The Soil Test
I. Harry the gardener (plants the tree)
Test the soil
Feels the soil
Looks at the soil
Prepares the soil
Monitors the soil
With his moisture meter, it tells the condition of the soil, too much, not enough. The gardener will use the findings to come up with the proper soil change. He tests the moisture and the looseness of the soil. He uses a long piece of rebar to see how deep the moisture goes. If the soil is dry then he adjusts the water if it is too wet he may remove a sprinkler. Harry will be forever monitoring the tree so that it has the best opportunity to grow.
4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “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 of the air ate it up. 6 Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 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, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ 11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
I may be taking an unusual run at this scripture.
Some say this parable is about the sower some say it is about the seed and still others say it is about the soil.
I have chosen to come from the point of view of the soil.
As Harry showed us the soil is very important when it come to the growth of the tree Proper inspection and monitoring leads to the growth of the tree.
I want to examine the different soil type mentioned in this parable because
We are all seminarians
We are all called to be gardeners
And help others to monitor their soil.
I think it is smart that the cohort classes start with the Rexroats class of spiritual formation.
I hope that it give us the ability to keep from finding ourselves in one of this soil conditions.
Paul, said in First Corinthians 10, verse 12: "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful…" "That you don't fall!"
Pretty stern warning.
Just because you find yourself in seminary does not mean that you do not still have to keep an eye out for the enemy
The Bible tells us that we should examine ourselves. "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves" (2 Corinthians 13:5). We all need to take regular spiritual inventories of our lives to see where we stand with God.
I. The first soil type we see is the footpath or Wayside
5 “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 of the air ate it up.
The study of new and different views of theology or doctrine
II. The second soil is called the stony ground
. 6 Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.
Not spending enough time in transformational study
Too much academic study
Lack of moisture
It could also be that a person who when temptation or trials such as a hard class
or to much stuff work to do the student will give up.
III. The third soil is the Thorny ground
7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.
We get too busy with school
And work and family, ministry
Pay attention to God.
We replace our book learning for time with God.
IV. The fourth soil is the fertile soil
8 Still other seed fell on good soil.
This is the type of soil that we should strive to have.
Components of fertile soil
Christ the Center
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Obedience to Christ
21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Not just hears but doers
Remember Harry, how he checked out the soil and he also constantly monitors the soil. The question for us is how do we prepare and monitor our soil.
1. Plowing comes first.
The first thing to do in getting our heart ready is to turn it over.
Repent of any known sin.
You need to plow up your heart and mind and turn control over to God.
2. Second there comes Preparation.
We need to fertilize the soil.
Spend time in God's Word
3. Third comes a Planting time.
Take time to sow God's Word into the situations of your life.
We are commanded to not be hearers only of God's Word, but a doer as well.
Find ministry opportunities
4. Take time to monitor your spiritual life.
This means to take time to weed the garden of your heart.
Guard your heart from the thorns of anxiety, worry and the cares of the world. "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all other things will be added unto you."
Keep your eyes on God and your trust in Him,
Live to please and love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Don’t try to slot God in
We need to be careful not to make God just another priority - to enjoy good healthy roots and the spiritual nourishment we need God must have all of our life. It isn't just about giving Him the right slot in our life; it's about giving Him all of our slots.
Make sure you can see growth
Two types of fruit to look for in your life
ACTION and ATITTUDE.
How do we find ourselves in these soil conditions
Mike Yaconelli writes in The Wittenburg Door: I live in a small, rural community. There are lots of cattle ranches around here, and every once in a while a cow wanders off and gets lost.... Ask a rancher how a cow gets lost, and chances are he will reply, "Well, the cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of green grass right next to a hole in the fence. It then sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next tuft. The next thing you know the cow has nibbled itself into being lost.