Today we continue our new series entitled, “Expecting the Word to Work!” This is part 3. For the past two days I told you that we were going to study the parable of the sower. I will introduce the parable to you today. We will be studying this parable for months. Let’s get to it.
In Mark 4 we find Jesus ministering to a crowd. As was His custom, He taught them as the Father gave Him the words to say. In this case Jesus taught a parable about sower who went forth to sow seed. The seed fell on four different types of soil. After completing the story Jesus said, “Those who have ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus was basically saying, “Those who can discern the true meaning of the story, let them hear and apply the teaching.”
A parable is basically a natural story with a supernatural meaning. Jesus expected his listeners to hear the story with spiritual ears and to then seek God for spiritual understanding. However, His own disciples did not understand the story. So after the crowd was gone the disciples asked Jesus to explain the story to them. Jesus said, “Do you understand this story? If you don’t, how will you understand any story?” This is why I call this parable “The Mother of All Parables.” This parable was important to Jesus, so it should be important to us. And if Jesus said that we needed to understand it, then it is worth studying.
Since the disciples did not understand the parable, Jesus explained it to them. This is what He said:
“The farmer is like someone who plants God’s teaching in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the path. That is like some people who hear the teaching of God. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them.
Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching, and they quickly and gladly accept it. But they don’t allow it to go deep into their lives. They keep it only a short time. As soon as trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they give up.
Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, but their lives become full of other things: the worries of this life, the love of money, and everything else they want. This keeps the teaching from growing, and it does not produce a crop in their lives.
And others are like the seed planted on the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and produce a good crop—sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 100 times more.” (Mark 4:13-20 ERV)
As previously stated, we will study Jesus’ explanation of this parable for months. For this morning I will simply provide you a few quick thoughts.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
- The sower went forth to sow and he released seed on four types of soil. There were four different results. Not because the sower was different. Not because the seed was different. But because the soil was different. You are the soil in the story. Different people receive things differently from God and they produce based on how they receive.
- Your ability to hear from God and to adequately perceive what He is saying will impact what you are able to receive from Him. It will also influence the way God’s Word will produce in your life.
- The same Word can be released through the same person the same way to a crowd of people. But the Word will not produce in the lives of the people in the crowd the same way. It was the same person, releasing the same Word, but the Word will produce different results because people receive differently. This is why it is critical that you become good ground. Good ground receives the seed of the Word and it allows the Word to work for maximum harvest. If the Word of God is not working in your life, allow me to let you in on a secret: the problem is NOT with the Word!
- You must remain focused when God is speaking. If you don’t, you can miss what He is saying. That’s why you can be in the same place, at the same time, as someone else who received a life-changing revelation through a Word spoken. You were there, but your heart was not in position to receive. So those around you were blessed, but you missed out. The issue wasn’t with the Word (or the seed). The issue was with the soil.
- When God is speaking through someone there is a voice behind the voice, there is a Word behind the word, and you must be focused and prayerful in order to hear it.
- You must live your life with discipline and focus in order to consistently hear from God and then make the most of what you heard.
Father, this is a season of expectation for me. I expect to walk in Your best. I expect Your Word to work in my life! I expect to maximize the purpose and potential You placed in me while I am in the land of the living. In order to do so, it is absolutely critical that I hear from You daily. I do not live by bread only. I live by every Word that proceeds from Your mouth. You are speaking and I am listening. I read what You said, so I can hear what You are saying. I have ears to hear. I have eyes to see. I receive insight, wisdom, revelation and understanding from You and Your Word every day! I am good ground and my life produces a harvest on every seed You sow into it. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!