Suggested Bible Reading: Mark 4
Mark 4:14 says, “The sower soweth the word.” It seems like it is a nice story about a farmer preparing his fields. The danger of parables or narratives is that we get wrapped up in the story and just enjoy the plot. However, in this parable we find that the story quickly becomes a mirror. The question posed is, “What is the condition of your heart?” As the word of God reaches your heart either through devotions, preaching, and conversation with friends, or counseling on a decision, does the word of God bring forth fruit that will remain and be evidenced by more fruit? Unfortunately for many Christians they can tolerate less growth in their spiritual lives than they can in there 401k. As we evaluate the condition of our heart, there are four types of soil found. First, the wayside heart is so hard that the word of God cannot even penetrate the heart. Satan takes away any conviction or opportunity for meditation before the seed can take root. Second, the stony heart gets excited about the truth for a short time. There is some root taken, but because of its shallowness it cannot handle affliction or persecution. The stony heart the Bible says is easily offended. Third, the thorny heart receives the word and it takes root. However, it never produces lasting fruit because (1) the problems of this world (2) the deceitfulness of riches (3) the desires for other temporal things. (vs. 19) Fourth, the good heart receives the word and it brings for fruit. John 15 tells us that as long as we are drawing our nourishment from Jesus Christ, the fruit we bear will multiply and we will bring forth much fruit that will remain. What is the condition of your heart?
• Lord, help me honestly evaluate the condition of my heart’s soil every time the word of God is presented.
• Lord, please help my heart to stay soft and pliable in the Master Potter’s hand.
• Lord, I want to stand firm and glorify you when persecution or affliction comes my way. Please help me never be easily offended.
• Lord, help me guard my heart against being frustrated about temporary problems, or the lies that money will solve all problems, or the lust for things this world offers.