Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Which Soil Describes Your Heart?

By Joe Slater


    In His parable of the sower (Luke 8) Jesus described God’s word as seed planted into four types of soil (human hearts). The seed’s fruitfulness, or lack thereof, depended on the condition of the soil (heart).

    First was the “wayside,” literally the path or road surrounding the field (Luke 8:5). As seed cannot germinate and grow on hardpacked ground, God’s word cannot grow in a hard heart. Satan easily removes the word from the resistant soul.

    Next came the rock (v. 6). This doesn’t mean stony ground, but a thin layer of earth atop bedrock. Seed might sprout on such shallow soil, but the tender shoot would wither and die, having no deep root to reach water. Just so, a person with shallow faith might joyfully receive the word of God at first, but would fall away in times of trial.

    Third, Jesus spoke of ground infested with thorns (v. 7). Seed could begin to grow under such conditions, but the thorns would eventually choke out the good plants, rendering them fruitless. Thorns represent distractions – worldly cares, riches, and pleasures (v. 14). God’s word produces no harvest in a distracted heart.

    Finally, the good ground produced an abundant crop (v. 8). The good, noble heart isn’t hard, has a deep and abiding faith, and steers clear of the world’s distractions. Such a person not only believes God’s word, but keeps it (i.e. obeys it, v. 15).

    Which of these four soil types best describes your heart? Are you resisting God’s word with a hard heart? Is your faith shallow, fading away when trials appear? Are you distracted with the deceitful world’s cares, riches, and pleasures? Or do you have a deep, abiding faith that keeps God’s word?

    You control the condition of your heart!

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com

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