Which soil are you?
Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:
“When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.”“The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.”
“But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.”“The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
I’ve always been afraid of being the third soil, I suppose I won’t know until I reach the end of life.
This story begins when I was on the way to a workplace prayer meeting at an American finance company, I met someone who was heading out to lunch at my local food court who was part of a group going for a job interview with another company. No-one ended up coming to the workplace prayer meeting except 1 person, Keith, who wasn’t Christian. Although the group usually pleaded for God's salvation for our colleagues, it was the perfect opportunity to meet. I invited Keith to study the bible with me and the next time we met in a food court we studied "Just for Starters" in the morning before work.
At the end of each of these 7 basic Bible studies was a challenge to memorise the Bible verses - Keith is the only person I’ve done these Bible studies with who has taken up this challenge. The University lecturer and old Navigator who trained me in these bible had always insisted that we memorise until we were word perfect. Keith wasn’t word perfect but came very close! Over time, a Christian man who also frequented our food court early in the morning also befriended Keith and eventually put Keith’s photo and story in a magazine he later was the editor for.
Keith and I continued to meet for Bible studies after we completed Just for Starters, doing Ephesians and James from Matthias Media. We even learnt to share the gospel using the gospel outline 2 Ways to Live when I trained him in the ‘Personal Evangelism’ course and did some practical sessions with him in Hyde Park.
Somewhere along the line Matt an old colleague of Keith’s also invited him and his family to his church in Malabar. I don’t think they ever went with much regularity - it’s a big habit to change if you and your children aren’t used to going to church.
Outside our Bible studies together, I had the opportunity to house Keith, his wife and 2 kids for 2 nights when he needed a place. I also enjoyed dinner with him and his family of now 3 children in their new house before I left for mission. Then after I returned to Sydney and was hospitalised for 6 months (another story), Keith would visit and ask me which part of the Bible to read.
When I came home from hospital Keith has visited me a few times. He’s told me good news of reconciliation in his family but unfortunately it appears that he has not given his life to trusting Jesus as Saviour and following Jesus as his Master. However, may I be wrong and he prove to be the good soil in the parable.
This story is from Tho Luu, an evangelist who has many stories to tell about sharing the gospel with others.
Q: What soil are you? What soil are your friends? How can we know what soil people are?
P: Pray for those in your life who you long to plant a seed of faith in, pray that God will let them be able to receive the word and bear fruit.