Matthew 13:23 But 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.

Luke 8:15 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.

Receiving the Word is Vital

Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Understanding is Necessary

Nehemiah 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

Proverbs 2:1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Keeping the Word is Important

Psalm 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

John 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my

Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Patience and Perseverance are Imperative

Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Fruit-bearing Receives the Blessing

Hebrews 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:

8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

MEMORY VERSE: Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. —James 5:7b-8

CENTRAL THOUGHT: Those who hear, seek to understand, nobly and readily receive, keep and obey God’s Word, and with patience and perseverance bring fruit to maturity, will receive the eternal blessing of the Lord.


Matthew 13:23 “Some an hundred-fold…”: All people are not alike. There are different circumstances and different abilities. Although the quantity may differ, the quality will be the same.

Luke 8:15 “Honest and good heart”: “The Greek for ‘honest’ has a somewhat higher meaning than that which now attaches to the English, and may be better expressed by noble or honourable” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers). “Patience”: a patient enduring; a remaining behind. “The characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).

Acts 17:11 “Noble”: ingenuous (Defined by Webster as: open; frank; fair; candid; free from reserve, disguise, equivocation or dissimulation). “It is always proof of a noble, liberal, and ingenuous disposition to be willing to examine into the truth of any doctrine presented” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible). “Searched”: to scrutinize; investigate; interrogate; determine.

Nehemiah 8:8 “Gave the sense”: offered insight, wisdom, understanding, and prudence.

Proverbs 2:2 “Incline”: sharpen or prick up the ears; hearken. “Apply”: “To turn the heart with the whole scope of its powers, in the spirit of humility and eagerness, to understanding” (Pulpit Commentary).

Psalm 119:2 “Keep”: watch or guard. Luke 11:28 “Keep”: guard; watch; preserve.


We have thoroughly studied the three types of ground which do not end up bringing forth mature fruit. Today we look at the characteristics of “good ground.” Here is a question: Can any of the other “not so good” types ever become “good ground”? I believe that through seeking the grace of God, certainly an individual may change, as long as he or she is willing for God to plow, cultivate, gather out the stones, and root out the thorns, which He, and only He, can do if we entreat Him.

After Pentecost, thousands of souls received the preached Word, believed and were baptized—a “nation born in one day”—establishing the Church of God. Receiving the Word with meekness saves the soul, James said. So anyone who readily receives and hears God’s Word with the heart and not just with the intellect can be born again, a child of God. The Jews at Berea demonstrated this receptivity with an added depth: they searched and examined what was being preached to see if it rang true with the Old Testament teachings.

Upon returning to Jerusalem after their seventy-year captivity, the Jews in Ezra and Nehemiah’s time gathered to hear God’s Word. Ezra, the priest and scribe, from a wooden pulpit built up so he could be seen by all the people, opened the scroll. Immediately the people stood up, responding with “Amen, Amen,” and uplifted hands. Then they bowed and worshiped with their faces to the ground. Rising to their feet, they listened while the Levites not only read the words of the law, but said each word distinctly, translated it into the common vernacular of the people, and expounded or explained as they read. The people initially responded by weeping when they heard and understood the law, but Nehemiah, along with Ezra and the Levite readers, encouraged them to not weep but rejoice, prepare a feast and send food and gifts to those who were needy. In this we see a positive example, both for those of us who give God’s Word to the people, and for all of us when we hear God’s Word. How important it is that we take the time to help the people understand! We must make the meaning so plain even little children can grasp it.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. Explain the connection between “an honest and good heart” and the Jews in Berea who were “noble.”
  2. Explain the importance of understanding in the germination/growth/fruit-bearing process.
  3. What promise is given by Jesus for those who will keep and obey His Word?
  4. What promises are given for those who patiently continue and do not faint?
  5. Describe the different end-consequences for the good ground which bears fruit and the ground which bears thorns.


Understanding what is read or preached is what makes the difference in how the Word transforms our lives. Remember that satan takes the Word away from the hardened heart before there is time for understanding, because he knows that when the understanding is enlightened a miracle takes place! The passage in Proverbs lets us know that we can cry to God for the wisdom and understanding of Him that we lack.

After we receive and understand God’s Word, it is imperative that we guard it, hold on to it and allow it to work its changes in our lives. Both the Psalmist and Christ Himself declared the blessedness of those who keep His Word and obey it.

Patient continuance of obedience and cheerful endurance of all tribulation and persecution which arises because we are obeying God’s Word will surely bring forth much fruit to maturity.

Aren’t you glad that our final yield, whether little or much in comparison to one another, is justly weighed by the Heavenly Husbandman, who takes into consideration our hearts, which He knows and loves so well, our circumstances, and our abilities? He has long patience with us, as He cultivates, fertilizes and mulches His crop to perfection. He sends the early and latter rains, He tenderly watches night and day, and He will safely bring home His harvest with rejoicing.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


A couple we were acquainted with bought a cute home on a country road. The house’s charm was not limited to the flower beds, which were filled with mulch. The wife could not wait to fill them with her plants. Her eagerness turned to shock when she found that the beautiful, lush mulch was covering a layer of plastic hiding rock-solid soil; hence, the reason the flower beds were empty. She and her husband spent a lot of time, labor and money redoing those flower beds. They had to completely remove the hard, inadequate ground and replace it with a rich loamy soil. In time, those empty flower beds turned into a beautiful landscape of many types of flowers, plants and bushes; a profusion of color and blossoms.

Good, rich soil does not just happen. We must be willing to have a heart that is tilled and plowed into softness. It may be necessary to add fertilizer to create a harmonious balance in the soil content. It will take a concentrated effort in order to have a heart that is ready to receive the seed of the Word of God. Once the seed has been planted, then we can expect to enjoy the exponential reaping of a life filled with happiness, joy and contentment. What a privilege to have the good ground in our life. It is worth every trial, tear and effort!

—Sis. LaDawna Adams