by Barbara Latta
|Seeds must be planted in the right type of soil.|
Planting season is here. Gardeners are plowing fields making soil ready to receive the seeds that will bring a harvest in a few weeks. Water, fertilizer and sunshine will be applied to the ground where the seeds lie waiting for the nourishment they need to grow. Seedlings sprout and soon large plants produce vegetation or flowers for the gardener to enjoy.
The one who sows the seeds has to plant in the right kind of soil to expect a return on the planting. No one would expect to grow a garden planted on rocks, inside thorn bushes or in only an inch or two of dirt. Yet some Christians can’t understand why they are not receiving spiritual nourishment when they don’t have good soil to plant the Word of God into.
In Mark 4, Jesus uses a parable to explain how God’s Word is a seed we plant into our lives, but the difference in the harvest depends on the type of soil the seed is planted in.
The types of ground are:
Apathetic Christian: Some seed fell beside the road and birds came and ate them. These are like those who hear a message, but are not interested or don’t care. Satan can steal the word from their hearts before it has a chance to be understood.
Rootless Christian: The next seed fell on rocks without much soil, a plant grew quickly but because it had no depth the sun scorched it because there was no strong root. The Word can be received by these people and they are happy with the message they hear, but after
temptation or trouble
comes they give up because they have no deep roots in the Word and there is
nothing to hold them up.
|Satan can steal the Word from those who are apathetic.|
Distracted Christian: The seed that fell into thorns was choked up and didn’t yield a harvest. This group of people puts more emphasis on their problems and the desire for things than listening to the Word of God so the seed has no chance to grow in their lives.
Fertile Christian: The last seed fell into good soil and grew a large, abundant crop. These are the ones who spend time in the Word listening to God and praying so the seed of the Word produces results in their lives and every need is met.
All of us who have been believers for any length of time have probably been in each of these groups at one time or another. The important lesson we learn from this parable is
what Jesus said after sharing
this story with his disciples:
|Our heart is God's garden.|
Pay attention to what you hear. By your own standard of measurement [that is, to the extent that you study spiritual truth and apply godly wisdom] it will be measured to you [and you will be given even greater ability to respond]-and more will be given to you besides. For whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding will be given; and whoever does not have [a yearning for truth], even what he has will be taken away from him (Mark 4:24-25 AMP).
We can learn from planting season as we watch seeds grow in gardens. Our heart is God’s garden and it is our responsibility to prepare the soil for the seed to be planted in so the the fruit of the Spirit can bloom.
What do you do to nurture your crop? Share your thoughts and ideas.