#11 – Of Soils and Souls

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Look at the picture above and tell me what you see.

Scroll Down for answer :-)

 

You probably saw two bowls.  So another name for two bowls would be a pair of bowls.  Now say that fast….pair of bowls….parables…. Ha!

Go to the Bible Dictionary under parables and let’s see what this photo is trying to teach us.

BIBLE DICTIONARY:  PARABLES

(2) The word parable is Greek in origin and means a setting side by side, a comparison. In parables divine truth is presented by comparison with material things.

See that?  A side-by-side comparison.  The Lord compares something with which we are familiar and something that we aren’t familiar.

Why does the Lord teach in parables?

BIBLE DICTIONARY:  From our Lord’s words (Matt. 13:13–15Mark 4:12Luke 8:10) we learn the reason for this method. It was to veil the meaning. The parable conveys to the hearer religious truth exactly in proportion to his faith and intelligence; to the dull and uninspired it is a mere story, “seeing they see not,” while to the instructed and spiritual it reveals the mysteries or secrets of the kingdom of heaven. Thus it is that the parable exhibits the condition of all true knowledge. Only he who seeks finds.

As you read parables, you have the choice whether you want to be dull and uninspired or instructed and spiritual.  You will get out exactly what you put in.

Matthew 13:15 – What does the Lord teach us about those who are “dull and uninspired”?

In that same verse, what happens to those to listen and learn what the parable is teaching?

PARABLE OF ALL PARABLES

In Matthew 13, we find the Parable of the Sower.  It is the only parable that is listed in 3 of the 4 gospels.  That tells you how important it must be.  It is also one of the few parables that Christ actually interprets for us.

Grab a sheet of paper.  As we go through each soil in the parable, draw what each verse would look like.

SOIL #1:  Matthew 13:3-4

SOIL #2:  Matthew 13:3-6

SOIL #3:  Matthew 13:7

SOIL #4: Matthew 13:8

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If you get stuck drawing, here are the ones that we draw on the iPad in our class!

Now that we have identified each type of soil, let’s examine what it represents and what the Savior wants us to learn.

INTERPRETATION OF SOIL #1:  Matthew 13:19

What do each of these represent?  Sower, Seed, Soil, Birds

What does this person look like?  What do they do or not do?  What is their relationship with the Savior look like?

 

INTERPRETATION OF SOIL #2:  Matthew 13:20-21

What do each of these represent?  Sower, Seed, Soil, Stones, Sun, Plants, Lack of Roots

What does this person look like?  What do they do or not do?  What is their relationship with the Savior look like?

An interesting thought about the SUN:  “Ironically, the heat that causes them to wither could also cause them to grow, for seeds require sunlight.”  https://ojs.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/RelEd/article/viewFile/2258/2133

We know that in order for a seed to grow, it needs water and sunshine (and soil).

“Knowing of people’s need for continual spiritual sustenance, Satan tries to restrict its availability.”  https://ojs.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/RelEd/article/viewFile/2258/2133

Can you think of a time in the last week when Satan tries to convince you that you weren’t available enough to water your testimony? Or give it a little SONshine?

 

INTERPRETATION OF SOIL #3:  Matthew 13:22

What do each of these represent?  Sower, Seed, Soil, Thorns

What does this person look like?  What do they do or not do?  What is their relationship with the Savior look like?

Why would God choose thorns to represent the cares of the world?  Do thorns choke things fast or slow?  Can you think of some worldly things that choke our testimony?  How have you seen pornography slowly choke and strangle a family?

 

INTERPRETATION OF SOIL #4:  Matthew 13:23

What do each of these represent?  Sower, Seed, Soil, Fruit, Different Levels of Harvest

What does this person look like?  What do they do or not do?  What is their relationship with the Savior look like?

How can different plants produce different amounts of fruit?  What makes the difference?

WHAT’S THE CONDITION OF YOUR SOUL’S SOIL?

So the final question is this?  What is the condition of your soul’s soil?

We have opportunities every day to accept or reject seeds that the Lord wants to plant inside of us.  We ultimately have control on whether those seeds grow or wither.

“In interpreting the parable of the sower, the Master was preparing His disciples for a wide range of soils they would encounter in their preaching, not that they might make final decrees but preliminary diagnoses.” https://ojs.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/RelEd/article/viewFile/2258/2133

It is our job to find ourselves in each of these soils.  Where are we today?  And we probably have different soils depending upon what seed God is trying to plant.  We need to remember that evaluation is not final, for now.  It is helping us identify where we are so we can improve.

“By identifying a soil’s existing state, the disciples would be able to decide how best to treat it for more successful sowing in the future.” https://ojs.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/RelEd/article/viewFile/2258/2133

ROOM ENOUGH FOR HIM

parable of the sowerSo do you have room in your life for Jesus?  The seed, representing the gospel, essentially represents the Savior.  Do you have room for him in the soil of your soul?

Listen to the words in this song and follow along as you pondering on what you can do to fertilize your soil and make it produce more fruit.

 

Room Enough For Him – by Jenny Phillips

So hard to see the power inside the seed

But something deep inside

moves me to believe

But will it grow?

Is there room in my soul

Does my heart hold too much pride

To let this seed inside?

CHORUS:

Did this seed fall on stony ground

are there softer parts in me

that can be found

I need the growing to start

Can I change some things in my heart

So deep within

There’s room enough for Him.

I can feel His love reaching to me

I know my Savior longs

to nurture this seed

Can I let go of the thorns in my soul

and somehow find a tender place

where this seed is safe?

CHORUS:

Did this seed fall on stony ground

are there softer parts in me

that can be found

I need the growing to start

Can I change some things in my heart

So deep within

There’s room enough for Him.

There’s room enough for Him.

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