What it Means to PersevereAugust 21, 2020
All or NothingAugust 23, 2020
To find the truth that sets you free from obesity and all vices is a gift from God. But you must be most careful. The word “careful” is used often in the Scriptures in reference to obeying fully. Careful means “full of care and concern.” The teachings of Christ and all the Prophets give so many stories to warn us, but the parable of the four soils gives you insight into perils of the heart.
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:4-15
So the seed fell on rocky soil, shallow soil, near thorns, or good soil. Now, the seed is this priceless truth that is fundamental. The first person who heard the truth lost it quickly because the birds (satan and his demons) ate up the seeds because the heart was like stone—set in stone—a heart as impenetrable as granite. No one— not even God or the Son of God himself—could get them to turn from their ways. Truth is said all their life, but they do not want it.
The shallow soil is the heart that likes the message of conversion and gets excited, but does not like the Desert of Testing, the heat that is essential to burn off selfish desires, so they quit.
The third soil is also good and even deeper and loves true religion and takes root, takes the heat, but fails to give their “all” to God, and so the worldly people—the thorns—tempt them to go here and there, do this and that. They become more worried about worldly things than spiritual things. With one foot in and one foot out—two masters—they finally succumb to the distracting things of the world, and these thorns squeeze out the Spirit of God that was guiding them solely for the past few years. They die. You have to stay in the Vine, getting guidance from God continually.
The final soil is good, ready for a change, and plants itself away from the thorn bushes and keeps the soil clean. Their love for God runs deep, and the longing to find and please the Spirit of God is constant and strong. They bear much fruit.