What Do The Soils Look Like & Which Soil Are You? (Parable Of The Soil Study – Part 2)

Last week we began to look at the parable of the sower from Luke 8.  Today I want to take a closer look at what these soils look like.

The first soil is that by the road.  This is the soil that the seed falls on but then the devil comes and steals the word before it can take root.

This soil is what we might call the people who reject the word outright.  They have a hard heart and therefore the word just stays on the surface.  It’s like when I seed my lawn and some of the seed gets on the driveway or sidewalk.  It has no chance.

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How Long Until You Know Which Soil You Are? (Parable of The Sower Part 1)

In Luke 8:4 Jesus shares the parable of the sower.  Jesus tells of how a farmer spreads seed.  Some falls on beside the road and is trampled or stolen by birds.  Some falls on rocky soil and grows quickly, but withers quickly because it has no root.  Some falls in the soil where there are thorns and grows well until a certain point and then it is choked out.  Other seed fell on good soil and grew and produced much fruit.

Jesus later explains this to the disciples.  He says that the sower is God and the seed is the word of God.  Those on the side of the road are those who have heard the word but devil comes and steals it from their heart so that they can’t be saved.  Those on the rocky soil are those who receive the word with joy, but then, because they have no root, when tempted fall away.  Those who are among the thorns are those who receive the word and grow but are choked out by the worries, riches, and pleasures of this life and don’t produce fruit.  The final group are those who receive the word with an honest and good heart, hold fast and produce much fruit through perseverance.

This is a tough parable for a lot of reasons.  First, it appears that only 25% of people end up producing fruit.  Although to be fair, it doesn’t say anything about percentages.  Heck 90% of the seed could have fallen on any one of the soils.  But as someone who has tried to spread the word to people for over two decades, it sure does seem like 25% of people being the good soil seems about right.

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What Is Leadership? (Part One In A Leadership Series)

A few weeks ago I was watching The Last Dance.  This is the ten part documentary on the Chicago Bulls and the final of their six NBA Championship season.  But really it’s more a documentary on Michael Jordan.  And man is it good.  I grew up on Magic, Bird and then Jordan and the Bulls.

It was interesting to learn more about the inner workings of the team and Jordan.  A lot of the stories I’ve heard about but it’s different to hear it from them.  Jordan was simply the greatest of all time.  The thing that separates him to me was his drive.  The guy hated losing.  Absolutely hated it.

Jordan was singularly focused on the goal.  And he brought others along with him.  Jordan was a leader.  But he wasn’t a “nice” guy.  We’ve talked a lot about not being the nice guy here at the blog over the years.  I’m not going to dive back into that today.  Just go to the front page and search “nice”.  What I want to talk about today is leadership.

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How Much Of A Sinner Are You? (Luke 7:36-50)

Luke 7:36-50 tells an interesting story that I think is often misinterpreted or glossed over.  Jesus is at the home of a pharisee who has requested dinner with Jesus.  Let’s push pause right here before we go further.

One of the mistakes we make reading the gospels is that we often turn the Pharisees into one monolithic group.  They were not.  They were actual people.  And Jesus loved them too.  Yes they got a lot wrong. Yes many of them did not like Jesus.  But Jesus didn’t hate them.  He loved them.  He kept loving them all the way through the end.  Even when He was challenging them He was doing it to try to get them to see the truth.  He asks them once – who will save you from hell?!  Jesus was trying to get them to get it.  Just like everyone else.  And some of them were interested.  Obviously this Pharisee was curious.

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Evangelization Starts With Love (Mark 2:1-12 Bible Study Part 2)

Last week we began to take a look at Mark 2:1-12.  This is the story where Jesus is teaching at a house and some people come bringing a paralyzed man to Him.  They can’t get him to Jesus because of the crowd so they go to the roof and drop the man down in front of Jesus.  Jesus forgives the man of his sins and then heals him.  Last time we looked at Jesus and what He was doing in this story.  Today I want to look at how this might be applicable to us in evangelization.

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Forgiveness of Sin of First Importance. (Mark 2:1-12 Bible Study Part 1)

Today I’d like to look at Mark 2:11-12.  This is a great story.  It tells us a lot about Jesus and I believe can tell us about some ways we think about evangelization.

Here’s the story in brief.  Jesus is teaching at a house.  It is full of people.  People inside and probably surrounding it as well.  His ministry is really starting now.  People are showing up to hear this new teacher and perhaps see a miracle.

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The Other Parable of Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32)

In todays look at the scriptures I’d like to look at what I like to call The Other Parable of Two Sons.  When most people think of a parable with two sons they immediately think of the familiar parable of the prodigal son.  That is indeed a great parable and perhaps we’ll dive in another day.  Today I want to look in stead at the parable of the two sons in Matthew 21.

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How Do You Love Your Enemies (Matthew 5:43-48)

The last few weeks we’ve been looking at the parable of the Samaritan.  We talked about what it meant in context, some reasons we don’t stop to help others, what some of the church fathers thought of it, and the implications for us and how we navigate cross culturally.

One of the things that is clear throughout is that we are called to love everyone.  Which leads us to today’s scripture.  Matthew 5:43-48.  Jesus is working His way through the sermon on the mount.**  He says:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [a]be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and theunrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?48 Therefore [b]you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

On its surface this idea does make sense, at least theologically.  After all we are called to love everyone.  God loves everyone.  God loves your enemy.  The one who persecutes you was created in God’s image.  Jesus died for your enemy.  Jesus prayed for and loved His enemies while He was here, even while they were crucifying Him.  We’re supposed to follow Jesus.

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Who Can Be Jesus To You (Samaritan Study Pt 5)

This is the final of a five part study on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  We started out by looking at the context to the parable and noting that we are not the hero (Samaritan) of the story.  We then looked at why it is that we pass by those in need.  Next we looked at some of the early Church Father’s take on the parable.  Last time we looked at how this parable might impact how we are to “Be Jesus” to others and what it might look like to minister to people as if we are ministering To Jesus.

As if all of that wasn’t enough to face, today I want to talk about what we in the Western Church are probably the worst at.  That is letting others “Be Jesus” to us.

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You Are Not The Samaritan (Samaritan Study Pt 1)

I’ve decided to start a weekly look at scripture, or bible study here at the blog.  For the next five weeks I’d like to take a look at one of the most recognized parables of Jesus.  The parable of the good samaritan.

Jesus tells the parable in Luke 10:25-37.  Here is a brief rundown:

A religious lawyer comes to Jesus and asks what must he do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus replies by asking the teacher what the scriptures say.  He replies  that with the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind (in other words make God number one) and love your neighbor as yourself.  Jesus agrees and says go and do this, and you will have eternal life.

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