I just finished the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and as warned a couple of my friends, it really messed me up (in a good way) by all the punch in the gut challenges about who we are and what in the world we are doing with our lives.
One thing mentioned was that of the Parable of the Sower (really the Parable of the Soils). Even if you’re read it dozens of times, take a few minutes to REALLY re-read it here again.
From Chan’s book:
“In the parable of the sower, Jesus explained that the seed is the truth (the Word of God). When the seed is flung onto the path, it is heard but quickly stolen away. When the seed is tossed onto the rocks, no roots take hold; there is an appearance of depth and growth because of the good soil, but it is only surface level. When the seed is spread among the thorns, it is received but soon suffocated by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures. But when the seed is sown in good soil, it grows, takes root, and produces fruit.
My caution to you is this: Do not assume you are good soil.
I think most American churchgoers are the soil that chokes the seed because of all the thorns. Thorns are anything that distracts us from God. When we want God and a bunch of other stuff, then that means we have thorns in our soil. A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorites sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it.
Most of us have too much in our lives. A lot of things are good by themselves, but all of it together keeps us from living healthy fruitful lives for God.
I will say it again: Do not assume you are good soil.“
So my challenges to you:
What kind of soil are you in right now? Just because it looks like those around you doesn’t mean it is the optimal soil for your growth.
How can you make your soil better for the sake of you, your spouse/significant other, and your children? Choose and commit to one change this week to improve your soil.
A fun video on this topic for the visual learners out there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V9IOhGPrRvY
And a great video from Chan for people exploring who God is and what it all means. The video halfway down on the link, “Just Stop and Think”: http://www.aneternalimpact.com/explore