Chip Stapleton Highland Presbyterian Church May 18th, 2020 Hunkered Down Devotions
Matthew 13:1-9 The Voice (VOICE)
13 That same day, Jesus left the house and went to sit by the sea. 2 Large crowds gathered around Him, and He got into a boat on the sea and sat there. The crowd stood on the shore waiting for His teaching.
3 And so Jesus began to teach. On this day, He spoke in parables. Here is His first parable:
Jesus: Once there was a sower who scattered seeds. 4 One day he walked in a field scattering seeds as he went. Some seeds fell beside a road, and a flock of birds came and ate all those seeds. 5 So the sower scattered seeds in a field, one with shallow soil and strewn with rocks. But the seeds grew quickly amid all the rocks, 6 without rooting themselves in the shallow soil. Their roots got tangled up in all the stones. The sun scorched these seeds, and they died. 7 And so the sower scattered seeds near a path, this one covered with thorny vines. The seeds fared no better there—the thorns choked them, and they died. 8 And so finally the sower scattered his seeds in a patch of good earth. At home in the good earth, the seeds grew and grew. Eventually the seeds bore fruit, and the fruit grew ripe and was harvested. The harvest was immense—30, 60, 100 times what was sown.
9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
What kind of soil are you? This is a bit of a silly question, even knowing that we are only talking metaphorically. What I mean is that soil doesn’t usually have any say in what it is or where it is located.
But if we listen closely to this parable of Jesus this is the question that we have to ask ourselves: what kind of soil are we?
Are we like the soil on the road – so hardened by life, the pace of life and all the things going on around us and in the world that the seed (the Word of God) can’t even penetrate us and our hearts?
Are we like the soil in the rocky field – quick and eager to listen, but lacking the discipline and self-control to enable the seed of God’s Word to grow deep roots and take hold of our hearts and lives?
Are we like the thorny soil on the path – have we let so many other things take root in our hearts and in our lives that there isn’t enough room for God’s Word to grow and thrive?
Or are we going to be like the good soil – soil that has the space to allow God’s Word to grow deep roots, where it won’t be crowded out by thorns, trampled on or picked away, with plenty of space to grow and thrive?
Real soil doesn’t have the ability to change what it is or where it is located, but we do. We can – and we must, if we want to receive God’s Word – create the space in our hearts and lives for the seed of God’s love and Word to thrive.
We become good soil by making space in our lives for God’s Word to grow; by clearing our heart of the other, lesser things that have taken root there, by slowing down and sitting with God’s Word long enough for it to take root.
This is not easy work but is work that produces an incredible reward.
Sharing God’s Love,
Prayer: Lord, help us become the good soil that your Word can take root in. Prepare our hearts and minds for your love to take root. Amen.