In Mark 4: 14-20 we see Jesus speaking in Parables to teach. What is a parable? A parable is a simple story from everyday life that help us to understand spiritual truths. In the Parable of the Sower Jesus was explaining the Gospel of His kingdom so all could understand. We are sometimes naturally blind and deaf when it comes to certain truths. We can apply this parable to our lives today in that when we face life's trials, heartaches, etc. How deep the Word of God truly is rooted within our hearts.
Mark 4: 14-20 14 The sower soweth the word. 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; But when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; Who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time; Afterwards, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; Such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; Such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
The sower of the word (good seed) in this parable is Jesus. ( Mt. 13:37 ) Today Jesus works in and through our Pastors, Preachers, Teachers, and Evangelists to continue the work He started. These men and women of God faithfully proclaim the message of Jesus.
Satan comes to steal the word of God from you the moment it is given. ( Lk. 8:12 ) His goal is to prevent God's word from taking root within in you. He intends to keep you from growing in the Lord by bogging you down with trials, tribulations, and persecutions so that you are focused on the problem's and not on the solution's that are in the word. Will he succeed in his endeavors? That my friend is up to you. You make the choice in when or not you will believe and trust in God's word. Are you having difficulties? Are you experiencing the trials, tribulations, and persecutions of the enemy? How are you reacting to the situation? In the Parable of the Sower , Jesus describes the four types of soil. What type are you?
The Wayside This soil along the path is walked over and over it becomes packed down and hardened. Seed falling here is exposed wide open to the birds. In this case Satan comes to steal the seed (word of God) easily. This type of soil represents those that "hear but do not understand." ( Mt 13: 19a ). More than likely these types of people are non believers who have hardened their hearts before hearing the Gospel. Their condition is one of being blinded by Satan to the Gospel. ( 2 Cor. 4: 3-4 ) If you have heard the Gospel of Christ and are not yet a Christian you are this type of soil. The longer you wait the harder your heart may be, making it harder to receive Salvation. This is the type of person you do not want to be because you are in danger of dying in your sin and being separated from God forever dwelling in a very real hell. ( Duet. 32:22 😉 Magnify your worst experience, heartache, or problem, by a million times and you would still not touch how horrible and vile hell will be. It is for ALL eternity!
The Stony Ground This soil is rocky not always exposed to the surface it usually can be found just underneath it. Seed that is planted just beneath the surface can grow until it hits the stony part of the ground. This type of soil represents those who hear the word and receive it with joy ( Mt. 13:20 ) but the word does not take root enduring for only a little while ( Mt. 13: 21a ) because of trials, tribulations, and persecution . ( Mt. 21b ) If you find that you are not attending church services regularly, in regular fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ, spending time in the word of God, spending time in prayer daily or participating in your church, you are most Particularly this type of soil.
Persons of this type do not have a strong foundation based upon the word of God and are not able to stand against the trials, tribulations, and persecutions that experience. These people are easily offended and find excuses for their lack of faith. They base their faith on what they see (an emotional response) and not the what the word of God says. Focus for these types of people are on the problems not the solution that is found in the word of God.
The Thorns This soil is thorny. Seed sown here may grow but is hindered or "choked" out by the thorns that grow quickly. This type of soil represents those that hear the word ( Mt. 13: 22a ) but the seed is "choked" out by the thorns through the cares of the world ( Mt. 13: 22b ), deceitfulness of riches ( Mt. 13: 22c ), and the pleasures of life ( Lk. 8:14 ). What are you focused on? If you find yourself brought up in the cares of the world it can cause you to be unprepared and distract you from what is important ( Lk. 21: 34-36, Lk. 12: 29-32 ). Are you more concerned about material wealth and prosperity? Beware! You could be in danger of feeling self-sufficient instead of relying on God and caring for the things He cares about! ( 1 Tim. 6: 9-10, 1 Tim. 6:17 ) Is the word being "choked" out through your seeking out of earthly pleasures? Seeking fleshly pleasures diverts your mind from the things of God. ( Gal. 5:17 ) Sowing to the flesh makes it impossible to reap of the spirit. ( Gal. 6: 7-9 )
This type of person rarely if ever bears any fruit. These people are too preoccupied with the world and what it offers. You are called to do more than just be a benchwarmer ( Mt. 28: 18-20 ) and Jesus described what would happen to those that do not bear fruit. ( Jn. 15: 1-6 ) Thorny soil "chokes" out Spiritual Growth!
