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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#990. The stoney soil (14/2/24)

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 without anyone who may find it helpful. Today we will look at what is meant by being soil that is full of rocks or stones. 

‘Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.’ (Luke 8:6) 
‘Those on the rocky ground 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.’ (Luke 8:13) 

Lesson: People who receive God’s Word like soil that is full of rocks are those who reject Jesus teaching when life is hard because ease is an idol for them. 


To listen to this devotional, go to:


When we are in the storms of life, we will all seek refuge and escape. When illness, loss, rejection, treachery… strikes, how do we respond? For some, storms cause them to run into the ‘cleft of the rock’ - the love of Christ. Fanny Crosby wrote a hymn that says it so well:

‘A wonderful Saviour is Jesus my Lord, a wonderful Saviour to me; He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, Where rivers of pleasure I see. He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, that shadows a dry, thirsty land; He hideth my life in the depths of His love, And covers me there with His hand, And covers me there with His hand.’

Some, however, and we will all be tempted to, run away from Jesus and His Word and seek solace in another place. Too often when we feel our ship is sinking, rather than bail out the water and find buoyancy by using the bucket that is God’s promises, we throw the bucket over the side! 

These are the people that Jesus likens to soil that is full of rocks. They - and lets’ also examine ourselves - are those, because of the rocky under-layer, have very shallow soil for the seed to grow in so it has very weak roots. They respond to the gospel message and God’s word with great joy until ‘testing’ comes when, like a tree with weak roots, they are blown over. I guess we could say that these are like ‘prosperity’ Christians who will believe all the while life is good. The rocks are our idols of ease. You see, we can come to Christ not as Lord and Saviour but as one who will serve our comfort and happiness and this selfishness is exposed in times of testing. 


Response

People who receive God’s Word like soil that is full of rocks are those who reject Jesus teaching when life is hard because ease is an idol for them. God’s Word will not grow in a heart that only trust Jesus’ Word if He gives them an easy life. I, of course, also want an easy life, but I must not idolise this to the point that I refuse to share His Word and believe His promises when testing comes - as it will! 

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

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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