Mark 4:14-20 NKJV The sower sows the word. “And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. “These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; “and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. “Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, “and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. “But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit; some thirty-fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
God’s word is the seed that is sown into the hearts of people. It is when it reaches the heart that action takes place. The seed, God’s word, is good, but the heart of people sometimes impede it from taking action, growing and bearing fruit. It is up to the person to make sure that their heart is ready to receive the seed. We plow up the fallow ground of our hearts through prayer, asking God to show us things that would hinder the growth of His word. We also prepare our hearts to receive by yielding to God’s Spirit within us and telling Him He is welcome to come and convict us of sin that might stop us from receiving the Word of God. Holy Spirit also fellowships with us as we spend time with the Lord in prayer. We prepare our hearts to receive the seed of God’s word and then when it falls on good ground it bears fruit in our lives.
One of the things that works against us in receiving the seed into our hearts is the devil, Satan, who comes only to steal, kill and destroy. Verse 15 says that he comes immediately to try to steal it away from us. We protect the word that has been sown in our hearts by submitting to God and resisting the devil. (James 4:7) Our hearts are also protected through watching, being self-controlled, and resisting him being steadfast in the faith. (1 Peter 5:8, 9) Faith in God and exercising our ability to believe and receive His word prepares our heart to receive the good seed that is sown in our hearts. The walk of faith becomes a fight when the devil comes to steal God’s word out of our hearts. We must protect the seed!
When the word falls on stony ground it’s like a flash in the pan, so to speak. The person is excited about what God has just spoken to them, but because they haven’t taken the time to develop what they already know about God the new seed has a slim chance of surviving. When trouble comes they stumble because they haven’t developed a deep enough root bed for the seed to develop and grow. They don’t have the tenacity to fight the good fight of faith and win the battle. Obstacles in their path become bigger than the God that they serve. Trouble becomes the focus instead of Jesus who has overcome the world for us! Freedom lies within our relationship with Him, but it’s what we set before our mind’s eye that we will follow. If the vision that we have is that of trouble and having no way out, then we will follow that path. But if God’s word and the strength that comes from drawing from the Lord Jesus’ ability to empower us to win becomes our focus then we will succeed.
Then we see the cares of this world and the desire for material blessings choking the word that has been sown in the hearts of those who are described as having thorns, or what I see as mixed beliefs. The person with this heart doesn’t know for sure what they believe. They flit from one hot spot to another, not taking the time to focus on the truth of God’s word and allow it to judge between what they are hearing and believing from each different teaching. God’s word is sharper than a two-edged sword dividing between the soul and spirit and it judges even the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) It is as we allow the Holy Spirit to bring life to the Word that we know is true that we find freedom from the cares of this world. That comes through diligently studying and applying God’s word to our lives. There are many false teachings that have come from different groups through the years that brings thorns into our lives when we receive them as truth!
The only ground that provides a good seed bed for the Word of God is the ground that is steeped in humility, ready to receive and act on the seed that is sown into the heart. 1 Peter 5:5 says “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” It is a heart that is after God’s heart; humble and ready to receive that makes good ground that when the seed is sown into it becomes a fruitful field. It is a heart that has died to it’s own desires in order to live for the desires of the heavenly Father. A life that is lived for the world is a life that will be lost, but one that has made the choice to live for God will live.
John 12:24 -26 NKJV “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. “He who loves his life will lost it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
The Word of God is filled with seeds for success. What will we do with them? Will we be a people with a good heart that is ready to receive His word and act on it so it will bear a good harvest?
Father, I thank You for Your Word. I pray that my heart may be good ground for it to grow in and that when the seed of Your word is sown into my heart it will take root and grow and bear a hundred fold harvest in my life. Father, I ask You to help me see the areas that I need to submit more to You. I pray that Your Spirit might convict me of those things that are hindering me from being a person with a heart that is ready to receive Your word. Show me, Father, what I need to change to be more ready to receive and bear a fruitful harvest through my life. Thank You, Father, for Your grace, mercy and love! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.