile soil”.

The thing about the different places the seed lands (the footpath,
rocks, among the thorns, and fertile soil) is that in many cases, the
situation could have been different. When we look at the original
parable, we can easily think ‘well, if the seed is going to fall
between the rocks, there’s nothing we can do about it, that’s just
where the seed was sown’. But if we look at Jesus’ interpretation
and explanation of the parable, we see that we can actually be
responsible for our own soil.

If the soil of our lives is a footpath, the solution is to take
control and not allow satan to rob us of the Word of God. God has
assured us that we have more authority than satan (1 John 1:4) and so
we can be more alert. Likewise, if the soil of our lives is rocky soil
that doesn’t have deep roots, we can return to the foundations of
God’s Word. Many christians struggle to apply to deeper concepts of
God’s truth because they have not understood the basic fundamentals
of Christianity (some of them are mentioned in Hebrews 6:2). For
those, returning to the fundamentals (by doing a biblical course or
bible study, for example) will help solidify that foundation. For
others, the soil is littered with thorns and weeds that strangle the
Word – things of the world that hinder our hearing the Word of God.
For those, repenting and re-prioritising is necessary before God’s
Word will change our hearts and lives. Then naturally for those who
have dealt with these things, the soil of our hearts is fertile and
ready for God’s Word.

What happens to the Word of God that is spoken into your life? Do you
meditate on it’s truth once you’ve heard it, or do you forget
scripture and sermons within a few minutes or hours of being exposed
to it. If that is the case, you may need to go do some ‘gardening’
in your life to make sure your soil is fertile.

Over the next few days, pay attention to your response to the Word of
God, either when you read it, or when you hear it preached over the
week-end. This will help you recognise what you need to do to ensure
your soil is fertile.

A PRAYER TO PRAY

Jesus thank you that Your Word produces good fruit when planted in
healthy, fertile soil. Please help me to analyse my life and change
what needs to be changed so that my soil is fertile. In Jesus name,
amen.

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