Scripture Reading: Luke 8:4-15
The parables of Jesus connected His listeners to concepts like “the word of God” by using familiar things such as seeds. He did this to teach moral and spiritual lessons. Jesus, in the parable of the Sower, was teaching that authentic change and growth depends on our response to God’s Word. The seed represents the Bible and biblical teachings. The soil represents our response to His Word. It’s easy to say, “Oh good! I’m not that thorny, rocky, or shallow soil” but that isn’t the goal of the parable. Each soil can teach us how to correctly respond to God’s living Word.
First, Jesus talks about the path that represents the unwillingness to listen to His word. The second soil He mentions describe how we may intellectually understand His Word but our lack of response prevents any real change. This is scary because it means just reading your Bible every now and then, or memorizing verses, doesn’t equal growth. The third shows how we can let His Word affect our hearts and lives, but then it can quickly dissipate because of the pleasures, comforts, or pain of life. Notice how Jesus says that it’s because of pain, PLEASURES, AND COMFORTS of life that the truth and power of God’s word are choked out. The last soil He describes is the type that yields authentic change and growth. The good soil.
Let’s talk about how to be good soil. We know reading the Bible is good for us, but just like exercising, many of us don’t do it enough.
“but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” Psalms 1:2-3.
God’s Word gives and sustains life. As a follower of Jesus Christ, the Bible is how we stay connected with Him. Holding fast to God’s Word means keeping the Bible, not only close to where we sleep, but even closer to our hearts. It means actually living out what the Word of God says, instead of just hearing or reading and then tossing it aside. This parable shows us that we can truly become like Christ by reading His word daily, contemplating it, and applying it in our lives. It is good news that becoming more like Christ doesn’t depend on our past but rather what we decide to do each day.
- Are you spending time with God each day? Are there moments throughout the day that you can devote to praying?
- When you read the Bible, is your heart and mind focused on knowing Him better?
- When you read the Bible, do you ask yourself how does this apply to my life? Do you pray and ask God for guidance before reading His word?
*Devotional contributed by John Ventura