Only the good soil can bear fruit.
Reading: Luke 8:9-18
And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
In this passage the Lord Jesus explains to his disciples the parable of the sower, which he has just shared. They have not understood either, but they have the privilege of having the Lord himself explain. And there are two questions we can think about:
Not all soils bear fruit: there is only one kind of heart in which the seed takes root, and bears fruit and reproduces. The heart that has been changed by the Lord, the heart which He Himself has brought to Life. Only His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. And He knows them, and keeps them. Sometimes it may seem that the seed wants to sprout in some soil, but only the heart that the Lord Himself has prepared is fertile.
The fruit is evident: The word sown in us will bear fruit. What fruit? To become more and more like Jesus (what the Bible calls the fruit of the Spirit). Sometimes it is tempting to think that God is pleased with us because we go to church regularly, because we give generously, because we have no vices or sins that are too evident. But there is nothing hidden that will not come to light. Fertile soil bears fruit, and we may think we are being fruitful when we are not.
MEDITATE This is how the Lord shapes us. Have you done it lately? May the Lord fill you with fruit for His glory!