This morning we continue our series entitled “Leveling Up with the Word!” We have been looking at the parable of the sower. Let’s get back to it today.
Setting the stage:
(Mark 4:13-20 ERV)
“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.”
Yesterday we starting looking at the thorny ground. This ground is full of thorny weeds. What are the weeds? Jesus gave us the explanation. He said this ground is like people who “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.” My question for you this morning is, “What is your life full of?”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Search your heart for a minute. Let’s take a moment for self-inventory. If you are honest, how would you answer these questions:
— Is your life full of purpose or pride?
— Are you living to glorify God or to bring attention to yourself?
— Is your focus making God famous, or do you want to make your own name great?
— Do you get up every morning chasing money, or is your life about some greater purpose?
— If you were to check your own heart, what would you say it is FULL OF?
The way you answer these questions is very important. Because if your heart is full of the cares of this world, the love of money, and selfish desires, the soil of your heart is not a good environment for the seed of God’s Word. There is nothing wrong with the seed. There is something wrong with your heart.
2. Jesus explained how the seed of the Word of God will not produce a harvest in the lives of people who are like thorny ground. There is nothing wrong with the Word. The same seed was placed in every type of soil. There is nothing wrong with the sower. The same sower was used throughout the parable. The only variable in the parable is the soil.
The point Jesus made is that the condition of the soil (your heart) can and will impact the production of the seed (God’s Word). In the case of the thorny ground, the issue is these people allow their lives to get “full of other things.” I know we are all busy, but don’t allow your life to be so “full of other things” that you don’t even give God’s Word a chance to work. The Word will work, just as long as you set the conditions for it to do what it does!
3. When your life is full of the cares of this world, the love of money, and your own selfish pursuits, you can go to church and hear the Word, but you are not giving the Word a chance to work. Your Pastor, and people like me, may be able to get the seed of the Word down into the soil of your heart, but your heart is so full of other things that the Word has to compete with weeds. And as the text teaches, if you have competing priorities, you may as well forget about the Word producing because your heart is not pure concerning it.
4. Jesus likens the Word of God to seed. He also likens the cares of this world, the love of money, and selfish desires to weeds. He then explains how the weeds you allow to grow in your life can actually choke out the seed of the Word and keep it from producing life-changing results. Wouldn’t it be a shame to go to church Sunday after Sunday, and Wednesday night after Wednesday night, only to then fill your heart with other things? Wouldn’t it be a shame to listen to me every morning, as God uses me to sow the Word (Godly seed) in your heart, only for the Word to fail to produce because your heart is full of other things?
5. If you don’t give the Word of God the priority it deserves, you don’t give it a chance to produce a harvest in your life. You can literally choke out the potential of the Word by allowing yourself to get consumed with other things. What are these other things?
Jesus gave us three categories:
a) The cares/worries of this world.
b) The love of money.
c) Everything else you want (i.e., your selfish desires).
I will teach about each of these in the days to come. For today, please consider these three categories and search your heart concerning them. It is time for us to uproot every weed that keeps the Word from working in our lives!
6. What is your life full of? If it is full of God’s Word and His love, you will become the man/woman God called you to be. But if it is full of the cares of this world, the love of money, and your own selfish desires, you will arrive at the end of your life someday and realize you are full of regret. You will regret the fact that you failed to make the most of the ONE LIFE God has given you. If you want to maximize your purpose and potential, the key (as I stated yesterday) is not more trying; it is more dying. Get out of the way! Give the Word the priority it deserves. Give the Word the space in your heart it needs to grow. If you do, the Word will do what it does, and your life will never be the same!
7. When God looks down on you, and He searches your heart, what would He say your heart is FULL OF? If it is full of weeds (the cares of this world, the love of money, and selfish desires), it is time to make some changes!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! I LEVEL UP in 2021 by giving You and Your Word priority over everything else in my life. I refuse to allow any weeds to choke out the seed of your Word. My life is NOT full of the cares of this world! My life is NOT full of the love of money! My life is NOT full of selfish pursuits! My singular focus in life is to become the man/woman You called me to be. MY LIFE IS FULL OF YOU! It is full of Your Word and the pursuit of Your purpose. All I want is what You want for me! I yield to You in every area. I meditate and medicate Your Word day and night. I give You first place, period! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.