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Dr. C.

Tommy Wood


Parable of the Four Soils

One of the basic tenets of Scripture is that God has revealed him. That God has made
himself known to us. That God speaks. All through the Bible we see this phrase and
God said And God said this and God said that and God said this and God said that.
God speaks. You were created to have a relationship with God. God made you to love
you and he wants you to know him a well as he knows you.
In order to know God, in order to have a relationship youve got to talk to him and hes
got to talk to you. Youve got to have a communication. Without communication there
is no relationship.
The problem is communication can be easily misunderstood. Would you agree with
that? With people, much less God!
When Bobbie spoke to me, a, I dont always hear and, b, even when I do hear I dont
always understand. We were married 49 years. It got better but I still didn't always
hear and I didn't always understand.
Most of you guys who are newlyweds, let me give advice to some of you men. Guys,
you need to understand that there are two things you must understand about women.
But nobody knows what they are. So youre going to be in the dark the rest of your life.
I deeply loved my wife. Deeply. But didn't always hear her and I didn't always
understand her even when I did hear her. So certainly I should expect that in my
relationship to God. However, I will tell you this, it gets easier. It really does. It gets
easier over time.
After 49 years of marriage when my wife called she doesnt have to say, This is Bobbie
. I knew her voice. She knew my voice. Now after walking with God for a long, long
time, for over 62 years I want you to know: I know his voice. Its easier to figure out now
whether its just me talking to myself or I got an idea off the radio or when its really God.
It does get easier, just like in a marriage. I knew my wifes voice and she knew my voice.
When the devil gives you an idea, we call that temptation. When God gives you an idea,
we call that inspiration.

When you get an idea, we call that stupidity just kidding. But people say, has God
ever talking to you audibly? No. Why would he need to? He doesnt need to go though
my ear. He can go directly to my mind. Its just like right now there are radio waves and
TV waves going through this air that are there. Theyre real. You cant see them. There
are actually pictures going through the air right now. You cant see them but that doesnt
mean theyre not real. Its real. But if you have a tuner a radio or TV and you tune
in you can get the message and you can see the picture. The key is tuning in. Youve
got to know how to tune in.
This week were going to look at how do you tune in to hear God speak to you.
I can have the finest Bose radio but if its not tuned into a channel Im still not going to
hear the radio program, no matter how good the equipment is. Most of you dont
remember this because youre not that old, but back in the seventies there was a thing
called the CB radio craze. The first truckers had these CB radios, Citizen Band radios,
in their car. Then people started putting them in their car. They made a bunch of movies
about it. There were phrases like Put your pedal to the metal, and Ten four, good
buddy. One of the phrases of the CB craze was Have you got your ears on? That
meant are you tuned in? Are you listening?
But its not actually a new concept. Two thousand years before the CB radio craze Jesus
said something like that. In Luke 8 it says He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Whats he saying? Hes saying youve got to be tuned in.
Today were going to look at a famous story that Jesus told that mentions how to tune
into God. It teaches us how to tune into God and hear God speak to us. But before we
do that I want to just quickly give you three reasons why this is important. You may think
its not important for me to hear from God. Oh yes it is because

One, it proves Im in Gods family.

It verifies that youre a believer. It confirms your relationship to God. If you dont have
any communication with God, you dont have a relationship with God. Youve got to
have communication in order to have a relationship. You talk to him, he talks to you.
This is the difference between having a relationship and knowing about somebody.
I could say I know Tom Cruise. I dont really know him but I could say I know Tom Cruise.
You say, What do you mean by that? I write him all the time. Does he write you
back? No. I call him all the time. Does he call you back? No. Have you ever talked
to him? No. Then you dont really have a relationship. Youre just a fan.

A lot of people are fans of God but they dont have a relationship with God. God wants
you to be able to communicate. So if you never hear from God in your life, you have
every reason to doubt that you have a relationship with him. Because if you have a
relationship, you communicate with each other on a daily basis. It proves Im in Gods

Second, it protects me from mistakes.

