Eric’s Fourth Devotional – Soils of Our Souls

This is Eric’s fourth devotional. I think he’s getting the hang of it. This one focuses on the parable of the soils.

The Soil of Our Souls

by Eric Jordan

As soil must be properly cultivated to accept a seed, so your heart must be prepared to accept the gospel.  Keep these questions in mind as you read Mark 4:3-20:

  • Is my heart more like one of the poor soils: the path, the rocky soil, or thorny soil?
  • When is my heart more like the good soil, pursuing knowledge of the word and recognizing my need of God’s sustaining hand?
  • How can I recognize the poor soils in my heart, and allow God to cultivate my heart so that it becomes the good soil?

After finishing this devotional, review these questions with the intent of allowing God to cultivate the soil of your soul.

The first three types of soil represent the hearts of people who have heard about Jesus but are not yet ready to believe.  The first seed is sown on a path where birds come and take it away.  This illustration represents the people who have heard about Jesus but then allow Satan to come and turn their hearts away.  As the soil on the path is hard and will not allow the seed to take root, the hearts of these people have become hardened and unreceptive to the gospel.  The second soil is rocky and shallow so the seed sprouts up quickly; however, when the sun comes, the seed withers and dies.  These are people who shrivel under persecution.  Their family might tease them or maybe they face adversity and turn from God.  The third soil is thorny, and, when seed is sown, thorns grow around the plant and it is choked.  This person grows but gets distracted and bears no fruit.  These people pursue material things rather than relying on God.  These people do not follow Christ, just as the plants do not mature and bear fruit.

Soil profile 236x288 38.76 KB
Image via Wikipedia

The last soil represents a zealous believer.  This soil has been prepared to accept the seed, and the seed then matures into a healthy plant producing a bountiful harvest.  The last soil represents a person who hears the word and treasures the word upon hearing it.  The soil cannot produce fruit on its own; it must receive seed from the sower.  Likewise our hearts remain barren unless we receive the seed of Christ.  Those who truly receive seed of Christ bear spiritual fruit.

The lessons in this parable point to the fact we must examine our heart and see what “soil” it is made of.  If we are one of the first three soils, then we must seek God and allow him to change our heart.  When we do this examination, we must understand nobody is perfect, so we are still susceptible to being one of the poor soils.  If we cannot figure out which category we fall under, then we pray that God will help us to examine our hearts and follow his leading.

The hearts likened to the bad soil turn their backs on God, while the hearts that parallel the good soil ask God to help them.  We should apply the lessons we learn in every parable to our lives.  A true believer rejoices in producing fruit of the good soil, and for that we must rely on God to cultivate our hearts every day.


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