Bible Reading: Luke 8:4-15

"As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience." (Luke 8:15)

Jesus tells a parable about sowing seeds into the ground. There are four places where the seeds fell, and these four places have implications on what it means to receive God's Word. Some seeds fell on the path, devoured by the birds of the air. Some fell on the rocks, grew up, but then withered because they had no roots. Others fell on thorns, but as they grew, the thorns choked them, and they failed to bear fruit. Finally, others fell on good, fertile soil, and these grew and yielded an abundance of fruit. 

The question is, what kind of soil is our hearts when we receive the Word of God? 

The footpath is the soil of a hardened heart. They trample the seeds, which are God's Word, underfoot. They agree with Satan's desires, and Satan takes the Word away from their hearts, and they neither believe nor are saved. 

The rocky ground is the soil of someone with artificial tenderness to God's Word. At first, they joyfully receive it as if they had believed. But, these people never counted the cost of following Christ. When testing came, and life storms hit, they fell because their faith had no roots. It was only an outward show. 

The thorn-infested soil is that of those that lose to the world. At the outset, they follow God. Yet, Christ was never their treasure or deepest desire because the world's cares and riches and pleasures are more attractive to them. The fruit of their faith never mature, and these people live out their Christian facade in vanity. Content with the joys of life, these people live like the church in Laodicea who were neither cold nor hot. God says to these people, "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth...those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent" (Revelation 4:16,19). 

Lastly, the fertile soil is the heart of one who is tender and meek, honest and needy for God's Word. These people humbly listen to God's Word, again and again, knowing that they need its instruction, its guidance in this life. They know there is no other way and wait patiently for God to speak to them. When they receive, they hold fast to God's Word, treasuring it in their hearts and obeying it with all their human might. They rely on God to work in their hearts and change them for human strength apart from God is vain. Patiently, they wait and follow God, and in due time, they bear good fruit. The fruit they yield is abundant, a hundredfold. 

Which one is your heart? How do you respond to God's Word? "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." 

Lord, have mercy on us and give us ears to hear. Without Your divine intervention, we will all be deaf to Your truth. We will only trample the treasures of Your truth underfoot, rejecting You and following the world. Incline our hearts to Your testimonies and not to selfish gain! Turn our eyes from looking at worthless things, and give us life in Your ways. In Jesus' name, amen.