Original Post: 2012 Updated: 2020
The “Good Ground”
In Part 1 of this post, we talked in-depth about a parable that Jesus used in the book of Luke 8: 5-8 and Luke 8:11-15.
Luke 8:5-8 (KJV)
5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
His disciples questioned Him about the parable and He explained it this way:
Luke 8:11-15 (KJV)
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 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.
13 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.
14 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.
15 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.
We briefly mentioned the characteristics of those who are represented by the good ground that the sower casts His seed upon. This post expands the discussion of this type of individual.
In Part 1 we described the individual who was likened unto good ground in this manner:
those individuals who hear the Word of God, wholeheartedly and eternally surrender to obey it and to please God in all things. They get rid of all shallowness, fickleness, irresponsibility, along with the deceitfulness of riches and pleasures, lusts of the flesh, pride of life, and lusts of other things that would hinder them in living for God. They are honest and true and conform to the letter to all known scriptural light as they get to know it. When we allow the Word of God to fall upon our good ground we will be the fruitful Christians that God would have us to be.
For the sake of brevity, we will refer to this individual as the Good Ground individual.
1. First of all, Good Ground individuals assure that what they hear and follow is the Word of God. This is so important today because there are so many voices clamoring for our attention that, if the enemy had his way, we could become confused. Any individual who sincerely wants to know what God wants him to know only has to ask God. When Jesus left the earth He sent the Holy Ghost to guide us.
John 16:13 (KJV)
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
It is therefore critical that we are filled with the Holy Ghost. After we are filled with the Holy Ghost we have to begin to seek the way that God would have us live.
Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV)
16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.
Jesus will definitely tell us the way that we are to go. It is the Good Ground individual who will walk in the light as the truth of his situation is revealed to him.
1 John 1:7 (KJV)
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
When the Holy Spirit reveals that a particular thing that we are involved in is wrong, this individual simply takes steps to line up with the Word of God. We must realize that God will not change His Standards of Holiness for us; we have to align ourselves with His Standards. Some people think that when it comes to their “pet sin” that God will look the other way. Not so. He reveals the truth of our sins, but we must take the necessary steps to change. Some people may be waiting on God to “fix” their situation when He could be waiting on them to do what they know is right. God will not do everything for us; there are some things we must do. The Bible says that if we resist the devil he will flee. But first, we must do the resisting.
2. The Good Ground individual wholeheartedly obeys the Word. They realize that if God cannot have all of you, He will have none of you.
Jeremiah 29:13 (KJV)
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word wholehearted means to be completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic. Synonyms for wholehearted include committed, complete, dedicated, determined, devoted, earnest, emphatic, enthusiastic, genuine, heartfelt, hearty, real, sincere, true, unfeigned, unqualified, unreserved, unstinting, warm, zealous. That’s what God expects of us.
3. The Good Ground individual eternally surrenders to obey and to please God in all things. He settles within his heart that he will obey and please God for eternity, starting NOW. Often, when we get saved, there are things that are required of us that just don’t make sense to our natural minds. “What could be so wrong”, some may say, “with having sex with a friend if you only do it once a month or every now-and-then? If God made these human bodies with its needs and desires, surely He won’t send us to Hell for a once-a-month event.” But the Word says that we are to abstain from fornication.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 (KJV)
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
What does the Good Ground individual do? He stops fornicating. As simple as that. Furthermore, the Bible says that we are to avoid the very appearance of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV)
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
The Good Ground individual will not give the impression that he or she is sinning when that is not the case. Why run with a drug dealer when you are not involved with drugs? Why live with someone of the opposite sex without the benefit of marriage, even though you are not having sex? Your lifestyle does not glorify Christ when you do these things.
