BY MICHELLE WILLIAMS, GRACE ATTENDER & BLOGGER
The Bible contains about 500 verses about prayer. Believe it or not, less than 500 verses teach about faith. But money? Around 2,000 verses in the Bible deal with finances. An astounding 15% of Jesus’ teaching dealt with money. What does this tell us? Finances are a big deal to God and Jesus. That’s why Grace Church kicked off the sermon series Well Spent: Redeeming Stewardship this past weekend.
In preparation for the series, Dave Rod took us through Mark 4:13-20. In these verses, Jesus interprets a parable that describes God’s word as the seed, and people’s hearts as the soil. The illustration below helps to clarify the 4 types of soil described in the parable:
The good soil, or the “4th Soil” in the story, bears the most fruitful harvest. The evidence of a fruitful life—or a “4th Soil” life—can also be found in scripture:
The people you influence: The souls you bring to Jesus.
The impact you make: The work you do to repair the 6 broken places of the world.
The attitudes you display: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
What kind of soil is your heart? If we want to live a 4th Soil life, the secret is in the farmer. We are the farmers of our own soil, and we must take care to cultivate our own hearts. We must be stewards of good soil in order to bear fruit.
The attitude within a heart of hard earth is that God has nothing to do with finances: Financial gain is the result of one’s own efforts. But this is not the attitude of a steward of good soil, or a life of fruitfulness. To live a life of unparalleled fruitfulness and spiritual productivity will require intentional stewardship of your life in 4 areas:
Believe that God owns it all. (Psalm 24:1)
Believe God and His kingdom are more important than your financial state. (Philippians 3:8-9)
Desire to learn to be more content. (Philippians 4:12-13)
Desire to give God joy! (Matthew 25:21)
God desires for us to share in his happiness. He wants us to be productive and fruitful. But he’s left the choice up to us. And it starts with us choosing to be stewards of the good soil which takes the seed and bears the fruit.