Note from Jesus
I love to tell stories from everyday life and connect them to heavenly truths. There is a reason for that. You can remember stories better than you can remember abstract words. You see things in your everyday life that yank My stories back into your conscious mind. You can repeat My stories to others. You can pass My stories down to your children and grandchildren. These recollections and the retelling of My stories all help you feel and see the truths in My stories as well as know their spiritual messages when you most need them.
The narrative in today's verses is one of the most important stories that I told. This story — or parable — has several different uses.
I used it to challenge people to look into their hearts and see what kind of followers they really were. You need to know that you can choose how you hear what I say! In the account below, the concept of how people hear what I say is presented in terms of how different types of soil receive seeds that are sown and then how the types of soil represent how different people receive My teachings. Also, I want people to know that they actually choose which kind of soil they will be — they choose what kind of heart they have for My good news.
I used this story to alert My disciples to the fate of many of those who follow Me. There are many people who at some point in their journey with Me are very excited about following Me. However, more than a few who start down the road of discipleship end up becoming distracted and are unfruitful. Some, regrettably, never even follow Me at all — they look up one day, and any interest they had in Me is gone!
I AM heartbroken when I see people lose interest, not bear up under trial, succumb to temptation, or become distracted by the cares of the world. My disciples needed to know these things happen all too frequently! Just because many reject My message or turn away from discipleship does not mean that you quit sharing it with others. You must not give up on someone when his or her heart turns away. Remember, just as you can choose which soil your heart is, that other person can choose to be a different soil, too!
I also told this parable to warn My followers about some of the things that might distract them from a passionate life of productive faith. I want you to recognize those same kinds of things in your life. They can lead your heart to be poor soil and not respond to the good news of grace.
Notice the three things that can steal your heart away from following Me passionately:
- Satan can come and steal away the message of God before your heart accepts it.
The heat of living for Me in the trials and temptations of life can wither your faith before it is fully grown.
The delight of things, the pursuit of wealth, and the worries of preserving these things can get in the way of your living productive lives for Me.
So which message do you most need to hear from My words? Why not ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear what I want your heart to hear today in My words of truth in the story of the soils? After I presented this parable, My explanation of its meaning was longer than the parable itself. Why? Because I want you to determine which type of soil you are. Actual soil "is what it is," but you can enrich the type of "soil" you are! I encourage you to seek the Spirit's guidance in enriching the soil of your heart or keeping it a fertile place for My word to grow!
While a huge crowd gathered with people from many surrounding towns streaming to hear Jesus, He told them a parable.
Once a farmer went out to scatter seed in his fields. Some seeds fell along a trail where they were crushed underfoot by people walking by. Birds flew in and ate those seeds. Other seeds fell on gravel. Those seeds sprouted but soon withered, depleted of moisture under the scorching sun. Still other seeds landed among thorns where they grew for a while, but eventually the thorns stunted them so they couldn't thrive or bear fruit. But some seeds fell into good soil — soft, moist, free from thorns. These seeds not only grew, but they also produced more seeds, a hundred times what the farmer originally planted. If you have ears, hear My meaning!
His disciples heard the words, but the deeper meaning eluded them.
What were You trying to say?
The kingdom of God contains many secrets. They keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep observing, but do not understand.
I want you to understand, so here's the interpretation: The voice of God falls on human hearts like seeds scattered across a field. Some people hear that message, but the devil opposes the liberation that would come to them by believing. So he swoops in and steals the message from their hard hearts like birds stealing the seeds from the footpath. Others receive the message enthusiastically, but their vitality is short-lived because the message cannot be deeply rooted in their shallow hearts. In the heat of temptation, their faith withers, like the seeds that sprouted in gravelly soil. A third group hears the message, but as time passes, the daily anxieties, the pursuit of wealth, and life's addicting delights outpace the growth of the message in their hearts. Even if the message blossoms and fruit begins to form, the fruit never fully matures because the thorns choke out the plants' vitality.
But some people hear the message and let it take root deeply in receptive hearts made fertile by honesty and goodness. With patient dependability, they bear good fruit.
Response in Prayer
Father, I ask that the Holy Spirit will help me hear the message I most need to hear today from Jesus' words. I know that I can choose which kind of soil I will be. I also have concern for folks whose hearts are becoming like the nonproductive soils. O Father, please use me to help them turn their hearts back to Jesus. Also, dear Father, I don't want to be deceived into living an unproductive life because the soil of my heart is bad. So, sweet Holy Spirit, guide me into all truth. Lord Jesus, please help me know the most important things from Your message today that You want me to know, feel, and put into practice. In Your name, I pray. Amen.