Heres a cool thing. If you actually do listen to God on a daily basis, youll find that hes
going to warn you of some pot holes, some traps, some bends in the road, and youll
save yourself a lot of time and energy and frustration and failure if you do it Gods way.
He will warn you in advance of traps.
The Bible says in Proverbs 3:6, Listen for Gods voice in everything you do and
everywhere you go. Hes the one who will keep you on track. I couldnt count the
number of times that God has spared me from a failure or mistake or a major
embarrassment, when I just got that little word. Sometimes God only says one word to
me: Dont. Thats all he needs to say. Dont or No. Sometimes its, Watch out.
Sometimes God will save you the time and the money and the energy of going down the
wrong path if you will listen to him.
Third, it not only protects me from mistakes,

It produces success in life.

Im not talking about the way the world defines success everybodys supposed to be a
millionaire and nothing goes wrong in your life. Thats not success. Success is being
exactly what God made you to be. Its the fulfillment, its the meaning and purpose of
living in the center of Gods will.
In Psalm 32 the Bible says this, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you. Circle the phrase your life. I will guide you;
God says he promises I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. Notice
its for your life.
Did you know that theres a best pathway for your life but a different pathway for
everybody elses life? The reason why we often get in trouble is were trying to follow
other peoples pathways. Everybody starts off as original but most of them end up as
carbon copies of somebody else. We start trying to go down somebody elses path.

If you listen to God, you know you have a relationship with him My sheep hear my
voice, Jesus said. You know that hes going to protect you from mistakes and you know
youre going to be on the right path. Youre going to make fewer errors and youre going
to have more success in life being on the path that was meant for you to be on.
How do I hear God speak?
In Luke 8 Jesus tells a very famous story. Its called the Story of the Four Soils, or the
Parable of the Seed and the Soils. He gives an illustration that everybody would
understand in those days, the illustration of the farmer. He says A farmer goes out to
sow seed.
When a farmer goes out to plant seed, they didnt have planting machines in those days
and he certainly didnt plant it one seed at a time and cover it up. That would take too
long to plant one seed at a time in a field. That would take way too long. So farmers, in
the ancient world and still today, they do it in rural areas without machines they
broadcast seed. Theyve got a bag of seed and as they walk down the pathway through
the field, they throw the seed out. This is called broadcasting. Its where we get the
word for TV broadcasting. Its broadly casting the seed. Its not narrow casting, one
seed at a time. Youre broadcasting the seed on the whole field.
Some of that seed falls on rocky soil, some of it falls on the footpath, some of it falls
where there are weeds, some of it actually falls on the soil thats been cultivated and
ready for growth. Jesus says these four kinds of soil represent four kinds of attitudes I
can have and these attitudes are going to determine whether I actually hear God in my
life or dont. So this is a very important story. He says depending on the type of soil,
you get four types of response when God speaks.
God is talking to you all the time all the time. Youre just not tuned into it. Youre not
on the same channel. The Bible says in this story the farmer represents God, and the
seed represents what God wants to say to you. Its his Word. The soil represents my
heart or my mind. Its my attitude and how receptive I am to hearing God.
He says in this story that there are four things that, if I want to hear God speak, I have
to do.
1. If I want to hear God speak to me I must cultivate an open mind.
Ive got to be receptive. Ive got to be willing to hear from God. Ive got to be ready and
eager and willing to listen. Because the first barrier to hearing God is actually resistance.
Im resistant to it.

Jesus talks about this in verse 5, A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was
scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of
the air ate it up. Whats he talking about here?
On a farm and in a field there are footpaths between the rows where the vegetables are
going to grow. Theres a footpath that the farmer can walk down. As the farmer walks
on this footpath time after time after time, that soil gets pushed down. It gets compacted
and it gets hardened by a lot of traffic going through. Like a lot of minds, if youve got a
lot of traffic going through your mind, your mind is going to get hardened. It gets pushed
down. He says when he broadcasts the seed, some of the seed falls on the hardened
path. Any seed scattered there has no chance of taking root because the ground is hard.
The seed cant penetrate it. It lies on the surface. In fact he says the birds come along
and they see the seed and they just eat it up before it even has the chance to sprout.
He says this life is for the birds! When you cant hear God, this life is for the birds. Its
never going to take root in your life.
The first thing you do is you have to be receptive. You have to cultivate an open mind.
Jesus gives us the meaning in verse 12 of what hes saying. Those along the footpath
are the ones who hear,[they represent the ones who hear God speak] and then the devil
comes along and takes away the word from their hearts, so they cannot believe and be
Whats he saying there? What does the footpath represent? It represents the first kind
of mind I can have. A footpath has two characteristics its hardened and its narrow.
Do you know any minds like that? Theyre hardened and theyre narrow. Theyre narrow
minded and theyre hard headed. And they wont even be open to the possibility; they
dont even believe that its possible that God could talk to them. No wonder he never
does. Because theyre hard headed and narrow minded like the foot path.
Youve noticed that the quality of reception on a cell phone varies widely. Can you hear
me now? Can you hear me now? The same is true with you. Theres a spiritual
principle there. You must be positioned correctly in order to hear the message. There
are some places you can be youre not going to hear God speak. But youve got to be
positioned correctly so that you can say, can you hear me now? You have to be in the
right receptive area, the right receptive mood.
The point is sometimes we never give God a chance to talk to us. Our minds are made
up. We dont want God to talk to us. We frankly dont want his input. Weve made up
our minds. We want to do what we want to do, not what God wants us to do. So our
hearts are hardened. Were unwilling to listen.

