How did you react to the gospel when you first heard it? How do you react when the Lord speaks to you? Do you follow godly advice? Do you ever feel convicted? Do you trust the Lord with all your heart? Today I want to share the parable of the sower that Jesus told and how it relates to our lives. Which soil are you?
And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that
‘Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.'”
And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
I see this story relating to both those who are not yet believers and also to those that are. For someone who has heard the Gospel for the first time or is still learning and trying to figure out where their heart is in all of this, they may hear the Word and are really interested, but their heart is not in it and walk away and forget or it only lasts a short while, or they may not want to admit that they are a sinner and need a savior. Others hear the Gospel, but have too many worries in their life to put their trust in Jesus, or are afraid of what others, especially those who are close to them, may think and do not want to commit for fear of rejection. Others hear the good news of what Jesus has to offer (eternal life by believing that He is the Son of God and died for their sins and rose again) and accept that gift and trust in Him. Those that do accept Christ into their lives will have great blessings, but not without hardship.
I also see this for Christians who have already accepted that gift through faith. Some go to church and hear the message that the Lord has provided, but go home and do not read their Bible or pray or serve or follow His commands. Some are just not committed and do not put Jesus as the center of their lives. Others struggle with the worries of their life and the temptations that come to them every day and try to overcome these things on their own without giving it to God. Many struggle because they do not fellowship with other Christians to encourage and be encouraged, to ask for prayer and pray for others, to ask for help when needed and to provide help when possible. As Ephesians 6 says, we are in a battle and the devil will do what he can to keep you away from God and devour you however he can (see also 1 Peter 5:6-8). We need to “put on the armor of God.” We are strong through Him, not by ourselves. This is the “good soil”; reading your Bible every day, talking with God, which includes listening to Him (He may speak to you within your heart or mind, or through something the Bible says, or through a lesson in your small group, through a brother or sister in Christ, or through circumstances that may arise), be close to other believers and get involved, serve in a ministry, however big or small it may be, and above all LOVE. Love the Lord with everything you have, and love those around you.