You will get a note from me on Saturday morning, as Isabella and I do a “virtual launch” of my first book, “Level Up Your Life.” I believe this book is going to be a blessing to many.
This morning we continue our series entitled “Leveling Up with the Word!” We have been looking at the parable of the sower. So let’s continue through it today.
(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.”
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
1. If there is a problem between you and the Word of God, the Word is not the issue.
The same sower provided the same seed to all four types of soil, and the seed produced harvest when it was sown into good ground. Therefore, there was nothing wrong with the sower or the seed. There was something wrong with the first three types of soil.
— God’s Word is an incorruptible seed (1 Peter 1:23). The Word works. The power of God is lying inside of His Word, waiting for you to unleash it. If the Word is not producing in your life, then there has to be something wrong with your approach to the Word or your lack of honor concerning it. Because there is certainly nothing wrong with the Word, and until you accept this truth, you won’t take responsibility for the things in your life that keep the Word from producing a harvest.
— The Bible is the most powerful book ever written because it was authored by God and written by men. In it, you will find a blueprint for success, a roadmap for life, and an endless source of divine wisdom. It has the power to change you and then enable you to change the world.
— I run into people who say, “Rick, I tried the Bible and the Bible did not work.” To which I respond, “No, the Bible tried YOU and YOU did not work.” There is nothing wrong with the Bible. The Word works. The issue comes when people make the mistakes outlined in this parable. Maybe they don’t understand it, like the wayside soil. Maybe they allow it to go deep into their lives like the rocky found. Or perhaps they don’t give it the priority it deserves, like the thorny ground. Whatever the case, there is nothing wrong with the Word. If there is an issue, the issue is always with us!
2. You must develop a hunger and thirst for God’s Word.
When I was Born-again, I did not know anything about God. My mentor, at the time, Leo Jacobs, told me that I would get to know God through His Word. So I devoured the Word. I read it every day, sometimes for hours a day. I was told that the Word of God contains the character, attributes, and nature of God Himself. So the more I understood the Word of God, the better I would come to know the God of the Word.
Getting to know God was my motivation to get into His Word. I just wanted to know HIM! I read the book because I wanted to know the person; I wanted an intimate relationship with God! Guess what? It worked. It worked for me, and I know it will work for you!
3. David loved God’s Word so much that he wrote the longest chapter in the Bible about it.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, with 176 verses. In this psalm, King David wrote what I could call “an ‘ode to God’s Word.” David basically wrote a love letter to God and His Word, and he did it from A to Z. There are 22 characters in the Hebrew alphabet. David was the 8th son of Jesse. I am sure he liked the number eight, which in the Bible refers to “new beginnings.” David wrote a stanza of eight verses for every letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The first eight verses of Psalm 119 start with the Hebrew alphabet’s equivalent of the letter A, Aleph. The next eight verses start with the Hebrew alphabet’s equivalent of the letter B, Beth. And this continues until the last eight verses, which start with the Hebrew alphabet’s equivalent of the letter Z, Taw. David wrote about God’s Word from A (Aleph) to Z (Taw).
4. The Bible contains the answers!
The Word of God contains the answers to life’s questions. But you will never find them if you do not open the book and read it. Wouldn’t it be a shame to struggle your way through a test while having the answer key in your bookbag? This is the picture of what happens when people have access to God’s Word, they even own multiple Bibles and access to it on their mobile devices, but they fail to open it up and read it. Life is an open-book test. God gave you the answers before the test started. Use the answer key. Open your Bible and get God’s Word down in your heart.
— Joshua and Caleb received the same Word the rest of the 12 spies received. The Word from God was clear: God was giving them the land. Joshua and Caleb mixed faith with what they heard. 10 of the 12 spies did not. The result? The ten unbelieving spies and the millions who agreed with their unbelief died in the wilderness. Will you be like the ten or two? Do you truly believe God and His Word? Joshua and Caleb got their blessing. They walked into the Promised Land before they died. But those who did not believe God and His Word did not. They had the answer to the test and still failed because they did not believe God and what He said.
— I don’t know about you, but I believe God! I believe His Word. I have no doubt in my heart that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant, and inexhaustible Word of God. I read it, believe it, apply it, and give it the priority it deserves in my life. If there is ever a conflict between the Word and me, I AM WRONG! I am the one who has to change. I have been living this way for over 25 years, and I can testify that it works. The Word works, but you must work the Word.
— Countless people say they are struggling to discover God’s will. Guess what? God’s Word is His will on paper. Read it. Believe it. Apply it. Live by it. If you do, the Holy Spirit will speak to you, and you will have both what God said in His Word and what the Holy Spirit (who is the author of the book) is saying to you daily. With both of these divine inputs working in your life, you will discover that life may not always be easy, but you will feel like you have the answers to the test. Because you are living by every Word God is speaking to you. This is the life of faith, and it is how we are supposed to live! This is why Jesus said this was the most important parable. The parable of the sower exalts the importance of the Word!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! I LEVEL UP my life by honoring You and Your Word. I fill my heart with Your Word. I train my mind to think like You by filling my heart with Your Word. As a result, I see myself the way You see me. I believe what You believe about me. With all responsibilities I have on a daily basis, I remain grounded and graced by keeping Your Word on my mind, on my lips, and in my actions. I live by every Word You speak to me, Father. Your Word is the foundation for my life! Living this way, I LEVEL UP in 2021, and I boldly declare that GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.