“Still other seed fell on good soil.
It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” (Mark 4:8)
I’ve recently been meditating on the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-8), or the parable of the soils (Matthew 13:1-9)
Jesus uses lots of farming analogies and this one focuses on the soil — the condition heart that receives the word of God.
The soil wasn’t ready
I once talked with a friend who had significant spiritual thirst. In his search, he spoke with me about his question to find forgiveness.
I pointed him to the gospel of Christ.
He surrendered his life in prayer.
But his discipleship never took root.
He didn’t respond to church invitations. He didn’t respond to invitations to read the Bible with me. He didn’t grow as a disciple.
Instead, he continues to assemble his own religion, dabbling in various new age philosophies, mysticism, and eastern religions, with a smattering of Christianity. His faith mixture is like the beverage a teenager makes at a self-serve soda fountain: A little Coke, Pepsi, Diet Coke, Mountain Dew, Kist, Sweetened Tea, Sprite, and Ginger Ale.
I find myself lamenting over the ongoing state of his relationship with God. I feel grief that he’s not growing in faith, nor has truly experienced the transforming grace of Christ.
The soil was ready
Recently, we did an evangelistic outreach in a local park. Using dramas and a short preaching, we raised questions and invited people to prayer stations.
One woman came over after hearing the word. She was already in tears as she emotionally identified with the preaching. She surrendered her life to Christ.
Since then, she has started to
- come to church weekly
- find healing in Jesus
- get connected with a small group
- invite and bring friends to church.
She’s beginning to produce 30 fold.
Others that day in the park could have cared less, were simply curious, or chose to do nothing with what they heard. In this woman’s case, the soil was ready.
My heart was ready
Over 2 decades ago, my heart responded to the word of God as I heard it during the course of a few months.
I got involved in a local church. I spent time growing my personal relationship with God. I served my local community, and looked for the harvest.
God’s word took root in my heart and is now producing a hundred fold, thousands of times over as I step on the mission field and train others to walk in the harvest.
I find myself grateful to God for allowing me to hear the word, to grow, to obey the word, and to produce a harvest of multiple disciples.
Lord, I thank you that my heart responded to the word of God that was planted by Christians, by evangelists, by pastors, and by friends in my life. Thankfully, that word took root and has grown these past decades.
I pray that my heart would continue to be the good soil and that I’d continue to obey the Word as I receive it. Prevent weeds from getting in the soil of my heart (Matthew 13:24-30)
I also pray that those around me who hear the word I share would
- have their hearts prepared to receive your word,
- there would be harvest because the soil is good.
- That thorns and rocks would stay out of the way.
Help me to plant a seed on good soil today.
- Work through your list of friends that you are praying for.
- Pray for each one by name, asking the Lord to show you what you might be able to do to help prepare the soil (answer a question, challenge a belief, offer to pray).
- Be prepared to write down those ideas and look for opportunities to follow through.