Note: This post is part of a series about building a personal relationship with God by reading the parables of Jesus. You can browse the entire series here.
The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.
Matthew 13:19 NLT
In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus makes it clear that a relationship with him is about understanding.
He uses this story to push us to question how self-aware we are. Our heart condition and how well we understand our emotions is the path towards self-awareness. When we work to understand ourselves, we will understand God more clearly and intimately. The process of self-awareness is not meant to be a negative experience, but an exciting one. We get to learn more about ourselves and discover things about both ourselves and God that we never saw before!
Join Russ, Mike, and Ray as they discuss Ray’s new devotional, “Parable of the Sower: Understand Yourself to Understand God,” which is the first of many in our new series about the parables of Jesus. We chose this as the first parable in the series because we won’t be able to understand God if we don’t first understand ourselves.
One tip for getting the most out of this series is to read through the parable first on your own, taking it in stages rather than all at once. Read the story, listen to the podcast, and read the article at your own pace, so that you can fully embrace the self-awareness God is gently nudging you towards.
“Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds:  The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.  The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy.
 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.  The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.
 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Matthew 13:18-23 NLT
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32 NLT