He that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty—Matt. 13: 23.
The different measures of fruitage—the thirty, sixty and hundred-fold, or the ten pounds and the five, mark differences in obstacles to be overcome, etc., rather than unfaithfulness in the use of the means of grace. Some may work long and diligently for small results, while the same effort in others of more resolute will and of greater continuity may accomplish great things. Some by slips and occasional backslidings, from which they subsequently recover, lose time and opportunities which can never be regained, although they are forgiven and generously reinstated in the Divine favor, and thenceforth run with diligence and patience to the end.
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The various kinds of soil represent the different classes of hearers. Good ground represents the faithful. The faithful are they who, understanding and meditating on the Word, diligently apply it to the sanctification of heart and mind; and in proportion to their zeal therein they bring forth fruit. Their final standing will depend on their zeal in this respect.
Parallel passages: Gen. 26: 12; Isa. 55: 10, 11; Matt. 13: 3-8, 18-23; 25: 20-23; John 12: 24; 15: 5, 8, 16; 1Pet. 1: 23; Rom. 6: 22; Gal. 5: 22, 23; Phil. 1: 11; 4: 17; Col. 1: 6; Heb. 12: 11; Jas. 3: 18.
Questions: How did I use the Word this week? With what results did I meet?
HOW READEST THOU?
Luke 10: 16
'TIS one thing now to read the Bible through,
Another thing to read, to learn and do;
'Tis one thing now to read it with delight,
And quite another thing to read it right.
Some read it with design to learn to read,
But to the subject pay but little heed;
Some read it as their duty once a week,
But no instruction from the Bible seek;
Whilst others read it without common care,
With no regard to how they read or where.
Some read it as a history, to know
How people lived three thousand years ago.
Some read to bring unto themselves repute,
By showing others how they can dispute;
Whilst others read because their neighbors do,
To see how long 'twill take to read it through.
Some read it for the wonders that are there,
How David killed a lion and a bear;
Whilst others read—or rather in it look—
Because, perhaps, they have no other book.
Some read the blessed Book—they don't know why,
It somehow happens in the way to lie;
Whilst others read it with uncommon care,
But all to find some contradictions there.
One reads with father's specs upon his head,
And sees the thing just as his father did;
Another reads through Campbell or through Scott,
And thinks it means exactly what they thought.
Some read to prove a pre-adopted creed,
Thus understand but little what they read;
And every passage in the Book they bend
To make it suit that all-important end.
Some read the Book to find that God is love,
Whilst others read—the opposite to prove.
Some people read, as I have often thought,
To teach the Book, instead of being taught.
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