The hardened soil represents a closed mind. In other words, I dont even believe that
God does talk to people and I dont believe that God would ever talk to me. Of course
hes not going to talk to you if thats what you believe.
What causes a closed mind? Really. What causes people to not hear God? There are
three mental barriers.
One, pride. If Im prideful and I dont think I need God in my life, hes not going to
talk to me. You say I can handle this myself; I can figure it out myself. So Im not even
listening. Im not even open to the possibility that God might want to say something to
me. I dont need his help so I dont pray and I dont listen. Pride.
Two, fear. Fear is a mental block. A lot of people cant hear God speak because
theyre afraid to hear God speak. If God spoke to me, put a thought in my mind and I
actually listened to it, maybe hed turn me into some kind of religious nut, some kind of
fanatic and Id be walking around saying Praise the Lord! all the time. All of a sudden
Id wear a big hairdo or something and polyester. What if he turns me into some religious
No, he wants to set you free. The more you know God the more natural you become,
not the more silly, quirky, weird you become. The more you know God the more natural
you become. You become what God made you to be.
Pride will close my mind, fear will close my mind and heres a third one.
Three, bitterness. When I am holding on to a hurt, when I am holding on to
resentment, when Im holding on to a grudge, then Im not going to be listening to God,
because my heart is hardened. Things have happened in your life that have hurt you.
Im sorry. But if youre holding on to hurt, whenever you hold on to hurt, heres what
happens. Your heart grows hard and it grows cold and you become defensive. Even
defensive to Gods love. Why did God allow this to happen? You get very defensive
and you close your mind and you close your heart.
Some of you have been hurt very badly this week. Some of you were hurt badly years
and years ago. But youre still holding on to it. I want to tell you, as your pastor who
loves you and who cares for you and wants whats best for you, youve got to let it go.
Not for their sake but for your sake. The resentment is killing you. Youre not hurting
the person who youre resentful against, who youre holding a grudge against. Youre
not hurting them at all. You are hurting yourself. It is a self-inflicted wound. And youre
allowing people from your past to continue to hurt you today. Thats dumb. You need

to let it go. Not because they deserve it. You dont deserve to be forgiven for all the
stuff that youve done. You need to let it go because you cant get on with your life.
When you forgive somebody, youre the one who is liberated, not them. Youre the one
whos liberated. If you hold on to it, your heart gets harder and harder and harder.
Youve got a hard, closed mind and a hard heart. A bitter life is a wasted life. As Jesus
said, the birds come along and eat the seed. Its for the birds.
Heres the smart response. James 1 says this, Get rid of all the filth and evil in your
lives, [that means maybe you ought to turn off the TV, maybe theres some stuff you
shouldnt be watching or reading. Get rid of the filth and evil in your lives thats going
to trample it down and make your heart hard] and humbly accept the message that God
has planted [theres that word planted] in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save
your soul.
Circle the phrase humbly accept. This is the key. I say, Lord, I tried to figure it out on
my own but I kept hitting a wall. I dont like the way Im going in life. Im going with your
plan not my plan. Im going to listen to you. I must cultivate an open mind.
2. The second way to hear God is I must take time to listen.
I cultivate an open mind. I allocate time to listen. I take time, make time to listen. I have
to slow down and make time, be quiet, so I can hear him.
Why? Because the second barrier to you hearing from God is hurry. When youre in a
hurry you cannot hear God.
If I fly over the country of France, I miss all the details. If I take a train through France,
Ill see a little bit more of the details. If I go even slower and drive through France in a
car, Ill see a lot more details. If I actually walk through France, I would see a lot more
You miss the details of life when youre in a hurry. You miss. You are missing so much
by being in a hurry. What you need to do is you need to pull back on the rpms. You
need to slow down. When you slow down, youre going to hear God. Ive got to make
time to hear him. I cant always be in a hurry.
When were in a hurry, God gets shuffled; God gets short changed. We skim in all the
relationships. We skim. I dont have time to be alone with God today. I dont have time
to sit down and be quiet and read the Bible, talk to him for a minute and listen. So much
of the time its, Lord, I need you to tell me what to do, but do it in a hurry. Speak, but

