In our reading Jesus tells of a farmer who decided to sow seed across his land, which included soil of varying fertility, illustrating the point that the success of any seed depends entirely on the ground it lands in. The seed has life in itself – all it needs is the correct growing conditions.
Jesus describes the seed as being “the message about the kingdom” (v19). The kingdom of God is found where God is actively ruling and the seed therefore represents any message that teaches us how to live the King’s way.
There is a lot of relationship “seed” in the Bible that we have to receive like the fertile soil. It teaches us how to conduct every relationship we have.
Today’s first challenge is to explore the Bible and discover what God has to say about each specific relationship we currently have, then secondly to commit to conducting them His way. Doing this is us allowing kingdom seed to take root in the relationship soil of our lives; choosing to be like the fertile ground in our reading, rather than the hard or rocky soil.
Your resolve, then, is to be like the fertile soil in this parable.
Now let me explain one more thing that emerges from it.
The problem with fertile soil is that everythinggrows in it. While we concentrate on nurturing the good seed we planted, weeds always seem to emerge alongside. We don’t always know how they got there, but we do know they need to be pulled up as soon as they are spotted because, as Jesus says, they will “choke it, making it unfruitful” (v22). Relationships only thrive if they are both carefully nurtured and kept weed free.
One small weed, left unattended for long enough can become so large and influential that other plants suffer. Similarly, if we allow the little “weeds” of poor relationship habits, attitudes or practices go unattended, they will choke and potentially kill a healthy relationship you value.
On the remaining days of this devotional we will be looking out for little “weeds” in our fertile relationship soil and learning how to deal with them quickly, as well as exploring how to enrich our soil with healthy “relationship feed”.
Before entering full time Christian Ministry I was a building surveyor and have often seen walls, drains and even whole buildings undermined by a large root that was simply left unattended for many years. That root started as a little weed that was left unattended. Relationship weeds can be just as destructive if not removed early on. That’s why it is so important we learn to be expert relationship gardeners!