Jesus, may I hear more than just words today as I read Your message to me.
Read Mark 4:10–20
10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,
“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]”
13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 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.”
a Mark 4:12 Isaiah 6:9,10
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow’s the condition of your heart?
As we share the good news of Jesus with our friends, families and communities, disappointingly there’s no guarantee that people will “get it” and respond positively. What different responses have you seen when you’ve tried to tell others about the gospel?
Jesus explains people’s different responses (15–20). Some don’t understand at all, others start well, but then the worries and troubles of life “choke the word” (19). The way His own family and the religious leaders reacted to Him and His work must have been no surprise to Jesus (3:21,22).
For the rest of our readings in Mark’s Gospel, in our “Apply” times, we’ll try to be “good soil.” We’ll hear what God says to us and immediately seek to let it make a difference to our lives with Jesus. After being on today’s campaign with Him to change the world, what difference will God’s Word make in your life?
In the light of today’s reading, ask yourself, what reason do I now have: to believe Jesus more wholeheartedly? To love and trust Him more deeply? To live His way more faithfully?
Jesus, I want my heart to be good soil. Give me Your strength to obey Your words when I hear them, to live my life to honor You.