Devotional thoughts from Matthew 13:18-23
18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Jesus explained the parable of the sower and the soils in today’s reading.
The seed is the Word of God and the ground is the heart of the hearer.
The Savior explained that there were four types of soil that he used to illustrate the condition of the soul.
The Hard Soil
There was the hard-unreceptive heart that will not accept the seed and the Devil quickly snatches it away before it can produce a harvest. I knew a young lady like this, she was made to come to church but obviously hated it. She was there but not really. She was hard hearted concerning the gospel until crisis in her life plowed her field and made her heart receptive.
The Rocky Soil
The second soil was stony ground illustrating a shallow religious experience. It had a top layer of soil but the rocks beneath prevented the seed from reaching the right place. The old timers referred to this as the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge. It is possible to receive the word but not really into the heart. I have witnessed this as well, actually I witnessed it first hand because I was an example of this type of soil. I was raised in church, attended Christian schools and even made a profession of faith and yet I was lost. Do you know that I actually won an award at camp for “Best Christian Attitude” in my unsaved condition? I was a shallow pretender that had plenty of head knowledge and an unconverted soul. Thankfully, the sweet and persistent Holy Spirit continued to remove the rocks and finally the wonderful seed of the word penetrated my cold heart.
The Weedy Soil
The third picture of the heart was the thorn covered ground that choked out the harvest. It illustrates those who have no room in their heart for Christ. They have more important things that must take precedent. Unfortunately, this is the most common type of soil I am seeing in this phase of ministry.
The Plowed Soil
Thankfully, there is the good ground illustrating the receptive heart that has allowed the life changing seed of God’s Word into the right place and then produces fruit for Christ’s kingdom.