speak quickly. God says, No. Youve got to slow down. Youve got to turn down the
Luke 8:6 is the second kind of soil he says about this farmer whos sowing seed, Other
seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. This seed began to grow, but soon
it withered and died for lack of moisture. This is the shallow soil or rocky soil.
Let me explain to you: In the nation of Israel, the land of Israel, much of Israel has a very
thin layer of topsoil on top of a bedrock of limestone. So unless they break up that
limestone or put on more topsoil, the roots arent going to go down deep. And without
roots, when the heats on, the plants die. We understand this in Southern California,
because during the springtime all the hills turn green once there is water. All the hills
turn green and all the California grasses bloom and its real pretty. You have the
wildflowers, the poppies and all that kind of stuff. But the moment the rains stop, the
hills turn brown in Southern California. Why? Because the grass has no roots. It cant
go down deep enough to get water from the under well springs that are down deeper.
When you dont have roots, when youre shallow soil, when you have shallow soil on
hard rock, it initially sprouts up great and it looks good but it doesnt last and it withers
quickly. Most plants wither when the heats on, because they dont have roots.
This is what Jesus says about this in verse 13, The rocky soil [the soil with rock
underneath it. Its not talking about soil with a bunch of little rocks but soil with a bedrock]
represents those who hear the message with joy. But like young plants in such
soil, their roots dont go very deep. They believe for a while , but they wilt when
the hot winds of testing blow.
The shallow soil represents a superficial mind. The hard soil represents a closed mind
I dont even want to hear God. The shallow soil represents a superficial mind its not
very deep.
A lot of times we hear Gods Word and we get excited about it but we dont allow it to
change us. We act superficially. We react emotionally. Were moved impulsively. But
we dont take the time to let it sink in.
I couldnt count the number of times in the last thirty years Ive been out on the patio after
a service and somebody will come up to me in tears and say, Pastor Tommy, that
message really touched me. It really, really touched me. But over the next month you
dont see any change in their life. In fact you may never see them again. Theyre
touched but theyre not transformed. Theyre emotionally moved. Theyve got a quiver
in their liver. That was really good. But as soon as the emotion is gone, nothing happens

because they dont allow the Word of God to penetrate the bedrock of their personality.
They come for the movement, they come for the emotion, they come for the joy.
Notice it says the rocky soil represents those who hear the message with joy. Circle
with joy. Theyre thrilled but theyre not transformed. They walk out the door and
immediately forget it.
Which is, by the way, why we have these hand out notes at Life Community Church. Ive
told you many times, the United States Air-force did a study and discovered that we
forget ninety to ninety-five percent of everything we hear within seventy-two hours. That
means if youve heard every message that Ive preached at Life Community Church over
two years, youll only remember five percent. That makes me want to slit my wrists.
When I think of all the preparation that Ive done and all the Bible teaching that Ive done
for two years and you remember almost none of it, maybe five percent. You dont
remember anything. Thats why we pass out notes. Because the shortest pencil is
longer than the longest memory. If you write it down, you can take it home, and you can
put it up on your refrigerator and look at it during the week. Or you can put it on your
bathroom mirror and look at it during the week. You can laminate it and put it in the
shower and look at it! You can put it in the visor of your car and pull it down and look at
it during the week when youre at a stop light. Youll remember it longer if you actually
take notes.
You may not be taking notes and youre sitting there looking really spiritual. But
everything Im saying is going in one ear and out the other. And before you get in your
car youve already forgotten most everything Ive said. Thats the shallow soil. Its
superficial. Superficial mind.
Notice it says shallow roots. It says they believe for a while then when the heat comes
on, you dry up and blow away.
I dont want you to be that way. You dont want to be that way. You want to be a deep
person not a shallow person. You want to be a person with spiritual roots. You dont
want to be some shallow woman or shallow man. You want to have deep roots so that
when recession comes and it lasts for several years youre able to keep bearing fruit and
being green. When the rough winds come and somebody in your family gets sick or
somebody dies, it doesnt blow you away because youve got roots. Youre able to stay
with it. Thats why youve got to take time.
How do you develop roots? How do you develop spiritual roots?


