Pastor Jim Stultz
Planting On Good Ground
Jesus told a parable about a sower who scattered his seed. The seed fell on 4 different types of soil. Three of the soils did not produce a crop. Only the seed that fell on the good ground brought forth a productive crop. Jesus then applied the parable to those who hear the Word of God. Some have a hard heart, and the message does not take root and the devil comes and steals away the seed. Some have a shallow heart. They make an emotional response but when the sun came out, the plant withered and died because it didn’t take root. The third soil was pictured by thorns. This person’s heart was so crowded by the things of the world that the message of the gospel was strangled out. The fourth soil represents the receptive heart who hears, understands, and believes the Word of God. They show that they are true believers because they produce genuine fruit. These are the only ones who are truly saved out of the four soils.
Perhaps this parable can have another application. Believers need to continue to read, study and hear the Word of God. Perhaps those of us who have already believed the gospel can develop a hard heart. We can have trouble concentrating when reading the Bible. Satan would love nothing better than for us to be distracted and let the Word go in one ear and out the other. We can also generate an emotion-only response to God’s Word. Feeling good is great but we must have a faith that endures the heat of troubles and trials. Just as the thorns choked out the Word, we can allow so many things to crowd out the work of God’s Word in our lives. May we have the good ground of a teachable and productive heart.
It is encouraging to know that there is nothing wrong with the seed. It is pure, powerful, and productive. The Word of God can save souls and mature believers. We do not have to dress it up, tweak it, or adapt it to the hearers. All we must do is proclaim it.