The Four Soils, Which are You?

Today we are going to talk about four soils.  If you want to grow a fruit tree or another kind of plant, you’ll need to prepare the soil before planting the seed.  You will need to nurture the ground with water and nutrients so your seed will grow.  As we continue, we will learn about what Jesus said on the topic of spiritual seeds and soils in one of His parables.  We will see how Jesus used these spiritual parallels of seeds and soils to illustrate our own potential.

Let’s start with the book of Luke.

Luke 8:4

“4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold.  And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus started His parable by talking about a sower, going out to sow his seed.  Or, in other words, someone who farms planting their seeds to grow their crops.  The seed fell upon different types of ground or soil.  Jesus spoke about the seed landing on the wayside ground, rocky ground, and the ground with thorns and thistles.  Then Jesus spoke of the good ground and what happened when the seed landed there.  Young people, each of us, represent one of these types of soil.  This morning I was hoping you could go on a field trip in your mind as we talk about the different soil types and decide which one is us.  Jesus did not leave the mystery in the parable.  He told us exactly what the parable meant.  In fact, this next scripture could be your memory verse for the week.

Luke 8:11

“11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”

Let’s continue to learn what Jesus teaches about the different types of soil and what people they represent.  First, we’ll talk about the wayside soil.

A wayside is like a path where the ground is trodden down and becomes hard.  When the seed lands on this hard trodden ground, it lays at the surface.  The ground is so hard that the kernel cannot penetrate beyond the surface into the depths.  The wayside ground is the same as someone who hears the word of God, and their curiosity is peaked, but in their heart, they do not see their personal need for God.  So it’s easy for the devil to come and snatch the seed away.  Their wayside hearts are hard toward God and what He wants them to become.  God does not want us to have a wayside heart that is not willing to accept the Word of God.

Now let’s talk about the rocky ground.  The parable says, “the sower went out to sow seed that fell upon a ground that was rocky.”  Or a soil full of rocks.  Many people can compare to the rocky soil.  They are listeners who identify with the truth of the Gospel and acknowledge its wisdom.   They receive the word with joy, saying, “Oh, that sounds good!”  But the problem is that it’s just a surface thing, and the seed cannot take root and grow because of the rocks.  Sometimes these are people raised in a Christian environment and going to church.  They may support the truth, but they never take it for themselves.  The real tragedy of this type of soil is that it is seemingly receptive to the Word of God.  But the rocky ground, or in other words, their own opinions on the things of life, keeps the seed from penetrating their heart, and it doesn’t grow as it should.  Because the seed doesn’t grow and has no root, this person falls away from God when confronted with temptation.  God does not want us to have hearts of rocky soil.

The next ground Jesus talks about in this parable is thorny soil.  “And the seed, the Word of God, fell into the thorny soil, and it sprouted and grew.  But as the seed grew, so did the weeds from the thorns.  And the weeds sapped the moisture and nutrients out of the ground and away from the sprouted seed.  Jesus said in the Word of God that, yes, the seed did begin growing.  But thorny-hearted people let the cares of this life and the world’s riches penetrate their hearts.  So the weeds choked the good sprouted seed and stole the nourishment from the soil, then the sprout died.  The seed started okay, but other things crept in and stole away the seed of God’s Word.

These first three soils Jesus talked about are heart conditions.  Jesus doesn’t want us to be wayside soil.  Wayside soil is when the seed lands on the soil, but the ground is too hard to penetrate.  Jesus doesn’t want us to be like the rocky soil when the Word of God goes in, but it cannot root because the rocks are in the way.  And Jesus does not want us to be like the thorny soil.  When we become excited at hearing the Word of God, then the cares come in and choke out the good of God’s Word.

I want to spend the rest of our time on this fourth soil.  This fourth soil is what God wants each of us to have in our hearts.  This soil represents a listening heart, free of distraction that gives the seed room to grow.  This ground is the young person that takes the seed, the Word of God, that comes into their heart, and they nourish it, work at it and give it water more and more.  They continue to work and cultivate the soil and what happens is over time, it produces fruit.  This seed needs to be nourished and nurtured with prayer, church attendance, and Bible memorization.  The person with good soil is continually pulling out the weeds before they can root.  They are constantly nourishing their soil by keeping the weeds out and breaking up dirt clods that will rob their joy or rebel against God’s instructions.  After a while, the fruit begins to produce.  You might ask, “What type of fruit are you talking about?”  The fruit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering and gentleness, goodness and faith, meekness and temperance.  And the beauty is that as the fruit grows, others will be able to enjoy the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives.  This fruit is what God wants to grow in our lives by the seed of His Word.  God wants the seed of His Word to enter our hearts and produce the beautiful fruits of His Spirit.

What type of soil do you have, and what kind of fruit are you producing?  Are you producing fruit that pleases God?  Or do you have the kind of soil that chokes out the seed?  You have just received a special letter from God that says, where is my seed?  Where has God’s seed of His Word gone in your heart?  Have you heard God’s Word but haven’t received it?  Today you can make a different choice, open your heart, receive the seed of God’s Word and start growing the fruits of the Spirit.

Memory verse for the week:

Luke 8:11

“11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”