As you meditate with me on the Word today I would ask that you not look for how this parable refers to the Brother next to you, or the Sister behind you in church, but rather, how this applies to you. Having taught the Bible in a Sunday School setting, I could look across an audience and see that almost every student was in a different mindset about being there: who’s teaching; who’s sitting next to them; and whether they wanted to be there, or not. Each of these things impacted what they received from the lesson. Allow God to speak with you about your heart’s condition today.
SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 4:3-9
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)
BIBLE TEXT: 3 “Consider this: A sower went out to sow (seed). 4 As he sowed some fell along the beaten path and soon the birds came and ate it. 5 Some fell onto gravel with no topsoil and quickly sprouted since the soil had no depth. 6 But when the days grew hot, the sprouts were scorched and withered because they had insufficient roots. 7 Some fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8 But some fell onto good, rich soil that kept producing a good harvest. Some yielded thirty, some sixty—and some a hundredfold! 9 If you understand this, then you need to respond.”
APPLICATION: I find it absolutely amazing how we could have read a passage of Scripture all our lives, heard sermons on it, had Sunday School lessons on it, yet today God has a new revelation for you in that very passage! God’s Word is alive and active! Yet in today’s Scripture, I am reminded that no matter how hard I aim at applying the Word of God to my life first and foremost, yet I am caught off-guard at times where God will say ‘are you listening good?’ Or as our Scripture ended ‘you need to respond’. I don’t believe that I am all that different to most of you that will read this devotional, for we read, or we listen to the Word being read, and immediately we start applying it to those around us. I have always looked at this parable so differently by applying it to people who appears to be in various states of mind in their relationship with God. Of course the unbeliever wants nothing †o do with the Word of God, for they are so wrapped up in the things of this world, and their minds are so twisted by the evil one. The Word of God will therefore most often fall on their deaf ears because of their lack of interest. But what about the Christian who comes to church unprepared to meet the King of all kings, our Teacher, the God of the universe, Healer, the Author of the most powerful Book ever written. Will they/we truly receive the Word God designed for us to hear in that service? Will it penetrate deep enough to affect our lives any? Will we recognize and acknowledge the reason we attended church that day, or that we were standing on holy ground in the presence of the only Holy God? You might say later, I know, there was one thing that the preacher kept shouting and pounding away on, so you might leave remembering those specific words from his sermon, right? But did God really penetrate our heart with that word, or was it like the seed that landed on rocky ground, where it really had no impact on our way of living? However on other occasions there are times that we will head out to church after a week of trials that resulted in us arguing with our relatives, shouting at our spouse and kids, and wishing that we would never have to return to our workplace. Our minds are racing on all the ways that the world seems out to ‘get us’. Then we enter the doors of the sanctuary. Do we have a switch that automatically cuts off the awful activities and interactions of our week, so that we could now concentrate on the Master? Not so easy, is it? We are reminded of this parable where the Good News is entering a crowded and choked up mind. Can we truly receive the Word and allow it to impact our lives for the glory of God? Friends, Jesus knew fully well that His children are in the world, and way too often we are of this world and struggle to truly connect with His awesome goodness towards us. We are at church in body, but our minds are way too preoccupied to truly be blessed of God. What then shall we do? Jesus said in verse 9 that if we find ourselves in the dilemma illustrated above, we are to respond. Seek the Lord while He may be found. Know that He alone is God and can do ALL things for His glory. In being our Father, He would never want us to be unsatisfied, unhappy and distant from Him. But He will not force Himself into our lives. He wants us to respond – ask Him to settle our minds; give us better attitudes with those we live with, work with, and come into contact with throughout the week. Most of all, give us settled minds so that we could approach the Father in humility and without remorse for our neighbor (those around us). It’s up to you to respond my friend. Don’t wait, do it today so that You may once again enjoy a right relationship with the Father.
PRAYER: Into Your hands I commend my spirit oh God. Cleanse me, correct me, and draw me close to You. Help me to always represent You in this world so that the world will know my Savior and my Lord. May my eyes be opened, my heart softened and my mind be alert to receiving Your Word and applying it to my life so that I may obey Your commands and follow Your example in life. May Your Word be received in ways that it will have an impact on me so that I may go on to bless others in Your name. Bless my readers Lord, and offer them the benefits of Your Kingdom, just as I have asked for. AMEN!