Good Soil

Good morning friends! I pray your week and weekend went well. Was it a busy week for those of you involved in the school system in Canada. Personally, I look forward to the

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order, structure and boundaries that routine brings to my life. The Bible contains the ultimate guidance and boundaries for our daily lives and relationships. However, it is so much more. It’s not just paper and ink, or a ‘how-to-do-it’ or history book. It is God in this world. It is the living word through which the Holy Spirit brings faith to our hearts, for the good of our Salvation in Christ, as it is written in Roman’s 10:17, “... faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Today, in addition to my weekly blog, I am beginning a road trip through the Bible. I have entitled it ‘Journey through the Bible in 13 months’. To join me on this journey click your menu button and the above titled page should show up. There you will find all the information on this road trip, including the daily readings for the full week, as well as, a thought or two of mine, for each day’s reading. I’d love for you to join me…

In any case, as I sit on my back deck, looking over our crops and farmland, preparing for the journey in God’s Word, I couldn’t help but reflect and write on Jesus’ Parable of the Sower. I pray God uses it to bless your week friend.

Let’s top up our coffees and get started, shall we….

Good Soil

 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:  When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.  The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13: 1-8, 18-23

cultivating soilOver the years on the farm, I have learned that if the ground is not nourished with the leftover stalk of the previous year’s plant and other external means, like clover or blessed manure, the current year’s plants do not fare well.  If the ground is left long enough without replenishing the nutrients, crops will not grow and the yield will be dismal. Farmers are acutely aware of how ‘good’ their soil is and take great care in cultivating it.

Our faith in Christ is like a seed that needs to be cultivated in good soil. In the parable of the sower, Jesus tells us, “the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it.” (Matthew 13:23)  Therefore, for our seed of faith to be alive and growing, it is so imperative that we be in the Word. We need to hear God’s Word for our life in corporate worship; we need to read the Word in our personal devotions; and we need to study the nuggets of God’s Word and receive training from our spiritual teachers. Each of those opportunities of being in and learning of God’s Word are times where your soil is cultivated with new and rich nutrients by God, so that your little plant of faith in Christ, can continue to grow and be strong.

Any seed planted has the opportunity to spring to life, however, not all plants will grow to their potential due to the lack of nourishment and may even die before harvest. May your faith be nourished through the continual watering of God’s Word in your life through an ongoing supply of solid instruction, training, and guidance by others in your life.

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Dearest parents, I pray God blesses you and grants you strength and wisdom, as you have the awesome privilege to nourish your children’s seed of faith, especially if you have had them baptized. May I encourage you to continue watering them in God’s word through the Bible and your own words and actions, through the simple tasks of  sharing your own faith stories and teaching them to pray. There is no other parental duty more important than nurturing and nourishing your child in the love and salvation of Christ. As it states in Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” This is a promise of God and you can hold him to it! God bless you!

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for your living Word. Please help me to be in the Word, to hear what it is you would have me learn about you and my life journey. Provide me with the desire to continue to make ‘being in the Word’ a priority in my life so that I have good soil. May my roots, in all that you have done for me and the assurance of the sacrifice of Christ for my salvation, be solid and strong when storms and my impending harvest come. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN!

Reflection: How are you nurturing your faith in Christ? How are you in God’s Word: personal devotions- obviously, reading through the Bible, worship, Bible study, other? Are these opportunities regular or sporadic? Take to the Lord in prayer the desire to grow in His Word and to strengthen your faith and relationship with Him. This is always a prayer He will say ‘yes’ to!

If you are a parent, are you raising your children to know and grow in the love and knowledge of Christ? If so, good job! Keep it up, even when they are old. If you have not gotten into the habit and routine of praying with your child or going to church, etc, consider a couple of the suggestions listed in the devotion. Try implementing a couple of them. Most importantly, if you do not have a church home where you attend worship, consider finding one where you and your family can be in God’s word and supported by fellow Christians. Being in corporate worship is God’s desire for us; worshiping and being in fellowship with the body of Christ. You and your family are precious members of that body.    …but we can chat about that another day….

 

 

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