Episode #176: Good Ground
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing yield thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold. And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:3-9
If you’ve been in church for any amount of time, you have probably heard this parable. My goal today is to show that the types of soil are conditions of the heart. The sower is the minister of the gospel, the witness of Christ. The seed is the Word of God as we see stated later in verse 14. One thing to notice is that all of these different types of soil get exposed to the seed. The sower is not discriminate with where he slings the seed. His job is not to determine the condition of the soil but to get the seed out regardless of the field.
The first place we see the seed land is on soil near the path. But as soon as it lands, birds come and take it away. This soil, these people, this condition of the heart is those who are close enough to the sower to hear the Word but aren’t paying attention to what is being said. The point is lost before the sentence lands on their ears. Like dogs distracted by squirrels, these people miss the point even though they are so close to the sower.
The second place the seed lands is on rocky ground with shallow soil. They hear the Word and receive it joyfully. But, when the seed tries to take root, it finds the soil isn’t deep enough so when the sun came up and the heat was on, the seed withered away. These people are like window shoppers. At first the Word seems attractive to them. They carry the seed around the store for others to see but haven’t fully bought in yet. Once they reach the register, the point of full commitment, and see the cost of what it takes to wear it out of the store, they put the seed back on the rack.
The next soil lands in thorny ground. This ground must be good for growth because they thorns are growing there. These people hear the word and know that it is good. But their worldly worries and desires for other things are allowed to take root and choke out the seed so that it proves unfruitful.
The last category is the good soil. These people receive the word, cultivate in and allow it to take root deep in their lives. The roots of the Word take hold and become the source of provision and growth in the soil. Soon we see the soil produce fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some a hundredfold.
There is an old Cherokee story about two wolves living in all of us. One evil wolf and one good one. The one that survives is the one we feed. The Bible speaks of the fruits of the world which are evil and the fruit of the spirit which is pleasing to God. The one that grows in us is determined by how we cultivate the soil of our soul. Let us be a people who are not easily distracted, willing to pay the cost, and free from the cares and desires of the world so that we are good ground for the Word of God to take hold and be fruitful in our lives.
Love Y’all! Be Blessed!