Dirt Under My Fingernails

Dirt Under My Fingernails

The Gospel of Luke Devotional

  • Day 8 Luke Chapter 8
  • Bible Reading Luke 8:1-56
  • Focus Scripture: Luke 8:10 And He said, ” To you, it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest, it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND.”

Luke 8:4-18, Matthew 13:1-9, Mark 4:1-9

One of my favorite teachings is of the Four Soils. I love this teaching because it reminds me to look (literally and figuratively) at what I’ve planted and made necessary adjustments. I’m not a huge gardener but I have managed to keep a few houseplants alive. I often joke with my Mom at her ability to grown a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. All she has to do is spit a seed out and four months later… watermelon, tomatoes, squash, or pomegranates appear. Even though she thought I wasn’t paying attention to her horticulture lessons I did learn how to properly care for plants. I recently repotted several plants. Since placing my plants in larger containers I’ve noticed abundant growth.  

*Video: Time Lapse of a Dandelion* Soil. What are you planting and where? There is indoor potting soil, moisture control potting soil, outdoor potting soil, soil specifically for roses or orchards, soil for trees and shrubs, the list goes on. Soil can have you going in circles unless you decide to follow directions and plant properly. That’s how we are to look at our lives. What will we plant in God’s garden(our temple)? Are we nonchalantly allowing weeds to sprout up every once in a while? Perhaps admiring the dandelions that grow for a season and then turns into seeds, metaphorically representing our knowledge being blown away by the wind. Or, will we have a clear direction and plant a tree? A tree requires planning and measuring. We have to consider how large it will grow and where the roots may pop up. Will it be cut down in 30 years or are we planting it for a lifetime free and clear of obstacles? Trees offer a home to woodland creatures, shade, nourishment, calm, and peace, trees don’t move because life will come to it. 


When we plan our gardens we are determining what we want to see grow. We expect to see maturity and enjoy the beauty of our hard work. We will constantly watch, water and pull out weeds that could be choking out our vegetation, but not too soon. If we start pulling weeds before the plants have developed we may uproot what we purposely sowed. This wastes time, constantly going replanting the same ideas and learned behavior. We won’t see the fruit of our labor because we plucked it out too quickly and threw away what we should have kept.

Putting plants in containers that allow them to grow slowly and mature is how we as people should approach what we care about. Our season of repotting is a delicate process of making sure our roots stay intact while moving to a larger area; it is not something to fear. Once we get to our new destination it is important to hydrate and stand in the Son for a while. Meditate, pray, absorb, and get to know the new surroundings. Making God our root for nourishment will have us flourishing. Is it time to change your pot?


Discussion Questions:

  1. What type of soil are you growing in?
  2. What obstacles do you stumble over daily?
  3. What areas have you seen positive growth?

A Few Points:

  1. Luke 8:1-3 Women in ministry, following Christ and providing support by their own means. All people are equal under God. The women were beholden to Christ because of His mercy and grace over them.
  2. Luke 8:4-8 Jesus teaches the parable of the four soils.
  3. Luke 8:9-18 Jesus explains why He taught in parables and that the disciples were able to understand because they desired to do so. The mysteries of the Bible are unlocked for those that want to live by its Word.
  4. Luke 8:19-21 Jesus describes His true family. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ once we accept and surrender unto God. Those that hear the word and live by it.
  5. Luke 8:22-25 Jesus calms the storm. The disciples are afraid as Jesus sleeps peacefully when a raging storm pops up. He commands the winds and waters to obey Him. The disciples are awe-struck. *How many times have you been amazed by God’s work?*
  6. Luke 8:26-39 Jesus sends the legion of demons into a herd of swine upsetting the people of the town. They could not rejoice over the man being healed because they were too busy worrying about their food supply and loss of income.
  7. Luke 8:40-48 A woman is healed of a debilitating illness. Her overwhelming faith in Jesus as the Son of God made her well. Even in the midst of a large crowd, God knows who need Him most. When we believe He increases our faith.
  8. Luke 8:49-56 Jesus raised a child from the dead. He instructs the parents not to spread the news as the evidence would speak for itself. *How often are we ready to share every detail of our lives, the accomplishments, tiny victories, instead of letting the evidence speak? What we do with the degrees we hold, the homes we purchase, the lives we live, is evidence of God’s great grace and abundant blessing over us. Don’t be afraid to be quiet in a season of rising. Your efforts will soon be noticed by all those around. Be known for your steady hard work ethic and not the boastful applause that some require to be noticed. 


© Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com 2018-2048. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Torrie Slaughter, Torrie Slaughter Photography, and http://www.ourgivenpurpose.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



  1. Broderick Slaughter

    Love this lesson, It gives us detail on how we should go about bettering ourselves, to be of service to others with Kingdom knowledge. ❤️🙏🏾

    • ourgivenpurpose

      Amen. Yes Beloved Kingdom knowledge. ❤️

  2. Jslaughter23

    I feel as though I am in thorny soil. My main daily obstacle is doing something that isn’t important for me to do. I have improved in time management.

  3. Gardening is therapeutic for me even though now I have to be extremely careful when the sun is bright. Thus I’ve become a late evening gardener. Gardening can make you humble considering how we are so dirty until we are cleansed by our receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior. Like seeds that I plant grow into beautiful flowers or edible vegetables; the more time spent in relationships with God and each other we become less like dirt and our soil becomes richer and fertilized for bountiful growth. Gardens are like relationships we have to work in them for an increase. Keep planting daughter you’re in good soil. Love agape Mom

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