Jesus told a parable about soil once. He said there were four types of soil that the farmer threw seed upon. Three of them had serious problems and never produced a crop. Just one of the soils received the seed of the Word of God and produced a crop.
We see examples of this all the time. Kids can grow up in the same home with many of the same influences and yet one will follow the Lord and another will turn away. Two people can hear the same message with God’s call for salvation and one will accept this word and another will reject it.
How about you? What kind of soil do you have? Based on Jesus’ words in Mark 4, here are ways you can guard against a failed crop and enrich your soil:
- Be on your guard against the devil’s schemes (Mark 4:15). We really do have an adversary in the devil. He likes to snatch the seed of God’s Word from the hearer. Ephesians 6:10-18 is a great passage to turn to and learn about God’s armor that is provided for you to take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
- Develop deep roots (Mark 4:16-17). Jesus says that the person with this second type of soul soil will fall away when persecution and trouble come because of the Word. Note Jesus says when and not if trouble and persecution come. You can develop deep roots with the recipe given in Psalm 1: don’t walk with the wicked and meditate on God’s Word day and night!
- Avoid the big three temptations of worry, wealth, and ungodly desire (Mark 4:18-19). On worry, Jesus said worrying can’t add a single hour to your life. On money, He said if you’ll store up your treasures in heaven they can’t be stolen or destroyed by moth and rust. On desire, Jesus said to seek His kingdom and His righteousness first and all these other things will be added to you.
I want to produce a crop for the Lord and I suspect you do too. We’ll both do well to guard ourselves in the above three areas and then fertilize our soil by reading God’s Word and obeying it, talking to Him through prayer and gathering with the church. (MATT RAINES)