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 for 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.”
The people Jesus likened to the thorny ground receive the Word and then allow their lives to become “full of other things.” The picture Jesus gives us is one of competing priorities. The seed of the Word has been sown into their hearts. That’s good. But so have other seeds. The Word is in there, but so are cares, lusts, and selfish desires. So while the Word is attempting to grow and produce, weeds are competing with it, and in this case, the weeds overtake the Word.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Soil does not discriminate!
— Let’s say you own a beautiful orange grove. Your family has been running it for 100 years. For over a century, the soil on this property has been producing amazing oranges. But then, one day, you decide to plant apple seeds into the soil. Guess what? That same will produce apples. The soil will not fight back and say, “Hey, oranges is what I produce!” No, the soil will produce whatever you sow into it. So if you sow something you don’t want, you are going to produce something you would rather not have.
— All soil knows how to do is crack open seed and produce whatever is IN it! You would be crazy to sow apple seed and then pray for oranges. While this sounds crazy, this is exactly what Christians do all the same. They sow one thing with their words and actions but then pray for God to give them something else.
— Sometimes, we make things more complicated than they need to be. The Bible is clear, whatever a man sows, he shall reap (Gal 6:7).
— Soil doesn’t discriminate. It simply receives whatever you sow into it, cracks open the seed, and it causes whatever is IN the seed to produce. This is the picture Jesus gives us for both His Word (seed) and the things that compete with His Word (seed), like the cares of this world, the love of money, and the lust for other things.
— Jesus likened your heart to the soil. He then painted the picture of the soil of your heart receiving the seed of the Word. If left alone, the soil of your heart will crack open the seed of the Word and cause it to produce a harvest. However, if you choose to sow competing seed into the soil of your heart — seed like the cares of this world, the love of money, and the lust for other things — the soil of your heart will crack open the competing seed as well. Your heart will cause any seed you sow into it to grow. In this case, the competing seed grows into weeds that choke out the Word and keep it from producing in your life.
— If you don’t like the harvest you have been reaping, it is time to check the seed you have been sowing. Change the seed, and you will change the harvest. It’s really that simple.
2. If you want to change your life, you must change what you allow to get down into your heart.
— Your life today is producing fruit that comes as a direct result of the seeds you have allowed to be sown into your heart.
— If you want to change the OUTPUT that is coming from your life, you must change the INPUT. Garbage in, garbage out! Godliness in, godliness out! It’s really that simple.
— If you sow one thing but then pray for a different harvest, please don’t call that faith. That’s actually being delusional. The only way to change the harvest is to change the seed.
— Unfortunately, many Christians are looking for “Abra Cadabra” from God. They want magic. They want God to simply give them things, based on His goodness, without any regard for their actions. They don’t want to change their habits. They are not focused on building Godly character. They don’t want you to talk to them about what the Bible says. But when they need something from God, here they come… “God please!,” “God, You know I love you!,” “God, if you can get me out of this one…” and etc. Listen, God is a good God. He loves us by His unearned grace. He often blesses us far beyond what we deserve. All of that is good. But if you want to live a life that is pleasing in God’s sight, and if you want to be used of God mightily on this planet, you have to do what His Word teaches. You have to obey His commandments. You have to read and comply with His ways. You have to submit to the impulses of the Holy Spirit. You have to sow Godly seed so that you can reap a Godly harvest.
— Stop seeing God as your “get out of jail card” that you only play when you need something. Build Godly character, walk with God daily, and your life will produce fruit. People will see change IN you and receive divine impact FROM you. This is how we are supposed to live!
— God has sown His Word into your heart. God’s Word will work if you allow it to work. But if your life becomes FULL of other things, the competing seed will take priority over the Word, and you WILL reap a harvest; it just won’t be the harvest God wanted for you.
I will close with this question: What seed are you sowing into the soil of your heart? Whatever you sow, your heart will grow because the soil doesn’t care! It will produce whatever you put in there.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! I LEVEL UP with Your Word! Your Word is an incorruptible seed. I have it down in the soil of my heart. I know the soil of my heart will crack open whatever seed I sow into it. Therefore, I declare that I am careful not to sow bad seeds. I carefully and prayerfully consider what I allow through my eye and ear gates. Because I know that whatever I allow in will work its way down into the soil of my heart, and my heart will crack open the seed and cause it to produce. So I give Your Word first place in my life! I fill my heart with Your Word daily. I meditate and medicate Your Word day and night. This way, my life becomes FULL of the harvest You desire! My life produces the right fruit because my heart contains the right seed! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.