Two ways. A daily time with God and a weekly small group with other believers. These
two things. Youve got to spend time alone with God and youve got to spend time with
other believers. Thats why I talk about this over and over and over. Its the two ways
you build roots.
If youre not spending time with God on a daily basis youre going to dry up and blow
away when the pressure is on, when the heat is on in your life. You wont be able to
handle it. That daily time with God. You sit down and you be quiet. You read a little bit
of the Bible and you talk to God. Maybe read a little in a Christian book or something.
And you listen. Maybe play some music. If you like to journal, do that. We have a
whole class on this Class 201. Maybe youve forgotten how to do it. You could go
back and take Class 201 again. But youve got to make time to listen and let it sink in.
Then youve got to have a weekly small group. Because in that small group, the one Im
in right now Ive been in eight or nine years, God speaks to me through those people.
He does all the time. Because nobody has a complete perspective on life. I dont and
you dont. Every one of us has blinders on. I can see things in your life you cant see.
You can see things in my life that I cant see. Thats why we need each other. I learn
from the people in my small group. If youre not in a small group you dont get that
The Bible says this: Dont give up the habit of meeting together; instead, let us
encourage one another. The reason why the Daniel Plan is going to work for many of
you is because youre in a small group where everybody is encouraging each other. We
all need at-a-boys. We all need encouragement. If youre trying to do the Daniel Plan
and get healthy on your own, frankly I dont expect you to last. I dont. Ive just seen it
too many times in my own life and in thousands of other peoples lives that we need the
support in a group to make this thing work.
3. The third thing we have to do in order to hear God is, if you want to hear God, if I
want to hear God, I must eliminate the distractions.
The fuzz thats on the line that I cant hear God clearly. You cant hear God if your mind
is crowded with other things, with other thoughts, with other concerns. Particularly
worries, plans, activities. If youre always listening to the radio, always listening to TV,
when God calls you the circuits are busy. Its kind of like on Mothers Day when you try
to call your mom and you cant get through because all the lines are busy. God cant get
through to you because your mind is preoccupied all the time. Youre worried about


something all the time, youre thinking about something all the time. Youve got to
eliminate the distractions.
Jesus says this in verse 7, Other seed fell in the weeds; the weeds grew with it and
strangled it.
Notice heres the third kind of soil. This is the soil with weeds in it. The soil, God speaks,
it actually gets planted and it actually begins to grow. But as it begins to grow, other
weeds begin to grow up around it and the weeds begin to choke out the life of the
vegetable or the plant that was planted. So it never bears fruit.
Heres what Jesus says is the meaning of this. Verse 14 The seed that fell among
weeds stands for those who hear, [they hear God talk to them like in church or the Bible
or somewhere] but as they go on their way, they are choked by lifes worries, riches, and
pleasures, and they dont mature. They never grow.
This verse is full of truth. First circle the phrase as they go. It says as they go theyre
choked by the weeds. Let me ask you a question: Are you always on the go? If youre
always on the go youre not going to hear God. The Bible says Be still and know that I
am God. Sit down and shut up. Just be quiet. Be still. If youre always on the go youre
going to be distracted by other things. Busyness is the third barrier to hearing God. The
first is resistance, the second is being in a hurry, and the third is busyness. When Im
always on the go, I cant hear God. Im going to miss a lot of what he wants to say.
I used to have a sign in my office that said Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.
You get so distracted you cant hear God.
Notice it says they are choked. That word in Greek literally means stressed out. It
means pulled in different directions. You know what that means because youre pulled
in different directions all the time. It says theyre pulled in different directions, theyre
stressed out. Their life is choked. The life of you is choked out of you. Thats why youre
tired all the time, because youre being pulled in different directions.
Then he says there are three things that choke out hearing God.
First, he says worry. Worries are weeds. Youre so busy with the problems and
pressures of daily living youre not hearing God.
Then he says riches. You can be so busy trying to pay your bills, so busy trying to
get out of debt, so busy trying to make more, so busy making a living you dont make a


