Read Luke 8.
Why is it that only a few people respond to the gospel message and are saved?
Jesus answered that question in the parable of the soils here in Luke 8:4-15 and the illustration of a light on a stand in verses 16-18.
The parable of the soils teaches that people don’t respond to the gospel because of problems in their hearts. Sometimes the devil distracts them before the word can be planted in their hearts (v. 12). Sometimes their response is superficial not genuine (v. 13). Sometimes the distractions that come from living in this world (v. 14). Only the heart that is prepared can truly receive the word (v. 15).
The gospel is God’s word. The problem of unbelief is clearly not with God’s word. God scatters his word widely so that it falls on all kinds of hearts (vv 5, 11). He puts his word high on stand like a lamp (vv. 16-17) so that the light goes all over the place. The word of God is not defective. It is not hidden or sterile. It is neither hard to find nor expensive to acquire.
Given the pervasiveness of God’s word, we need to be careful listeners according to verse 18. That verse goes on to say, “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.” The more you listen to God’s word, respond to and obey it, the more truth God sends into your life.
On the other hand, when you don’t receive God’s word, you don’t stay in one spot spiritually. Instead, Jesus said, “even what they think they have will be taken from them.” Your grasp of truth weakens when you don’t apply God’s word in your life.
How’s your response to God’s word? Are you eager to receive it, believe it, and obey it? Or are you distracted by other things. If your spiritual life is not moving forward, it is going backward. Ask God to give you a responsive heart to his word so that you can grow in your faith and knowledge of God.