For the entire month of August 2020, I chose to focus all my messages on the above mentioned topic. There’s a song that we sing and the lyrics go something like this:
“I am thine O Lord I have heard thy voice. And it told of thy love to me.
But I long to rise in the arms of faith and be closer drawn to thee.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer Blessed Lord to the cross. Where thou hast died
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord, To thy precious bleeding side.”
My brothers and sisters, I know that if we come humbly before God, make our requests known, and allow God to work in us and through God will manifest Himself through us. Now is the time to get right with God and the series helps us to become stronger, live stronger and get rooted in God. I would like to share with you excerpts from the messages. Please read and pray, and may God lead and guide you as you honestly seek Him to discover what type of soil you are. The first sermon/message was planted.
Let’s take a look at the 4 different types of soil described in the parable of the sower. <!–split–>
A hardened or oblivious heart is a barren wasteland. (Matthew 13:19)
Some are opposed to the good news, and there are those that are oblivious to it. Whether by personal volition or innocent omission, this parable is clear that seed will not grow where there is inhospitable soil. In fact, the enemy will come and snatch the seed away because he doesn’t want the seed to have any opportunity to take root and grow in a person’s life. This kind of soil will never reproduce because it cannot reproduce.
A troubled heart produces shallow roots. (Matthew 13:20-21)
Life is a long, and at times, difficult journey. A heart that is troubled by the obstacles and adversity of life will fail to produce deep roots. These individuals have an interest in the Gospel and even seem to embrace it at the beginning of the journey. However, over time without tending to the growth of the seed of the Gospel, they will fall away during the tough times and tribulations that all disciples of Christ experience. Jesus actually warned us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Shallow roots will not sustain a person through the adverse and difficult seasons of life. It takes deep and strong roots growing in healthy soil to weather the stormy seasons.
A distracted heart bears no fruit (Matthew 13:22)
A distracted heart cannot grow the roots needed to sustain life. A heart that cares more for the things of the world than for the things of the Kingdom is not the healthy soil necessary to experience kingdom growth. Money, status, popularity, and other worldly endeavors choke out the ability of the seed to get the nutrients and care necessary to grow roots. Unhealthy and distracted soil is not the place for seed to grow, and definitely not the place to find a harvest of healthy fruit.
A fertile heart sustains life (Matthew 13:23)
A heart that is fertile is one that readily accepts the Gospel seed and does the hard work of nurturing it to grow. This heart is one that is open to the Truth of God’s Word and open to the transformation that will take place. This heart is made ready by the prompting of the Holy Spirit AND the participation of the individual. This heart does not just experience growth for themselves, but actually impacts those around them. Healthy soil is where seeds have the most opportunity to grow into life giving plants, trees, etc… For instance, a single healthy apple tree can bear enough fruit to feed dozens of people. Its shade gives rest to those who pass by on hot days. Its flowers nourish thousands of pollinators every spring. And its seed spreads and multiplies into an immeasurable amount of other apple trees over the course of its lifetime.
What kind of soil describes your heart today? Are you indifferent to the good news of Jesus Christ? Are you needing to spend some time on the condition of your heart so that the seed of the gospel can grow deep and healthy roots? Are you distracted? Are there too many things in your life clamoring for your attention and care? If you’ve ever had an earthly garden you know the effort it takes to grow and sustain life in the garden. It’s no different with the eternal garden of your heart where the divine seeds of the gospel and the kingdom are trying to grow. They need healthy soil and consistent care.