Good Soil

Key Text:  Luke 8:4-8

 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable:  “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.  Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”  When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Are you, spiritually speaking, good soil?

What I mean is, are you fertile ground for God’s word to take root in your life?  I hope so.

Long ago, Jesus spoke to people who understood about the importance of good soil.  They understood rich, fertile ground and they understood dry, barren, desert territory.  They could grasp what a difference – what a life changing difference – it can make when one scatters seed in one rather than in the other.

Some, no doubt, lived among the rocks – literally.  Others lived in the heart of the city.  Still others lived on fertile farmland or walked in green pastures with their sheep.  Some lived near the ocean sands or in the desert itself.  All though, would understand the concept of seed being sown in the right or wrong kind of soil.

Thousands of years later, we of the “fast food” culture may have more difficulty understanding this old parable.

But it is as true and applicable as ever.

God plants seeds of faith in our lives – and we are either receptive ground for those seeds – or not.

I am no farmer and I don’t know the first thing about preparing the soil for a bumper crop of anything.

But I understand how important it is to daily prepare my heart, mind, soul, and body for the hearing, receiving, and living out of the words of Scripture.

How about you?


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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