Seed & Soil
Growth requires both good seed and quality soil.
The seed—the message of Jesus—is always good.
The soil—our hearts—unfortunately, is not always ready.
Four Soils, Four Hearts
The Hard Path: Does not even consider the message.
The message goes in one ear and out the other.
The Rocky Soil: Hears & receives, but can’t take the heat.
The stones of persecution and sacrifice prove too much to bear.
The Thorny Soil: Hears & receives, but can’t handle the cost.
Sacrifice of self becomes too great a burden, and the cross is exchanged for a false promise of fleeting comfort.
The Good Soil: Hears, understands & produces a great crop.
Unlike the hard path, open and receptive to God’s voice
Unlike the rocky soil, not swayed by stones of persecution
Unlike the thorny soil, is not lured away by the false promise of comfort
Instead, this soil “gets it”—receives, understands—and produces. Not only new disciples, but the fruit of the Spirit in the life of the one who hears and understands.
(A Soily Little Secret)
We (the church) have become pretty cozy with poor soil.
We don’t mind deaf ears—as long as there are a lot of them.
We eagerly see those raised hands—but barely notice when someone consistently bears their cross.
We love a big offering—but rarely ask if the giver is given to Christ.
We must become more aware of our tendency to fool ourselves.
Which Soil are You?
If you are hardpan, stony, or thorny, there is good news: Bad soil can be changed!
It may take the hard edge of a spade, the painful work of stone removal , and the constant vigilance of weeding, but it can be done.
“The only conversions that count in the kingdom are those confirmed by a life of discipleship.”
- Craig S. Keener, IVP Commentary on Matthew