“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:18-23
I have been in a small group for most of my years as a Christian. After a while, I get to know the name in the small group and can accurately assess if someone is demonstrating Christian maturity.
Or so I thought.
One particular woman in a group was going to get married for a second time and asked if my husband could do the wedding. Because we do marriage counseling with any potential candidate, we met with the couple before agreeing. After several red flags (including the woman marrying a non believer) and no response on the homework we asked them to do regarding finding Scriptures on marriage, there was no doubt in my mind this couple was not ready to get married. Despite our warning, they married anyway. In that moment that no matter what appearance a person has, all the Christian clichés that someone says or ho many church programs they attend, it is difficult to tell the difference between someone who is mature in the faith and someone who is just going through the motions.
Although this passage speaks to salvation, I think there is a lot a Christian can learn about how to tell if someone is good fruit. In an earlier devotion, I talked about knowing whether someone is truly a Christian by the amount of fruit he/she produces. This passage also speaks to how important where we are rooted the seeds are. It is clear if a seed has no root it is either snatched away by the enemy or falls away. Yet, the seeds that fall on good soil reap a harvest bigger than what the sower can measure or imagine. It says the seeds in good soil are those who hear the word and understand it. Why? Because hearing leads to changing a mind which then leads to a transformed heart.
Where is your seed? Is it getting choked out by the weeds? Is in between the rocks? Or is it producing a bountiful harvest?
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