Two people sitting in the same pew and listening to the identical message can be maturing spiritually at very different rates. The state of mind with which we listen to God's Word determines how we grow.
A Closed Mind. In today's parable, the seeds which fell beside the road were eaten by birds. (v. 4) The hard soil represents those who hear God's Word but choose not to understand it. They attend church but have already determined what they will hear. Because their minds are closed to any suggestion they don't want to follow, Satan easily snatches the truth from them.
A Cloudy Mind. The seeds falling on rocky soil shoot up but then are scorched by the sun. (verses 5-6) This shallow soil represents people who receive the Word with joy but then fall away when affliction comes. They love the thrill of being saved but never sink their roots into God's truth. When difficulties come, they fall apart because they don't know really know God's character or who they are in Him.
A Cluttered Mind. Other seeds fell on thorny ground and were choked out. (v. 7) This unproductive soil represents those who hear the Word but are strangled by the distractions of the world's cares and empty promises. Placing too much stock in what the culture values, they spend time and energy worrying about how much money they have instead of growing in their relationship with God. It is hard for a cluttered mind even to hear His voice. Next weekend, we will look at the kind of "soil" that produces abundant fruit.
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