"Listen! 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, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times." Mark 4:3-8
In this parable Jesus is drawing an analogy between farming (sowing and cultivating the land) and sharing the gospel (sowing and cultivating hearts). In either case, when we sow (or plant) we don't always get the same results. People differ as much as soils. Some are hard and allow satan to come and steal the Word soon after they hear it. Others might receive it with joy initially, but because they don't have deep spiritual roots they fall away as soon as problems arise or they are mocked for believing. Still others allow the worries of life or the pursuit of wealth or pleasure to choke out the Word so that no fruit can be produced. But then there is the good soil. Those are the people who receive God's Word with a right heart that not only hears, but fully embraces the message of heaven's kingdom realm. These people are the ones who produce a bountiful harvest. Of the four kinds of soil represented here, only the fourth type produces the bountiful harvest that God desires. What kind of dirt are you? Are you hard, shallow, thorn-infested, or fertile? Regardless of your answer, there is hope. If you believe you are one of the first three then it is time to ask God to cultivate your heart. Allow Him to plow and break-up that crusty outer layer caused by years of being trampled on. Allow Him to remove the rocks of disbelief. Allow Him to clear out the thorns of distraction. Then allow Him to fertilize your soul with His Word and watch what happens.
Pastor Frank Dodson