Losses and Gains
Father God, I pray that my heart will be open to receive Your Word and take root in me today.
Read Mark 4:13-20
 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?  The farmer sows the word.  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.  Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.  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.  Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;  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.  Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop-thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat’s the difference between the good soil and the others?
This parable is not a slice of heavenly teaching carried down on angels’ wings. Jesus’ parable is rooted in the gritty dirt of his own experience. He knew all about people not listening to him, who wouldn’t commit themselves to seeing his teaching through. He’d had first-hand experience of the seductive temptations of human society.
Jesus knew that God’s economy can accommodate a level of loss and failure. He knew that a significant amount of his effort would go to waste. But he also knew about the staggering fruitfulness of his heavenly Father. He knew that the few who did listen, who did persevere, would make the effort worthwhile.
The numbers are important here. Ask a farmer about the percentage yield he gets on his seeds. Jesus was talking to farming folk, and they knew the maths of their trade. Jesus told them that God’s productivity is out of this world (20)!
Don’t worry about people who aren’t interested in God, or who don’t get to your church regularly. Focus your attention on the ones who are ready and willing to learn from Jesus.
Who do you know who is ready and willing to learn from Jesus? Pray for them now and regularly.
Lord Jesus, help me to persevere in following You and in praying for those who are open to that, also.
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