On this particular night we read Mark 4 which begins with the Parable of the Sower. This parable is also found in Matthew and Luke.
During our discussion, we each reflected on what kind of soil we were.
- The hard-packed soil - this soil was found on the wayside and it was very hard. Seed fell but the ground could not receive it; birds ate the seed. This soil represents someone who chooses not to be converted or someone who is not converted. This person hears, but does not understand and does not ask questions to aid in understanding.
- Stony soil - the stony soil was interspersed with the rocks. The seed that fell on to this soil grew but it couldn't thrive because it did not have sufficient roots. The stony ground prevented the seed from having a solid foundation. This soil represents a new believer who does nothing to cement his faith. This person hears the Word and receives it with joy, but since they have no root this joy lasts only a short time. Joy is not enough to live the Christian life.
- Thorny soil - this soil was thorny but seed was able to thrive for awhile until it was overcome by the thorns. This soil represents seasoned Christians who become caught up with the cares of this world.
- Good soil - this soil was ideal; it was a perfect environment for the seed to grow and bear varying degrees of fruit.
As someone who loves to garden, I know that you have to work to change the type of soil you may be dealing with. You may have to turn it, treat it, or remove rocks from it to get it to an ideal place. This is the same thing we have to do with our lives - it takes effort and work to produce fruit.
There have been times in my life where I have been all four types of soil. I remember when I first made the decision to become a Christian at the age of 8, and to this day I remember the initial joy I felt. I was stony soil. I remember having a season of doubt up until I was in my late teens; here I was also stony and thorny. Later, I remember being so in tune with the Lord I could feel his presence and was obedient to his commands via the Bible. Then, I was good soil. At a point in time, and sometimes even now, I became concerned with the cares of this world. When I worked full time, I was very concerned about raises and promotions and did not trust God with the outcome - at this point I was thorny soil. Prior to making a decision to serve the Lord, I was hard-packed soil.
Be encouraged, that if you are not good soil you can become good soil. Seek and ye shall find.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:7,8
What kind of soil are you?