There was a time when Jesus was teaching beside the lake and a large crowd gathered around and he was teaching them in parables or illustrations or comparisons that put beside truths to explain them, and in His teaching He told them:
Give attention to this! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on ground full of rocks, and it sprang up quickly, but because it had no depth of soil, the sun came up, it was scorched, and because it had not taken root, it withered away.
Other seed fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew and pressed together and utterly choked and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain.
And other seed fell into good well-adapted soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielded up to thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times as much as had been sown. And He said, He who has ears to hear, let him hear and let him consider it, and understand it.
And as soon as He was alone, those who were around Him, began to ask Him about the parables. So He said to them, “To you it has been entrusted the mystery of the kingdom of God. But the secret counsels of God are hidden from the ungodly–those who are outside of our circle everything becomes a parable, so that they may indeed look and look but not see and perceive, and may hear and hear but not grasp and comprehend, lest haply they should turn again, and it their willful rejection of the truth should be forgiven them.
And He said to them, Do you not discern and understand this parable? How then is it possible for you to discern and understand all the parables? [Implying that if you do understand this parable, it is possible to discern and understand all of the parables].
Okay, the sower sows the Word. The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown in their hearts, but when they hear God’s Truth, Satan comes at once and sometimes by force takes away the message which is sown in them.
In the same way, the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy–dancing and shouting, “Amen!” and “Hallelujah!”; but they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended and become displeased, indignant, resentful and they stumble and fall away.
And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.
And those sown on the good well-adapted soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit–some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some even a hundred times as much.
He at them and said , “Is the lamp brought in to be put under a bed, and not to be put on the lampstand? Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation. For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything temporarily kept secret except in order that it may be made known. Oh, if any man has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him perceive and comprehend.
He continued to say to them, “Be careful what you are hearing. The measure of thought and study you give the truth you hear will be the measure of virtue and knowledge that comes back to you–and more besides that will be given to you who hear. Because to him who has will more be given; and from him who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away by force, the kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed upon the ground, and then continues sleeping and rising night and day while the seed sprouts and grows and increases–but he doesn’t know how–it just does.
The earth produces by itself–first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe and permits, immediately he sends forth the reapers and puts in the sickle, because the harvest stands ready.
“With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use to illustrate and explain it? It is like a grain of a tiny mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds upon the earth; yet after it is sown, it grows up and becomes the greatest of all garden herbs and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air are able to make nests and dwell in its shade.
With many such parables, Jesus spoke the Word to them, as they were able to hear and comprehend and understand. He did not tell them anything without a parable; but privately to His disciples He explained everything fully. –Mark 4:1-34
This is one of my favorite series of scripture and I couldn’t figure out how to address everything here by only giving you a few verses (which would have made this much shorter–sorry). But it’s chock full of insight into our Lord’s Kingdom and how He is leading and teaching us.
Now, of all the things we can learn here, this parable helps us understand the obstacles that limit us and the elements that would free the Spirit to teach us the deep things of God.
But the most important thing to catch here, the most critical denominator to each illustration is that in each scenario, each person had heard the Word, but only one produced a harvest.
How come? What happened?
Well, it’s not enough to hear the Word! You have to absorb the Word. You have to apply the Word. When you do it will affect your speech; how you behave; who you hang out with; what movies you watch and what music you listen to. And it goes way beyond that. It will mold and shape every area of your life.
This is my greatest burden for our Lords’ Church. How many people sit in their pews each Sunday, but the Scripture is never taught? They aren’t even hearing the Word of God! The seeds are never even sown!
But then again, some attend a great church where the Word is sown. The Word of God is taught faithfully and with great Wisdom and Anointing, but they are still living in defeat and sin because they never apply what they hear.
That was me. I accepted the Lord in 7th grade, but no one taught me that I was supposed to do anything with it. I was a “Timothy” without a “Paul.” I lived a defeated, sinful life. I desperately wanted to change, but I didn’t know how. I was miserable in my captivity. I was never told that the power to be transformed was in the authentic application of Scripture.
Our obedience isn’t to make God feel like the boss. Our obedience to apply the Word of God is for our benefit! It’s so we can live victorious lives that glorify our Father in heave. Just hearing the Word is simply not enough.
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I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.