The sower
October 22, 2021, 9:02 AM

"Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty." Matthew 13:18-23

I am not a gardener by any means, I leave that hobby to my beautiful wife. She loves to prepare the soil, plant, and harvest reward. But even to I’m not a gardener when reading the Parable of the Four Soils, one thing jumps out at me; very little energy is spent focusing on the sower himself. Instead, great detail goes into describing the conditions of the various soils. Yet, this does not mean that the identity of the sower is insignificant. On the contrary, it is just the opposite. 

Without the sower (Jesus Christ) taking the time to plant the seeds (Word of God), no fruit would break free from the soil (our hearts). 
We need to ask ourselves: Why is Jesus so concerned over the environment of the seed? What is He ultimately nudging us to do with this parable? First, Jesus understood how critical of a role the soil condition plays in a seed's development.

* Hard Heart (The seed that fell on the path)- These are the individuals that refuse to understand how God's Word applies to them, which ultimately doesn't allow the truth any chance to stick.
* Shallow Heart (The seed that fell on the rock)- After the initial joy of a newfound faith has worn off, these individuals resist the implications the truth should have on their lives.
* Overcrowded Heart (The seed that fell among the thorns)- We hinder our maturity when the concerns of this world shade us from the concerns of God.
* Receptive Heart (The seed that fell on the fertile soul)- Through their receptiveness, the Word of God had the freedom to take root and produce a crop slowly. Growth occurred because the individual received the message and allowed it to transform them from the inside out.

If the seed in the parable represents the Word of God, then it should unsettle us that only one environment provided an ideal setting for the seed to bear fruit. So, what can we do to make the conditions ripe for our spiritual growth? It starts by immersing ourselves in the Word of God and abiding in Christ (John 15:1-11). 

To reflect God's heart, we have to know God's heart. We must allow the truth of scripture to define our actions, words, and lives, yet at the same time understand that just like a seed, our maturity and growth takes time to develop. Weeds can pop up overnight, but mature fruit occurs over time. How would you describe the current condition of your heart? What soil do you most identify with currently?

Prayer: Father God, may I display a willingness to let Your Word do work within me. I wanted to be changed from the inside out. Your Word reveals the places I have hardened, had a shallow, and overcrowded my heart. Lord help to be receptive to You and Your Word. I desire for Your love, grace, and forgiveness to take root in my character. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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