Watch the most recent sermon on 9.19.2021 Go Now!
September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
“But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.”—Hebrews 6:8 (ESV)
A garden is only going to be as good as the soil it is planted in. You can water it all you want, give it more sunlight, and protect it from bugs and parasites . . . but at the end of the day, if it doesn’t have good soil, nothing is going to grow. Jesus tells a very clear parable about this exact thing. He talks about seed falling on hard soil, shallow soil, soil mixed with the seeds of thorns and weeds, and then, finally, fertile soil. As you can imagine, the fertile soil is the only soil that actually produced a lasting crop. But Jesus isn’t talking about dirt and plants, He is talking about our hearts—the soil—and His message of good news—the seed.
For most people that have been Christ-followers for any length of time, the difficult part is keeping out the weeds and thorns. They start as small seeds just like the others, but as they grow and get bigger, if they’re not pulled out, they’ll suck the life and nutrition away from the other plants, making them unfruitful. How do we keep the weeds out of our lives?
We often think of things in terms of right and wrong, black and white, sin or not sin. However, when it comes to keeping out the weeds and thorns from our lives, we have to ask a different set of questions. We need to ask questions like: “Is what I am doing encouraging my relationship with God, or distracting me from it?”, or “Does this help me to love God with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength?”, or just in general, “Is this beneficial for me?” Many things in our lives may not be sinful, but they can distract us from what God wants to do through us.
Weeds and thorns often pop up in how we spend our time. We end up spending more and more time on things that might not be wrong or sinful, but they definitely are not helping us connect to God or other people in any meaningful way. Time is the only resource we cannot get more of, so use it wisely.
So, how’s your heart—your soil? Have you been keeping out the weeds and thorns or are there some things that need to be pulled so that there can be lasting, spiritual fruit?
DIG: Read Matthew 13:1-8. From the four kinds of soil that Jesus talks about, which one would you say most accurately describes your heart?
DISCOVER: What is one thing in your life that might not be wrong, but you know is not beneficial for you?
DISPLAY: Pray and ask God to show you the weeds and thorns in your life that need to be pulled.