Although the temperature has been like a roller coaster the last few weeks, spring is almost here. Trees are starting to bud, and early flowers are starting to bloom. It will soon be time to plant our gardens. That means there is work to be done.
A person cannot just go out and throw some seeds on the ground and expect to have a good garden. The ground must first be tilled and prepared for the seeds. Many gardeners have their soil tested, because by adding potash, nitrogen, or whatever the soil is lacking, they can expect to have much better results.
Jesus told a parable about a sower who sowed his seed. Some fell by the wayside, and the birds ate it. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, and the young plants withered away soon after they sprang up. Part of the seeds fell among thorns, which deprived the plants of nourishment, and they died. But the rest of the seeds fell on good ground, and they yielded a good crop.
This was a familiar scene to the disciples of Jesus, but they did not understand the lesson Jesus was trying to convey. They had to ask Him the meaning of the parable. Jesus explained that the seed is the word of God. God wants His word to be preached to everyone. When His word is received into good and honest hearts, the results will be favorable. We need to examine ourselves to see what kind of heart we have.
The hearts of some people are so hard, they will not allow God’s word to enter into them. Just like the seed that fell by the wayside and was eaten by birds, Satan takes away God’s word before these hearers become believers.
The stony ground in the parable represents a shallow heart. When the sun comes up, the plant is scorched and dies. Jesus said that this kind of person joyfully receives God’s word and believes for awhile, but he falls away when he is persecuted or tempted.
A third group of people is represented in the parable by thorny ground. These people hear the word, obey it and become Christians, and they grow strong enough to overcome persecutions and temptations. But then, Satan gets them involved with “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches,” and they fail to bear fruit to maturity (Mark 4:19). Jesus warned that we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24).
Finally, the good ground represents those who accept God’s word, obey it, and remain faithful throughout their lives. Their hearts were prepared to allow God’s word to sink in deeply. Ideas of men, which were contrary to God’s way, were removed. Only the pure gospel, the word of God, can save believers (Romans 1:16). Unbelievers cannot be saved (Hebrews 11:6). They need to hear God’s word in order to become believers (Romans 10:17). Those with good hearts not only obey, they share His word with others.
Believers have the right to become God’s children (John 1:12). They learn how to do that from God’s word. James 1:21 says, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” Jesus gives eternal salvation to those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).
Serving God must be given priority over the cares, riches, and pleasures of life. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
A heart that has not been properly prepared to love God’s word will be turned away from the truth and be turned aside to fables (2 Timothy 4:4). Make sure that your heart is prepared to fully accept nothing more and nothing less than God’s pure seed, His word. One day we will all be judged by God’s word (John 12:48).