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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#991. The weedy soil (15/2/24)

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 we will look at what is meant by being soil that is full of weeds. 

‘Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.’ (Luke 8:7) 
‘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.’ (Luke 8:14)

Lesson: If we do not read the Word so as to repent and obey, the weeds of sin will choke out our faith and fruitfulness. 


To listen to this devotional, go to:


Why does one weed a garden? Why not just let the plants you want grow with the plants that you don’t? Why do farmers spend so much money on weed management? The simple answer - and I’m so far from being anything like an expert - is that the weeds compete for the limited resources of nutrients, water and light. Jesus, as He looks on the crowds in front of Him, and the disciples that say they are for Him, knows that some will seem to give their lives to Him only to to have their faith choked out by the weeds of worry, riches and pleasure. Let’s briefly look at each:


‘Worry’, or fear, competes against God’s word and, if not weeded out, will kill it. Fear and faith cancel each other out and if we want faith in God’s promises to grow, one must be aware of our temptation to worry and weed it out. Worry and fear are simply faith in a different word - a different seed -  they are different promise with very different fruit! These lies exalt the things we fear above God’s Word and we must ruthlessly nurture our faith whilst weeding out fear. 


‘Riches’ is about the ungodly pursuit of wealth. This is pursuing wealth rather than God’s will which may or may not give wealth. Those who idolise money will not be able to believe and obey God’s word when it endangers this goal. Those who love wealth will not be able to give generously; they'll refuse the job God calls them to if it pays little; the pursuit of wealth rob us of any time to serve others; and we won’t be open about sharing God’s Word when to do so may effect income… Jesus puts this very clearly when He says, 

‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money…But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ (Matthew 6:24, 33)

The final ‘weed’ He mentions, is ‘pleasures’. It’s impossible to receive the gospel, and love and obey God’s word generally, if we are living for sinful pleasures. In a world that increasingly equates how good something makes you feel with what is good, I’m sure that we all feel the temptation to change God’s Word or be embarrassed about is call to repentance. As Christians, we must weed sinful pleasures out of our hearts and lives. We are to see that sinful pleasures are weeds that kill, but godly pleasures give life and fruitfulness. 


Response

If we are do not read the word so as to repent and obey, the weeds of sin will choke out our faith and fruitfulness. I’m sure that we can all look at others and see the ‘speck’ in their eye whilst failing to see the ‘plank’ in our eyes; to put this another way, it’s too easy to see the weeds in others gardens while failing to weed our own! Are you and I daily reading and weeding in response to God’s Word? 

 

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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