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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#989. The unreceptive soil (13/2/24)

This week, as we continue in our Luke series, we are using The Parable of the Soils (or Sower) as inspiration for our devotionals. If you find this helpful, please do share it with anyone who may find it helpful. Today, I want us to look at what is meant by the soil that’s so compressed that it cannot receive God’s seed. 

‘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 ate it up.’ (Luke 8:5) 
‘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.’ (Luke 8:12)  

Lesson: Some people will refuse to believe as the devil steals the seed of God’s word so we must pray and persevere in sowing. 

To listen to this devotional, go to:

If you ever go on a walk in the country at this time of year, it can be hard to find the paths that run through fields. However, as spring turns to summer and the crops grow in the fields, the paths become obvious because the crops will not grow on the path that has been compressed as people walk on it. In Jesus’ Parable of the Soils, He, firstly, speaks of soil that is compressed and so the seed of His word - the gospel and His teachings - cannot take root and are eaten by the birds. Likewise, as Jesus looks on the crowds that are mentioned in this chapter, He knows that many will be unreceptive. Gathering crowds is not Jesus’ definition of success, our receptivity to His Word is success. 

Likewise, as we sow the gospel and God’s Word in the ways that we can, we will experience a lot of rejection. This parable teaches us to expect this. Jesus also teaches us to see the spiritual warfare that is happening as the devil seeks to steal the seed from people. The devil works hard to keep people in his kingdom of darkness as we read:

‘And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.’ (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)


Some people will refuse to believe as the devil steals the seed of God’s word so we must pray and persevere in sowing. As with Jesus, our sowing of God’s Word will often seem useless and ineffective. We may be tempted to give up. We may be tempted to change the message of the gospel and scriptural teaching in order to make it more acceptable. However, the Word of God is true seed that has the power to change lives and so so we must persevere in sowing it, whilst also pouring out prayer on our efforts as we understand the spirit battle that we are engaged in. 



1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals.

2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? (I hope we can see how important this question and practice is to this week's study of being good soil for God's Word).

3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.

4. Study and pray together

This week, as we continue in our Luke series, we will be using Luke 8:1-15 as inspiration. Here, Jesus teaches the people, and illustrates His ministry, by using the parable about a sower and different kinds of soils. For Jesus, having crowds was not success or His aim; Jesus wanted to teach them that to follow Him and to be truly successful they needed to become ‘good soil’. 

Please read Luke :8:1-15

  1. What were you particularly struck by in Sunday’s message from Luke 8:1-15? 

  2. What would you say is the central teaching of this narrative? 

  3. How does Jesus’, and how should our ministry, follow the pattern of this parable? 

  4. What do the three poor soils have in common? 

  5. Why do the things mentioned - the devil, testing, worries, riches and pleasures - stop God’s Word from being fruitful in our lives?  

  6. How do you, or could you, ensure that you receive the good seed of God’s word into your life each day? 

  7. SIV - Do we see that if we are good soil, we will have a crop? This means that we will have seed to sow. How could you better sow the gospel and God's Word?

  8. SIV - What does this parable teach about how we should expect people to respond as we share the gospel and do we have any experiences of this? 

  9. SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  10. Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that’s come out of our time in God’s Word.

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