The Good Ground This soil allows the word (seed) to prosper within it. Seed sown in this soil represents those believers who hear the word and understands it. ( Mt. 13: 23a ) Good Ground soil bearers have a noble and good heart and are fruitful. ( Mt. 13: 23b ) This type of person has a understanding of the word, is deeply rooted in the word and patiently produces fruit in their lives. ( Col. 1: 5-6 ) When a believer understands the word they are more likely to bear fruit. That is why it is so important to get an understanding of the word. Through prayer, daily study, and hearing the word, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the understanding if you ask Him to. (It's a good idea to pray before you start reading or studying the word.)
If you are this type of person you have received the word ,oted it deep into your heart as an anchor to hold onto during trials, tribulation, and persecution, of a noble and good heart, and have come to understand the word as disclosed to You by the Holy Spirit. Because the word has taken root in your life, you become a fruit bearer and have the ability to reach others. You are not easily defeated by the enemy as he comes against you. You care for the things of God and this shows in your daily walk.
Taking Root How can you allow the Word
of God (seed) to take root in you? The following are only a few examples:
- STAY IN CHURCH ! Attend Spirit filled church services regularly so you can learn, grow, and fellowship with other believers. Go no matter what you have to sacrifice to get there God will provide your every need! If you're sick the church can pray for you. Prayer works! ( Acts 19:39; Jas. 2: 2 )
- READ YOUR BIBLE ! A few passes daily will help you grow tremendously. If you will take a few minutes in the morning to read a passage or two and then meditate on them through the day, you will be surprised what that does for you. It gives the Word a chance to take root in you! ( Ps. 119: 105; Prv. 6: 22,23 )
- MEDITATE ON THE WORD ! Think about what you have heard, read, studied! Take notes for later reference to help you remember. By doing so this gives you something to refer back to at later time to study and meditate over. ( Ps 1: 2; 1 Tim. 4:15 )
- PRAY ! This is communication between you and God. He wants to hear from you! You can not edit (feed) your spirit if you do not pray. God listens! ( 1 Kings 8:28; Ps. 66:18;
- LISTEN ! God will speak to you either through His Word (the bible), others, by the still voice inside, even audible as He wills. No matter how He speaks, He will speak but you must be still long enough to listen. ( 1 John 1: 1; Rev. 3:20 )
- GET INVOLVED ! You were called to do more than to be a benchwarmer on the pew! There is something you can do even if it is praying for others. Not doing anything gives the enemy ample opportunity to steal your seed. ( Ps 8: 6; Phil. 1: 6 )
We have learned that not all who have ears actually listen. It is so important that we listened to the word of God as it is being taught. This is how faith is received. ( Rom. 10:17 ) Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. He is your teacher, helper, and comforter in times of turmoil. He will lead you if you will yield to Him. ( Jn. 14:26 )
If you look closely at your walk with God you will find evidence of what type of soil you are. If you discover that you are anything but the Good Soil mentioned in this parable you need to take action to correct it. By staying in church where the Holy Spirit moves, reading your bible, meditating on the word of God daily, spending time in prayer with God, listening to God when He speaks (by audible voice, the word, others who are anointed, and by The still voice in your mind), and by taking an active part in your church and ministry you will grow spiritually empowering you to remain steadfast in your times of distress. As you grow spiritually you will see less of the ups and downs because God's word has taken root in your heart and you are not moved by the stresses of life.
Ask yourself this question:
Howoted is God's word in me?