Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Life: To Be Reformed Through the Word of God
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.
St. Luke 8:15
In His ministry, Jesus used a number of methods of communication to convey spiritual truths, and one such method was the use of parables. Parables are illustrative stories, where a familiar idea is cast beside an unfamiliar idea in such a way that the comparison helps people to better understand the unfamiliar idea.
In Luke 8:1-8, Jesus tells the Parable of the Sower, which is also found in Matt. 13:1-23 and Mark 4:1-20. Jesus uses this parable to illustrate the various ways in which human hearts respond to God’s Word. The parable is simple: the sower generously scatters seeds that end up on four different types of terrain. Some seeds land on the path, some on rocks, others in thorny soil, and some in good soil. The first three groups of seed do not thrive nor do they produce fruit; it is only the seed planted in the good soil that flourishes.
Each type of soil mentioned in the parable symbolizes the various conditions of the human heart. The first soil is described as the path, representing those hearts which are never penetrated by the Word of God due to a lack of faith. Although the Word of God is being heard, nothing substantial happens because the heart does not receive God’s message. The second soil is the rocky ground. Jesus says these hearts hear the Word of God, receive it with joy, but because they have no root, they fall away in times of testing because their faith is shallow and superficial. The third soil is full of thorns. This type of soil describes those whose faith is choked by the cares, riches, and pleasures of life. Thus, their faith does not mature. Jesus concludes with the fourth soil being the good soil. Notice the characteristics of the good soil. This is an honest and sincere heart that hears and holds fast to the Word of God and bears fruit. Those with such hearts are changed by the Word and bear fruit with patient endurance.
This parable is not merely about how the Word of God is received, but it points to the centrality of God’s Word in the life of a disciple as evidenced by faithfulness and fruitfulness. The purpose of God’s Word is to bring people to faith and to fruitfulness. Persevering in living out the truth of God’s Word is the key to having a faith that produces fruit. Fruitfulness is the natural and spiritual result of a faithful heart that is open to God and that clings to the message of God’s Good News.
Our lives are to be shaped and re-formed by truth of the Word of God. In our pursuit to lead faithful and fruitful lives, Christ calls us to be the good soil on which His Word is planted. Let us keep the soil of our hearts rich by taking in the nutrients of God’s compassion and care. Let His Spirit sprinkle upon us the perfect amount of living water. Let His Son shine down upon us and warm our hearts so that we bring forth an abundant crop of peace, blessings, joy, and love.
Our Heavenly Father, teach us to read and follow Your Word. Lead us to have a noble and good heart, and help us to become the good soil which produces much fruit for Your glory and the blessings of others. In Jesus’ holy name we pray. Amen.
Thought for the Day
“What is the condition of the spiritual soil of your heart? God calls us to receive His Word with honest and open hearts in order to be the good soil which produces an abundance of fruit.
Rev. Christopher Phil Daniel
Diocesan Program Manager and Vicar of Jerusalem MTC, Connecticut