|Mark 4:15-20 (NIV)|
|15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”|
|In the earlier part of chapter 4, Jesus had taught the crowd through a parable that totally related to where they were at in life. He used a farmer, that probably applied to most who were in the audience at the time, so I’m sure they totally ‘caught His drift’. However, just like we tend to dance around the truth today by applying an interpretation that suits our circumstance, Jesus wanted to make sure that His teaching was caught and applied, so He went into detail about the parable. Let’s see how, or if this applies to us….|
|I recognized a pyramid in this teaching, and I believe that we will place ourselves in one of the levels of the pyramid, and I’m hoping that we will seek the face of God to help us strive for the top level (#1) of the pyramid through constant growth in our relationship with God, through His Son Jesus. Here is what I am seeing in this pyramid, starting with the bottom level:
5. Unbelievers – Although not mentioned in the parable, there are some who refuse to listen to the Word of God;
4. Easily accessible by Satan – These are ones who my live with godly parents, or work alongside a Christian, so they see God at work, and may hear the Word spoken at times, but Satan has full access to their heart, without any filters. So he immediately fills their heart with ‘sweet nothings’ in order to prevent their minds wandering away from his evil ways. They may hear the Word of God, but Satan quickly erases the thought from their minds;
3. Stoney ground – I believe these may have accepted Jesus as Lord at one time, probably through peer pressure or to please mom or dad. But they have no desire to grow in their ‘Christian walk’. So hearing the Word of God has no impact in their life. It’s like going to the top of a hill and trying to find enough soil to plant something that needs a foot of soil for its root system. The Word does not impact their lives;
2. Persistent thorns – Planting the Word of God in the life of one so distracted by the world, makes it almost impossible to take traction in that person. God said in another place in His work, that we are to be still and know that He is God. When we enter into a Bible teaching classroom or sanctuary, with our minds so bogged down in the worries of this world, or the sinful place that we attended last night, the distraction, or thorns of sin, will control our minds and block our acceptance and/or understanding of the Word being taught;
1. Good soil – A farmer finds the best soil to plant his seeds in, to ensure the most healthy and productive growth. A Christian whose aim is to be more like Christ in every aspect of life, will look for ingredients to enrich their lives. This might be daily quiet daily times that include some time in the Word of God; prayer; and reflection on God and His awesome goodness. These followers of Christ will look to produce fruit by finding ways to produce additional Christians and bringing ones up the pyramid. Just as farmers tend to spend more time enriching the soil, watering the plants and eradicating the weeds, so these Christians will have a deep desire to grow in their faith and find ways to not only develop a closer relationship with the Lord, but especially find ways to encourage those around them.
So I wonder friend, at which level of the pyramid did you find yourself? If, in your honesty, you found yourself below level ‘1’, may I encourage you to ‘Have a little Talk with Jesus’ and pour out your soul to Him. Ask Him for help in attaining level ‘1’ and watch how He will drive you to a deeper walk with Himself! I truly believe that His desire is to see us all be little ‘Christ’s’ because of our personal desire to do His will.
|Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Savior, Master, and King, thank You for loving us enough to care about us and accept us as Your children in spite of our ugly past, or our easy tendency to sin. Your Word is so mind provoking, that we are frequently reminded of our inadequacies; our weak approach to holiness; and our walk that exemplifies a ‘perfect’ Lord. Please forgive us for deliberately keeping one foot in the world, while striving to place the other foot in a circle filled with Your holiness and righteousness. Although I plead Your blood and Your holiness on all those who my read this devotional, ‘It’s Me Oh Lord, Standing in the need of prayer’. Please work on Your humble servant so that I may exemplify You in every walk of life and with everyone that I may find myself associating with. With all glory to You oh King! AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
April 21, 2017