Message Preached Sunday Morning at Jersey Shore Baptist Church
Message Preached Sunday Night at Jersey Shore Baptist Church
(Second Milers also read – Psalm 41 – 45)
“But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” – (Matthew 13:8)
I have always enjoyed studying these parables in Matthew 13. The Parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3 – 9; 18 – 23) in particular has helped me to understand many things about the nature of people. I have been a Christian now for a long time, and I have observed many people come and go through the years. It grieves me when people fizzle out spiritually; some even turning their backs completely on the Lord. This parable sheds a lot of light as to why that happens.
In this passage, Jesus uses soil to illustrate the four different kinds of life situations that the seed of the gospel comes in contact with. My goal in this short devotional thought is not to discuss in detail each of these different types of lives that is impacted by the gospel seed; but I would like to make some observations about the “good ground”. After all it is the good ground that produces the most fruit, isn’t it? So what are the characteristics of good ground?
1 Good ground is well watered and fertilized. It contains all of the nutrition that it needs in order to be healthy. I have never been a gardener, but I have heard many say that when they fortify the soil with plant food (like Miracle Gro), the plants will produce much more fruit, and the overall appearance of the plant will be that of health. Christians need to be nourished and watered daily by spending time with God in His Word. The spiritual nutrition that we receive from the Word of God will yield much fruit in our lives. We will starve to death spiritually without it.
2 Good ground does not contain a lot of rocks and debrit that will hinder the root system. Rocks will also hinder the retention of water. Jesus says that this illustrates the person who never allows the Word of God to take root in his life. Many Christians make professions of faith, but never get grounded in the Word through a a discipeship program in a good local church. As a result, they never develop a strong root system that will help them get established. They do well for a while, but they cannot survive any stress that may come their way.
3 Good ground is weeded regularly. Now, I do know a little something about weeds. This year, all of the flower beds at the church were overrun with weeds. It became a huge project to dig them all up. Weeds will steal all of the nutrition and water that the plant needs to survive. This scenario pictures the Christian who allows a lot of the world’s distractions to get into his life. He becomes too busy, and often too carnal to produce fruit anymore in his life.
As you can see from this passage, there is not a lot that we can do to change the fact that some people will continue to grow and produce fruit throughout their life; and some simply will fizzle out, or fall away completely. However, we can do something about the soil of our own hearts. We can make sure that we are maintaining the “good ground” by keeping well-watered and fertilized with the Word of God; by removing anything rocks or impediments that will hinder our root system; and by removing any weeds (distractions, weights) that may steal away the nutrition that is necessary for a healthy and fruitful life.
Posted in Thoughts from Matthew by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.