“LORD, LET MY HEART BE GOOD SOIL!”
Bible Background for Matthew 13: Chapter 12 of Matthew is a series of controversies with the religious leaders. Chapter 13 involves a series of parables, and a partial answer as to why Jesus teaches with parables-and why some don’t “get it”. The Parable of the Sower is also explained!
Digging Deeper: 1. “A sower went out to sow” seed. Ponder that statement! Think of how amazing seeds are and how full of life they are! The sower scatters seed generously, knowing that only some will grow to maturity. Some seed does not make it. But some does, and the harvest is 100 x’s or 60 x’s or 30 x’s. How is this encouragement for us to keep sowing seeds of faith and hope and love?
2. In real life, soil can’t “change”. It is what it is: fertile, or rocky, or filled with thorns. But can we change? Can we be more open and receptive to God’s Word? Do we ask the Holy Spirit to open our minds and hearts and to enlighten us? And do we pray for the Spirit to also work in the hearts and minds of all people?
3. When Jesus explains this parable in Matthew 13:18-23 he describes 4 types of people and what happens to the seed: One group hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it (the seed is snatched away.) A second group hears the word and receives it with joy, but it doesn’t last. They have shallow roots. A third group hears the word, but the cares of the world and lure of wealth choke the word and it produces nothing. A fourth group hears and understands, and the seed produces fruit! At different times in our lives, we may be in any one of these groups! How do we encourage each other to be ‘good soil….open to the seed of God’s word?”
4. We think it’s essential that we be a Learning Church! That also calls for us to be a Teaching Church! What kind of learning are you yearning for as a Christian? What are you willing to do to make that a priority? What can we do as a church to engage people in learning scripture? In learning to pray? In learning to lead? In learning about life issues and world issues that the church has something to say to? In what area of our life together could you serve in some teaching capacity?
Prayer: Lord, let my heart be good soil, open to the seed of your word. Lord, let my heart be good soil, where love can grow and peace is understood. When my heart is hard, break the stone away; when my heart is cold, warm it with the day; when my heart is lost, lead me on your way! Lord, let my heart; Lord, let my heart; Lord, let my heart be good soil! With One Voice #713, Handt Hanson