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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"The Wayside Soil of a Closed Mind"

August 2, 2004

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“As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.” Matthew 13:4

The parable of the sower continues. God, the Sower, sows the powerful seed of His Word, with some falling by the wayside. This wayside or path probably refers to a narrow strip of land used as a common walking ground between the fields. This path was trampled down by many feet and therefore totally hardened against the penetration of any seed. Birds could easily see and take the seed for themselves.

Jesus identifies the wayside soil as follows: “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart (Matthew 13:19). The wayside soil tells a grim story. Some hearers of the word do not understand, because they have a hardened, unteachable spirit.

Pride rears its ugly head: “I don’t need to study the Word. I feel quite satisfied spiritually. I’m not like the heathen. I come from a long line of church people, so I heard all of it years ago!” Fear may also intervene: “I don’t want to hear anything new that will challenge my way of life. I’m quite content with my current life-style. Certainly I’m no worse than others I know. Frankly, I’m afraid the Word might upset me, so I’d rather not have anything to do with it.” Both pride and fear spring from hardened hearts, and the evil one easily sees and takes the seed away.

Do I ever hear like seed sown on wayside soil, rejecting the Word of God? Or is my soil receptive to that seed? Thank God for Jesus Christ, who died also for those with hardened hearts. Thank God for sending His Holy Spirit to break down my stubborn refusal and my hardened spirit.

PRAYER: O Lord, help me to listen with an open mind so that Your Word can take root in my heart as I trust in You alone for salvation. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 119:89-176    2 Thessalonians 1

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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