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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Corn harvest starting from our picture window
Corn harvest starting as we view it right through our living room picture window.
Click on photo to enlarge

"The Good Soil" (Part 1)

Message summary: Good soil is beneficial in productive agriculture, home gardening, and in the heart that hears the Word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit. Lord Let My Heart Be Good Soil!

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“But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and virtuous heart, and hold it firmly, and produce fruit with perseverance" (Luke 8:15).

Thank you, God, for water, soil and air,
large gifts supporting everything that lives.

The corn field across from our house was harvested a couple of days ago. The entire corn plant was chopped up for silage which is used as feed on the large Brubaker dairy farm about 1/2 mile east of us. Afterwards I spoke to Mike Brubaker who told me the yield was a bit less than desired due to several weeks of dryness. However he rejoiced and expressed thanks to the Lord that there would be plenty of feed for the cattle.

We are studying the Parable of the Sower in our Sunday School class. In our lesson this last Sunday we considered the variable in the parable which was the kind of soils the seed fell on. Gordy our teacher is a diligent student of God's Word and gets us to think. So that's what I will do with today's message.

Our area has some of the best soil in the world. An area east of Ephrata is especially famed with the reputation of being the "Garden Spot". Soil around the world varies in quality but almost any soil will provide a growing medium of some type assuming other conditions such as climate and elevation are suitable for growing.

We both like working with soil. I do the lawn work and Brooksyne works with the flowers and vegetables. Yesterday I reseeded some low spots I had filled in due to a tripping hazard (something we are more cognizant of as we get older). I will be watching for the grass to grow in the coming days assuming our border collie Mollie doesn't dig it up! That's probably how the holes got there in the first place.

Let us consider good soil, something we probably give little attention to unless there's a problem! I wonder how often we thank God for soil? Much of what we eat is in one way or another related to this growing medium from God.

But on a spiritual note today Jesus contrasted four different types of soil conditions in one of His parables, "The Parable Of The Sower". Jesus taught that we are to be like the good soil, "these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and virtuous heart, and hold it firmly, and produce fruit with perseverance".

Warren Wiersbe comments,

"It illustrates the individual who hears the Word, understands it, receives it within, is truly saved, and proves it by patiently producing fruit (see 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:22-25). Not everybody produces the same amount of fruit (Matthew 13:8), but all true believers will produce some fruit as evidence of spiritual life. That fruit may include winning others to Christ (Romans 1:13), money given to God's work (Romans 15:25-28), good works (Colossians 1:10), Christian character (Galatians 5:22-23), and praise to the Lord (Hebrews 13:15)."

Good hearts receive and hold the Word fast!
Bad hearts reject and hold the Word down!

Sunday after class I spoke to Bob, a dairy farmer and Rick, who runs a company that supplies ingredients for fertilizers and soil enhancers. I mused with them concerning enhancers for our own soil! It should be an ongoing goal to be like the good soil that is productive and fruitful. Tomorrow we will examine characteristics of good soil.

Good soil is beneficial in productive agriculture, home gardening, and in the heart that hears the Word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit. With God's help let us cultivate our hearts so that they have the characteristics of the good soil!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for soil, one of Your great creations from the very beginning that we easily take for granted. We want to be like the good soil mentioned in the Parable of the Sower; the one who hears the Word, absorbs its message, understands its meaning and as a result brings forth an abundance of fruit; the kind that has lasting eternal value such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Just like water, soil and air produce good vegetation, so also the Bible, prayer, and worship produce godliness in the believer. May we be faithful in doing our part. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Lord, Let My Heart Be Good SoilVideo  Asian singers

Lord, let my heart be good soil,
open to the seed of your word.
Lord, let my heart be good soil,
where love can grow and peace is understood.

When my heart is hard, break the stone away.
When my heart is cold, warm it with the day.
When my heart is lost, lead me on your way.

Lord, let my heart.. Lord, let my heart..
Lord, let my heart be good soil.

"Goodness Of GodVideo  Annabel Soh and City Harvest Church, Singapore We shared two versions of this song yesterday and were blessed later when we heard this version from a church in Singapore. On Sunday our pastor considered aloud that worship in heaven would likely include multiple languages along with many different worship styles and preferences through the ages. We are blessed to see God's truth expressed all over the world and music is a unifying factor.

Corn harvest from our picture window
Here's the harvest scene from our lead photo part way through. In several hours the field was bare.
Click on photo to enlarge

Gracie watching fish video
Yesterday we shared a photo of our cat Gracie watching a fish video on Ester's phone when she was a kitten. Here's another one as she looks at the screen.

Gracie with fish video
To this day she enjoys watching these videos, especially on the big screen.

Gracie Bible study
In this photo it looks like she may be interested in a Bible Study!

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Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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Stephen & Brooksyne

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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