Preparing the Soil
Jesus, thank You that You did not come to offer religion but to invite us into relationship, into the community of love.
What do you believe is the condition of the soil of your heart?
As Jesus told this parable, it is possible his listeners could see sowers at work in the nearby fields. Jesus chose familiar scenes to help people better understand the spiritual message. Here, Jesus identifies four types of soil (19,20,22,23). Jesus then likens the soil to different types of listeners. First, the wayside hearer is hardened like a pathway. What makes a pathway hard? What do you think might cause the listener's mind to become hard? Notice who snatches the Word away (19).
The next group are joyful as they respond to the Gospel (20,21). But perhaps it's more the wonderful music or powerful preacher who excites them, because the seed doesn't take root.
The people in the third set actually start to grow as Christians, so the seed has taken root--but see what happens (22). Can you add other "thorns" to this list? What temptations, problems, desires, or distractions prevent God's Word from growing in your life?
Last, we have the soil we all want to be: the good soil. What is the main difference between this soil and the other three?
As you think about the "soil" of your own soul, reflect upon where it might need softening, nourishing, or weeding.
Master Gardener, I yield myself to You. Do what You must do in my heart and in my life that I might bear fruit.
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