Sermon: Seeds and Soils
Scripture: Matthew 13
ICE BREAKER: Would you rather everything you eat be slightly spicier than you prefer OR everything you eat always be completely bland?
This week we started a brand new series walking through some of the Parables of Jesus. We learned that a Parable is a simple story with significant meaning. We also came to understand WHY Jesus spoke in parables. The leaders of Israel had rejected Jesus and his parables allowed him to communicate just to those who were truly following Him.
He told the parables that these stories contained the secrets to how heaven's Kingdom works! Understanding these parables shows us the blueprint to how God intended for our lives and relationships to function. That makes these stories, and the metaphors that drive them, unbelievably valuable!
In his first parable, Jesus tells the story of a Sower who goes out to the field to spread seed. The seed lands on four types of soil which determines how successful the seed is at germinating and producing the intended plant. These soils represent our lives and the seed represents the truth of Jesus and His way of life.
The first seeds fall on the path where there is virtually no soil. This is someone who has no interest in hearing or understanding the good news of Jesus. Out of the 4 soils, this is the one that is not a Christian. They are fully closed off to the message and the seed cannot take root in their heart.
Has there been a time in your life when you were closed off to God, (or are you still currently)?
The second soil is right on the edge of the field. It is rocky and the soil is only superficial. The seed falls and has enough room to bury, but it cannot put down any real roots. These seeds are actually the first to bloom - but they have no support structure so when the sun beats down on them they whither and die. This is like a believer who is fired up about Jesus, but is unwilling to do the work to dig deep in their life. They are closed off to breaking up the hard ground of their heart and so their joy fades quickly when the trials of life come!
Does it ever seem like you are have a manic faith? One minute you are on spiritual cloud-nine and the next you are in the depths of despair?
The Third soil has been tilled and the seed is able to bear fruit. However, alongside the plant thorns have been allowed to grow. Jesus identifies these thorns as the worries of this age and the deceitfulness of wealth. People who this soil represents have done much of the work internally but are still allowing external realities to shipwreck their faith. While their desire is to put all their faith in Jesus, if they are honest a lot of their faith is still in the things of this world.
Does it ever feel like the people, places, and things of this world are draining the spiritual life out of you?
The final soil is the good ground where the seed can fully bloom and bring a return of up to one-hundred fold! This represents the life of impact we all desire to have!
This week's application is about pinpointing which "SOIL" you currently are. Remember, the purpose of this is to be brutally honest with yourself!
-Are you the hard ground that cannot even receive the seed? Are you so convinced against Jesus that you are unwilling to even seek to understand?
-Are you the rocky ground? You have believed in Jesus but there is very little depth to your faith. The world so easily discourages you because your faith roots have nothing to dig into?
-Are you the thorny soil? You have done a lot of work on your self and in your faith but have not gained the proper perspective on the things around you? Does the world constantly worry and overwhelm you? Is your faith in your things?
-Would you confidently say you are currently living as good soil? If so, what did it take to get there? Make sure to share the path and continuing hard work to try and maintain a receptive life to all that God has!
If you are the hard ground, what is ONE WAY you will seek to OPEN UP to what God may be trying to show you?
If you are the rocky ground, what is ONE WAY you will begin to DIG DEEP and break through the superficial spirituality that is holding you back?
If you are the thorny soil, what is ONE WAY you will try to CLEAR OUT the things that are stealing your joy and causing you worry?
Continue to ask God to show you what soil you are day to day. We may find our life represent by different soils in different seasons. However, we should all be seeking to take the steps toward GOOD SOIL.