Mark 4:14 The sower sows the word.
Mark 4:15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Mark 4:16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Mark 4:17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
Mark 4:18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
Mark 4:19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Mark 4:20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
One of the best ways to start your New Year is to make sure you have a heart that is good ground so that as you continue to plant the seed of God’s Word in your life it will produce a godly harvest. This is something that we must pay attention to all the time for just as soil must continually be tilled, rocks removed, and weeds gotten rid of, so do our hearts need consistent attention given to them so that we are producing fruit unto our God. This week we will examine the four different heart conditions spoken of here in the parable of the sower.
1. WAYSIDE GROUND
The first of the four heart conditions Jesus speaks of is wayside soil. One who is wayside soil is someone who gives little regard to the Word of God. Because they do so, satan is able to come immediately and take away that seed which is sown. Realize how important the condition of our heart is in seeing the life of God grow up and manifest in our lives. In every one of these examples you see that satan is after the seed, because he knows all to well if it gets planted in good ground it will produce a harvest that he does not want you to have.
Heb. 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
It is obvious that most who are wayside soil really don’t have a desire to receive what God has for them. They are people who always think they know better than God. But there is something that every believer must be aware of as well because if we are not careful we too can actually not be giving proper attention to God’s Word. As Hebrews 2:1 states that we must give the “MORE EARNEST HEED” to the things we “HAVE HEARD” or we may drift away. Think about what that is saying to us. One of the ways satan robs us from the seed of God’s Word comes when we have already heard scripture before, and we think because we know it we are still heeding it.
We must give the more earnest heed to what we have heard because human nature has a tendency to not put as much effort into something that becomes routine. But like anything in life we tend to not put forth the effort in something when we take it for granted. If you don’t keep on heeding God’s Word it will not work for you, so be careful not to take the Word of God for granted. Doing so could open up opportunity for satan to snatch the seed out of your heart. You don’t plant one time and harvest the rest of your life. You keep planting and harvesting.
2. STONY GROUND
The stony ground heart is one that hears the Word and receives it gladly, but notice when persecution or tribulation come they go down. They have no root in themselves and when the storms of life hit they are not connected to the source of strength that comes from God’s Word. As it states in Mark 4:17 these are people who have no root in themselves. Stony ground people are hearers of the Word, but they are not doers. Take a look at the following verses.
Luke 6:46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?
Luke 6:47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like.
Luke 6:48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.
Luke 6:49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”
A stony ground believer is not doing what God’s Word says. They are not getting their life founded on the Word of God, which can only be done by applying God’s Word. For those who are not doers of the Word when the storms come they will go down, but for those who hear and do what scripture says they will have root in themselves through God’s Word and they will not fall when storms come because they have established a root system that will hold them up in the midst of persecution and tribulations. James even said a doer of the Word is the one who will be blessed.
3. THORNY GROUND
Next we find in Mark 4:18-19 what Jesus describes as those who have thorny ground. Those thorns consist of the cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and desires for other things. These thorns enter into where the good seed was sown and they choke out the Word of God. Stop and think about who is it that is continually caught up in these three things? It should not be believers.
The cares of this world refer to allowing the burdens and problems of life to weigh them down. The deceitfulness of riches is the deception people fall for to think that money is the answer to all their problems. Desires for other things is simply getting focused on things instead of on God and the things become what one pursues. This is obviously what worldly people do but this should not be so for a believer who knows God.
Gal. 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Gal. 6:8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
If anyone continues to sow into their lives the worldly ways of seeing and doing you are going to have these thorns in your garden. You cannot continue to feed on and fill your life with worldly television, movies, and ungodly influences and then expect to harvest the type of life God has for you. Most Christians don’t seem to understand that filling your life with such things that are filled with the works of darkness are filling your soul with doubt, unbelief, fear, and deception. If anyone does so they are going to reap corruption and not the life of God.
4. GOOD GROUND
The type of soil we want our heart to be and remain is good ground in which we hear the Word, accept it, which means to take as your own, and then we will bear fruit or a godly life. To take the Word as your own means it goes from head knowledge of the Word to revelation in your heart. Until God’s Word becomes revelation to us we don’t have it planted in our hearts. How do we take the Word from head knowledge to getting this revelation in our hearts?
Matt. 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Jesus tells us a significant key to getting God’s Word firmly planted in our hearts. Man does not experience all that life is through God by natural means of bread alone, but one must receive every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. The actual Greek Word for “Word” here is rhema. It refers to having revelation of the Word of God in your heart. This comes by feeding on God’s Word. This is the analogy that Jesus is revealing here in reference to not living by bread alone.
You feed on God’s Word by reading it, speaking it, meditating on it, and studying the Word of God. The more you do the more you are feeding on that Word. As you feed on the Word it will come alive to you by way of revelation through the Holy Spirit. As it does this will provide a harvest of the life of God in and through you. Just remember this is not a one-time thing, but something we do continually so we can consistently reap a godly harvest.
So keep your heart tilled up, keep the stones of laziness out of your garden, guard against fleshly things that want to choke the Word out, and keep feeding on God’s Word. This is how every believer in Christ can receive and continue to partake of a godly harvest in their life.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker