Jesus often taught people by telling them stories called parables. A parable is a story that has another meaning. One day beside the sea so many people gathered to hear Jesus that he got into a boat. He sat down and taught them while they stood on the shore. There he told them the "parable of the planter." It went like this.
A man went out to plant his seed. And as he threw the seeds on the ground, some of them fell on the path. People walked on them and birds came and ate those seeds. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where there was not much soil. At once they started growing, since the soil wasn't deep. But when the sun rose in the sky, they got hot. Then they wilted, because they didn't have roots and didn't have water. Other seeds fell on ground with stickers. The stickers grew up and choked them out and they never produced any grain. But other seeds fell on good ground and grew up and produced grain, sometimes thirty times as much, sometimes sixty times as much, and sometimes a hundred times as much. The person who has ears must listen!
Later his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He told them, "The seed is the word of God. The man who plants is teaching the word from their hearts, so that they will not believe and be saved. The ones on rocky ground are the people who gladly accept the word as soon as they hear it. And yet they have no root and only believe for a while. They fall away as soon as they are tempted or whenever trouble or persecution comes on account of the word. The ones who fell among the stickers are the people who listen to the word, but they let worries and riches and pleasures and the desire for other things choke out the word in their lives. And so they never produce fruit. But those in the good ground are the people who listen to the word and understand it and accept it. They old on to it in a good and honest heart and produce fruit in patience."
Each of us must ask ourselves, "what kind of person am I?" are we people with hard hearts, who never believe God's word? Are we people with shallow hearts, who give up real easy? Are we people who really care about other things more than we care about God? Or are we people with good and honest hearts who will listen to God's word and accept it? My prayer is that you, dear reader, can answer that last question "yes". It is a matter of eternal life or death.