Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 1 - The Soils

Matthew 13:3-23

Please read the parable for today; Jesus does something special and explains the parable fully to His disciples. If you have attended church for some time, you have probably heard sermons on this parable. I think it can be looked at with a few different angles – we can use it to check our hearts and make sure we are receiving the message, and it also explains why not everyone receives or grows when they hear the Word. Let’s explore this parable.

Jesus first mentions seeds that are sown along a path and the birds come and eat it all; He then explains that it is the person who hears the Word and does not understand it. I think this is a good reminder to explore and ask questions. God put everything in the Bible for a reason; we have something to learn from everything we read in it. If we come across something that we do not understand, we need to be careful not to walk away from it without asking questions. Instead, we need to ask ourselves the question: what is God teaching me? If you are not able to research it on your own, please go to someone that has studied the Bible and ask for help. Also, pray to God; I have often found Him revealing things to me when I have been at a spot where I just didn’t understand.

The next seeds that fell were on a rocky place and grew, but they withered fast because they had no roots. Jesus tells us this is the person who receives His Word with joy, but he does not have roots in his faith, so when difficult times come he falls away from what he has learned. Let’s look at Psalm 1 to see how we can avoid this fate. Verses 2 and 3 tell us, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” We need to study, pray, and think about God’s Word. We know that God’s Word is living and active (Heb. 4:12), and when we study it to learn and grow, our roots will grow deep in God.

The next seeds fell on thorny grounds and got choked; Jesus explained that this is the person who allows the worries of life and wealth choke out the fruitfulness God wants to grow in us. I must admit that this section is very convicting for me because it is easy to worry about stuff. As my faith in God has grown, my worries have decreased; however, I still worry more than necessary. Jesus is not saying that money is evil; He is saying that money shouldn’t be our focus, God should be our focus. It is only when we trust Him with our concerns that our faith grows and we can bear fruit. Our faith in Him will allow us to see the needs around us rather than our own worries.

The last seeds fell on good soil and produced fruit. Jesus explains that is the person who hears the Word and understands it and produces fruit. You can read about the fruit that God expects in our lives in Galatians 5:22-23. As we walk in God and grow our faith in Him, we begin to produce the fruit that He wants to see in our lives. When we produce fruit, we will change the world around us one person at a time. God wants us to live our lives with a growing and active faith that produces action; He doesn’t want us to remain stagnant.

Are you letting God’s Word fall on good soil in your life? Are you reading His Word and applying it to your life?

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