Some of the things that the Good Ground individual will get rid of:
Shallowness- lacking the depth of knowledge, thought or intellect
Irresponsibility state of being unable to bear responsibility or do the right thing
The Good Ground individual is not shallow in knowledge, thought or intellect because he will seek to know God’s standards concerning his or her conduct and apply them to his own life. He chooses to be clean and holy in thought, and deed. He is faithful to God at all times, refusing to bring His God to an open shame by his own misconduct. The Good Ground individual seeks to do the right thing in all situations. He is aware that riches and pleasures are deceitful and he relies upon God to meet his every need. He is aware of the pull of the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life and other lusts that would be a detriment to living for God, and puts these far from himself.
The fruit of the spirit
The fruit that we can expect to appear in our lives is called the fruit of the spirit that comes from living for the LORD.
Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Love is the first listed fruit of the Spirit. We must love others just as God first loved us.
1 John 4:7-8 (KJV)
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Joy is the next fruit of the Spirit which is identified in the 5th chapter of Galatians. The KJV dictionary defines joy as the passion or emotion excited by the acquisition of good. The joy that comes through fellowship with God has nothing to do with one’s natural circumstances. Joy is present in us because of our relationship with Christ. When things around us appear to be going wrong, the joy that lies within us only increases. The outcome of our joy in trials will be patience.
The next fruit of the Spirit is peace.
Peace can be described in the following ways: a state of quiet or tranquility, freedom from disturbance or agitation, heavenly rest and the happiness of heaven. According to Mark 4: 39, Jesus spoke to a wind disturbance and commanded it to be still:
and he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Jesus is able to speak to troublesome storms or winds in our lives as well and command them to be still. If Jesus has ever spoken peace to you and delivered you from a negative situation, that experience should have built your confidence that He is able to do it again.
Following peace in the list of the fruit of the Spirit is longsuffering. To be longsuffering means to bear or endure injuries or provocations for a long time. It also means to be patient and not easily provoked. Just as God has been patient and longsuffering with us, we are to display that same characteristic.
The next fruit of the Spirit is gentleness. Gentleness refers to being mild; meek; soft; bland; not rough, harsh or severe; as having a gentle nature, temper or disposition; a gentle manner; a gentle address; a gentle voice. Gentleness may be thought of as manifested kindness because we can actually see gentleness when it is present.
Goodness is the next fruit of the Spirit. It refers to having the characteristic of being honorable; fair; unblemished; as a man of good fame or report. The servants who managed the Lord’s monies well in Matt 25: 21 were rewarded for their good work. In like manner, it is our desire to have God call us good.
The next fruit of the Spirit is faith. As defined in the KJV Dictionary, faith is a firm belief in the truth of God and His Word, according to Hebrew 11:1.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
It is actually impossible to please God without faith, according to Hebrew 11:6, and our goal is to please God. Therefore, we definitely want faith to grow and flourish in our lives.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him:
The eighth fruit of the Spirit is meekness, a characteristic that God highly values. This is expressed in Matthew 5: 5:
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Meekness is demonstrated outwardly as a combination of gentleness and humility. An individual who is meek demonstrates a truly humble attitude towards God and his fellow man. Occasionally, the meek individual may be misunderstood, but it is important to know that meekness is not weakness!
The final fruit of the Spirit is temperance or self-control. It refers to one’s ability to exert control over one’s own human nature and its wishes to satisfy personal desires. Self-control is essential if we are to overcome sin as a way of life. The ability to control our own self is a great virtue because the flesh can act like a child out of control. A Holy Ghost-filled individual has the ability to speak to the flesh, just as a parent would speak to a wayward child. Get in a mirror and use the Word of God with power and authority! Just as Jesus spoke to the raging sea in Mark 4: 39 and caused it to become calm, we have the power to bring our flesh under subjection by the Word of God.
In addition to being full of the fruit of the spirit, we will be able to cause others to be saved, baptized with the Holy Ghost and to live for the Lord. These souls, Good Ground individuals, are the fruit that God will expect of us as we stand before Him in Glory. God bless you as you abound in the work of the Lord.