Read: Leviticus 26:3-5, Luke 8:4-15
“3 If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land. ” (NIV Leviticus 26:3-5)
“4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “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 ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 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, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 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.’
11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.12 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. 13 Those on the rocky ground 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. 14 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. 15 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.” (NIV Luke 8:4-15)
Study: Leviticus understood the Promised Land as a physical place. Jesus, preaching the Kingdom of God, used similar images of garden-like growth to picture the spiritual life of Kingdom citizens. He depicted various states of the human heart (soil), showing how each affects our ability to live out God’s word (seed). If our heart is “good soil,” he said, “concerns, riches, and pleasures of life” won’t be able to choke out the good fruit God wants to bear in us. What’s your “Promised Land,” the most important focus in your life? Who or what first planted “the seed” of God’s Word in the soil of your life? What are some concerns or interests that have become less central to you as you’ve made God your top priority? Which of the four types of soil in Jesus’ parable best describes how receptive you are to the seed right now?
Pray: Lord God, the fruit you bear in my life is wonderful, and I want to be good soil for it. Give me clear vision as to what gets in the way of letting that fruit grow. Amen.