I’m loving the book of Mark and all the great stories! Did you know that 75% of the Bible consists of stories! There is such power in a story! One that you’ve probably heard numerous times before is :
I️ think this is a perfect text for you to read on your own today. As you read, ask the Holy Spirit to penetrate your soul, revealing any dark crevices of sin. Here are some questions for you to ponder.
- What do we miss out on if we avoid the Word of God? (See v. 20, John 17:17, Luke 6:43, John 8:31)
- How does Satan take the Word away? (v. 15, 16, 18)
- Which reaper do you identify with most?
The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. These are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” Mark 4:14-20
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, I️ think a lot of us are struggling with apathy. Loss of motivation. Wondering when this craziness will end.
If we’re not careful, this attitude will also carry-over into our relationship with God. No longer do we spend time in the Word daily. Church attendance becomes lax. Worship is pretty much non-existent.
Did you pick-up on the ways that Satan tries to take the Word away?
In the parable of the sower and reaper, Satan comes immediately to snatch the Word away. He does so through personal ignorance, hardening of hearts, or simple distractions. People may hear the Word, but immediately have an adverse reaction to it. Maybe they don’t like someone who attends that particular church, or something that the Pastor said set them off. The Gospel comes across as folly because pride blinds their sight. They think they know better than God, for Christianity is dismissed for the lowly and weak.
Secondly, pay particular attention to this one…the Word is stolen away through persecution and rocky times. Although the Word springs up quickly with joy, when turbulent storms roll-in, some will turn away.
Thirdly, when persecution doesn’t work, Satan tempts with the things of this world–success, power, and fame. We become so entitled and comfortable, that we no longer see our need for God.
How to remain faithful
The way to remain fruitful is to spend time working the soil of your soul. Reflect on the parable of the sower and reaper. Analyze your life. Confess your sin. Be obedient to do the Word of God. For me, this means being honest with myself and not trying to sugarcoat my sin. Make it a habit to conscientiously prepare your heart to hear the Word of God. And then be a proactive listener. Focus & and apply it to your life. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Chase hard after God.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please till the garden of my soul today. Reveal and convict me of my sin. Open my ears to hear your Word, and my hands to willingly receive it. Amen.