Its like the woman who was wealthy. I read about her. She was a multi millionaire and
she killed herself. At the funeral somebody said, I dont understand. She had so much
to live for. Her son said, No, she had much to live on. She had nothing to live for.
A lot of people have a lot to live on but nothing to live for. Theyre making a living; theyre
not making a life. He says worries and riches can soak God out of your life. Youre so
busy going after the buck you dont have time to hear God.
Then he said pleasure. Theres nothing wrong with pleasure. God gives us the
ability to have pleasure. Pleasure was Gods idea. He thought up all the pleasures and
he gave you the ability to experience pleasure. But he said you can be so busy pursuing
fun, you miss God.
There are a lot more weeds than just worries and riches and pleasures. But he just
mentions these three.
By the way, what do you have to do to get weeds in your garden? Nothing. You dont
have to cultivate weeds. They grow automatically, dont they? In fact, weeds are a sign
of neglect. If you see weeds in your yard, you see weeds in your lawn, you see weeds
in your garden, it means youre not tending your garden. Weeds are always a sign of
neglect. It means youre neglecting time with God and time with your small group.
You know what Ive discovered? When I dont want to go to small group is when I need
it the most. There are a lot of times I dont want to go to small group. Im tired. But I go
and then I get re-energized. Because what I need is that fellowship thats going to reenergize me far more than lying on the couch at home and watching a rerun of
So he says you need to make time. I must eliminate the distractions. Weeds are a sign
of neglect. When I neglect time with God, they start growing in my life.
The soil with weeds represent a preoccupied mind. Not a closed mind, not a resistant
mind, not a busy mind, but a preoccupied mind. When Im always thinking about
something else all the circuits are busy. What you need to do is you need to get quiet.
Theres a story in the Bible about Elijah trying to hear from God. It says that God spoke
to Elijah not in the wind, not in the earthquake, and not in fire. But he spoke to Elijah in
a whisper. What do you have to do to hear a whisper? Be quiet.
I have learned that God rarely yells. In fact I dont think in my entire life that God has


yelled at me. But God whispers to me all the time. But I cant hear Gods whisper unless
Im quiet.
4. If I want to hear God speak I must cooperate with what he says.
I must just obey him. I must do what he tells me to do. I cultivate an open mind. I
allocate time to listen. I eliminate distractions and I cooperate with what he says.
Whatever he tells me to do I do it.
Here is the very important key: God speaks to people who decide in advance theyre
going to do what he tells them to do, even before he tells them. Its saying yes to God.
God, I dont know what you want me to do in my life. If you want me to move, Ill move.
If you want me to go to school, Ill go to school. If you want me to get married, Ill get
married. If you want me to leave this job, Ill leave this job. Im telling you in advance,
my answer to whatever you tell me is Yes. Before you even tell me, my answer is
whatever you want me to do I will do it.
Thats the person God speaks to. If you say, God, tell me what you want me to do, and
then Ill decide if I like your plan or mine. God isnt going to waste his breath on you.
God doesnt give you his will and his Word so you can debate it. So if you say, God, you
tell me if you want me to get this new job or not take that job, then Ill decide. God says,
no. You go ahead and decide on your own. If youre making the decision, you decide
on your own.
What you must do is in advance say, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God,
Im saying yes to you. Im writing my name on a blank check and Im handing you the
check and you fill it in. You tell me what you want me to do and Im telling you in advance,
Im going to do it. Im saying, yes, Lord.
Thats the good soil. Thats the receptive soil. Thats co-operating with what he says.
Verse 15, The see that fell in good soil stands for those who hear the message
and retain it in a good and obedient heart, and they persist until they bear fruit.
This is the fourth kind of soil. I want you to circle four things.
Good soil means I hear it. Circle hear. I retain it. That means I remember what God
told me. That means youre going to have to write it down because if you dont write it
down youre not going to remember what God told you. I hear it and I retain it. I
remember it. I obey it. Obedience. Then I persist until I bear fruit.


