Original Post:  2012                       Updated:   2020

   The “Good Ground”

In Part 1 of this post, we talked about the parable that Jesus used in the book of Luke 8: 5-8 and Luke 8:11-15.  This part, Part II, focuses on the “good ground”.

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.  This post expands the discussion of this type of individual.

In Part 1, we described the “good ground” individual 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, the pride of life, and lusts of other things that would hinder them in living for God. They are honest and sincere 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. 

  1. First of all, “Good Ground” individuals assure that what they hear and follow is the Word of God.  Today 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 tell us the way that we are to go.  The “Good Ground” individual 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.

  1. 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, loyal, earnest, emphatic, enthusiastic, genuine, heartfelt, hearty, real, sincere, true, unfeigned, unqualified, unreserved, unstinting, warm, zealous.  That’s what God expects of us.

  1. The Good Ground individual eternally surrenders to obey and to please God in all things.  He settles within his heart that he will abide by and please God for eternity, starting NOW.  Often, when we get saved, some things 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 would anyone live with someone of the opposite sex without the benefit of marriage?  That Lifestyle does not glorify Christ.

Some of the things that the Good Ground individual will get rid of:

Shallowness-             lacking the depth of knowledge, thought or intellect

Fickleness-                 unfaithfulness

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 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 mindful of the pull of the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life, and other desires that would be a detriment to living for God, and puts these far from himself.

As Christians, there is nine fruit that we can expect our lives to exemplify as we grow in God.  Called the fruit of the Spirit, it comes from being filled with the Spirit of God and living a clean and holy life in Him.

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) says:
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.  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, it is present in us because of our relationship with Christ.  Even when things around us appear to be going wrong, the joy that lies within us only increases. Joy is present when we are going through trials and tribulations.  Joy even has a positive outcome, called patience.

The next listed fruit of the Spirit is peace.  Peace can be described as 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 can speak to troublesome storms or winds in our lives as well and command them to be still.  Once Jesus has spoken peace and delivered us from a negative situation, that experience builds confidence in us, letting us know that He can do it again if needed.

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 being patient and not easily provoked.  Just as God has been patient and longsuffering with us, we are to display that same characteristic towards our fellowman.

The next fruit of the Spirit is gentleness.  Gentleness refers to being mild, meek, or soft. It is the opposite of being rough, harsh, or severe.  The gentle individual has a gentle nature, temper or disposition.  He has a gentle manner, address or a voice.  Gentleness may be thought of as manifested kindness.  It can be seen when it is present in one’s life.

Goodness is the next fruit of the Spirit.  It refers to having the characteristic of being honorable, fair or flawless, as a man of good fame or report.  The servants who managed the Lord’s monies well in Matt 25:21 received rewards for their good work.  In like manner, we desire to have God call us good.  Ultimately, we want to hear these words from God as we enter Heaven:

Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.  (Matt. 25:23).

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.  Hebrew 11:1 defines faith in this way:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

It is impossible to please God without faith, according to Hebrew 11:6.  And, since our goal is to please God, we 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 fruit is discussed 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.  A meek individual demonstrates a genuinely humble attitude towards God and his fellow man.  Occasionally, the meek individual may be misunderstood, but it is essential 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 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 self is an excellent virtue because the flesh or natural man can, at times, act like a child out of control.  A Holy Ghost-filled individual can speak to the flesh, just as a parent would speak to a wayward child.  We can get in a mirror and use the Word of God with power and authority, commanding that natural man to come subject to the Word of God!  Just as Jesus spoke to the raging sea in Mark 4:39 and caused it to become calm, we can bring our flesh under subjection by the Word of God and through the power of the Holy Ghost.

As we manifest the fruit of the spirit, we will be increasingly enabled to help others to be saved, baptized with the Holy Ghost, and to live for the Lord.  These souls that will be drawn to Him through our lives are the fruit that God will expect of us as we stand before Him in Glory.  May God bless us all as we see an increase in the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

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