Tension Points – Counting the Cost – Choosing to Persevere - Tuesday, August 4th

Tension Points – Counting the Cost – Choosing to Persevere - Tuesday, August 4th

Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand" .... And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest. Luke 8:8, 15

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

We are in the first week of a series designed to help us tackle and manage the tension points of life. In the weeks ahead we will be looking at those areas of life that are ongoing, constant, and seem to always need improvement. We turn to the parable of the sower to help us in our considerations for this week. The parable of the sower is a story of good and bad outcomes. The outcome of the sower sowing seed depends on the soil upon which the seed is sown. The parable begins with three kinds of soil that result in not so good outcomes and then finishes with the kind of soil for which there is a good outcome. The parable is followed by an explanation of the spiritual truths the parable teaches us as people. We will begin with the good soil. Today's Scripture includes the explanation of this part of the parable as well.

Throughout the parable the soil represents people, the seed represents God's word, and the sower represents God. When the sower sows seed on the good soil there is a good outcome. What is it that makes a person similar to good soil with a good outcome and not similar to bad soil with a bad outcome (we will look at the three bad soils over the rest of the week)? There are several things we are given in today's passage that help us understand how a person can be like good soil.

The first thing we are told is that good soil represents honest, good-hearted people. Such people don't want to play games (honest) when it comes to life. Deep inside (heart) they want what is truly "good" to be true of them. These kind of people know they need outside input for how to live life and they are open to God giving that input to them. So, we are saying that honest, good-hearted people are ones who are "open" to hearing from God even before he brings his word to them and they hear it. It is the people who are "open" who are able to hear God's word and respond to it properly.

Next we are told that good soil represents people who "cling" to God's word after hearing it and receiving it. The "open" person knows they have heard from God. They realize that God's good word is what they have been needing, waiting for, and wanting all along. The good word from God resonates with them so deeply and moves them so profoundly, they treat it like a lost treasure that has been found and must be guarded and held on to at all costs.

Finally, we are told that good soil represents people who "patiently produce a huge harvest." The word "patiently" carries with it the idea of "perseverance." The word "perseverance" fits in nicely with our series and this week's emphasis on discipleship in which we are addressing those ongoing and constant areas of life that always need the hard work of improvement. So, we might say the good soil represents people who "persevere" at the hard work of being spiritually productive and succeed big time.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I want to be a "good soil" kind of person. Help me to be "open" to you and your word more than ever before. Help me to "cling" to your word with everything I have. Help me to "persevere" at being abundantly productive spiritually in my daily response to you and your word. Amen!

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