This is the good soil. And the good soil represents a willing mind.
When I used to study this parable of Jesus I used to think it was talking about four kinds
of people. That there were resistant people and that there were busy people and there
were preoccupied people and there were shallow people and then there were good
No. I dont believe that any more. What this represents is four attitudes and I can have
all four attitudes in the same day. You can be in all four of these positions on the same
day. At one moment you go, God, I dont want to hear you because I know what youre
going to say. And I dont want to hear it. And the next one you say, Lord, tell me
quick. And you hear it and think thats good. You hear it but then immediately dont do
anything about it. The third one is Thats really good, and the fruit starts to bear in your
life. And then you get busy with your job. Or you get busy with your boyfriend or
girlfriend. Or you get busy with school. Or you get busy with your kids. And you forget
what God is doing in your life. And the weeds grow up. Then sometimes I can just feel,
God, whatever you want. Im totally open to you. Whatever you want in my life I want
to do it your way. Because that will be fewer mistakes, it shows Im in the family and it
leads me on to success.
How do you bear fruit? God wants you to bear fruit. Thats what Decade of Destiny is
all about. Bearing fruit is another term, the Bible term for being successful. God wants
you to be fruitful in your business, in your family, in your friendships, in your relationships
to God and to others, in your health. Were looking at these seven areas of fruitfulness.
Physical health, relational health, financial health, spiritual health, emotional health,
mental health, vocational health your job. Were going to take each one of these at a
time over the next three years. Right now were working on the physical to get your
energy level up so you will have the energy to change in all the other areas.
God expects you to bear fruit. He wants you to be successful in these areas. How do
you bear fruit when God tells you something? Heres the key. You tell somebody else.
You pass it on. When God tells you something, the quickest way to get it in your life is
tell somebody else something you just learned. If you get an idea, you get an inspiration,
you get a truth from your quiet time or your small group, tell somebody else. In a Bible
study the person who always grows the most is the one who is the teacher. Because by
passing it on you grow even more.
They listen to Gods words and cling to them and steadily spread them to others
who also soon believe. Circle spread them to others. God wants you to pass on to
others what you learn.


Were moving into springtime. Its about six weeks till Easter. During springtime people
are more open to coming to church than any other time. Football is over and people are
more open to coming. I hope youre planning right now who youre going to bring during
the next few weeks and bring on Easter. Dont come by yourself. Bring somebody to
Do you remember few years ago, those Chilean miners who got trapped in that hole in
that mine? Remember that story? There was a part of the story that never got told.
During that whole month those miners were in the bottom of that mine for a full month,
in the dark; there was one guy who was a Christian believer. And one at a time people
began to come to him and he began to share the good news. He began to pass it on to
other people. During that month while they were in the ground, twenty-two of those
miners gave their lives to Christ. They were saved, became believers in Jesus Christ.
It is an amazing story.
. What if we were to do a spiritual brain scan on your brain? And we were able to put it
up on these screens or any of the places our TV cam on all of the screens. And it could
show what kind of mind you have: a closed mind, a resistant mind, a hurried mind, a
preoccupied mind, a shallow mind. What would it show? What kind of soil would your
mind reveal spiritually?
Are you resistant? Have you been closed to God? Your wife has been a Christian for
years, or your husband has been a Christian for years, and you, just out of your own
pride, refuse to let that seed be planted. And its hard and its trampled down. And its
a closed mind. Youre not open minded. Youre not even open to the possibility of letting
God plant the seed in your mind.
I want to tell you this. God loves you too much to let you stay that way. So hes going
to soften the soil. If you have a hard heart toward God or a hard mind toward God he
will soften the soil.
How does God turn hard soil into soft soil? I hate to tell you this but he sends a storm.
He sends rain. The rain comes and it softens.
I want you to be able to avoid that pain. Because he loves you too much to let you go
through life with a hard heart and a closed mind. He will send a storm at some point in
your life to soften that so the seed can get in.
I suggest you open your heart and your mind to Christ today.


How about the superficial mind? You say, Id love to go to church but Im always in a
hurry. Gods not the top priority of my mind. I love the Lord but Im living for other things.
I dont really know the Bible, have a quiet time. Im not in a small group. You dont have
any roots. When the heat is on youre going to wilt. When the tough times come, and
they do come, youre going to wilt.
How about a preoccupied mind? Youre always thinking about everything else. Youre
too busy for God. So much noise is going on in your life. And the weeds are growing
up and theyre choking your life out.
I dont know what the weeds are in your life. It could be a relationship thats choking out
your spiritual life. It could be money. It could be a dream or a goal thats choking out
your spiritual life. If youre tired of living like that and you want to open your life up, you
want to hear God speak to you, now is the time.






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