We hear with our ears, but there is a much deeper kind of listening with the heart and mind that is necessary in order to have spiritual understanding from Jesus’ words. Jesus explains the parable of the four soils in Mark 4:10-25, also in Matthew 13:10-23; and Luke 8:9-18.
The four soils represent four different ways people respond to His message. Some people in the crowd were watching for evidence to use against Jesus; while others truly desired to learn and grow. Jesus’ words were for the honest seekers!
The sower sows the word. The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the message, but Satan comes immediately to take away the word that was sown in their hearts–such as different times and phases in every person’s life.
The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and joyfully receive it, but like young plants in soil, their roots are not very deep. Seemingly at first, they get along fine, but soon thereafter they wilt as soon as a problem arises or they are attacked because they believe the Word of God.
At times, we willingly receive God’s message in one area, while resisting it in others. We may readily respond like good soil to Jesus’ command to worship Him, but like rocky soil where hardened in some area of the heart, we may choose to disobey or disregard the message.
The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept God’s Word, but the message is crowded out by the cares of this world, so no crop is produced.
The good soil represents a heart that is hungry and thirsty for God, and one who accepts the message–and produces a huge harvest–thirty, sixty, or even 100 fold–in unlimited measure!
Jesus asked, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed to shut out the light? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.
“Everything that is now hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand! And be sure to pay attention to what you hear. The more you do this, the more you will understand–and even more, besides. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.”
We must seek to know God and have His divine imprint on our hearts to listen and obey in every area of our lives at all times–this is good soil. Choose to listen with your heart today!
Jesus said that God is aware of everything that happens, even to sparrows, and you are far more valuable to Him than they are. You are so valuable that God sent His Only Son to die for you (John 3:16). You need never fear personal threats or difficult trials because God Himself places such value on you! Nothing can separate you from the Love of God.
This doesn’t mean God will take away troubles. The real test of value is how well something holds up under daily wear and tear, and abuse of everyday life. Those who take a stand for Christ in spite of troubles truly have lasting value and will receive great rewards (Matt. 5:11-12). Despite your personal struggles and trials, remember that YOU are highly valuable to God and that is He making you more like Jesus (Romans 8:29).
The very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid! Jesus said, “If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before My Father in heaven. But if anyone denies Me here on earth, I will deny that person before My Father in heaven.”
Don’t be afraid to take the next step! We all have seasons in life where we experience
fear of learning something new or taking that next step. We recently added a family
member–a new pet–(Bichon Frise) who I chose to name Christmas Beau. He truly is
a gift but he has much to learn. As believers, we have new steps we must take and
choose to keep growing in our faith in God.
Last night, my husband took Beau to the top of the stairs and gently placed his front
paws on the top step. Interestingly enough, Beau turned around to see what was behind.
Dan gently gave Beau a little push and he made that top step and ran into the bedroom.
Mother took Beau outside for a walk this morning and Beau saw the steps outside
coming in at the back door.
He chose to take all four steps that led him right over the fifth one–the threshold at the
door. Because of that little push when Beau took a look at what was behind, it spurred
him on to take that first step–which in turn gave him hope to take the next five.
In life, we must choose to take that next step no matter if it is the final step in doing what
God has called us to do, or if it is the first step in a new season. Don’t be afraid to take
the next step. You can do it! If Beau can do it as a new puppy, you can surely choose
to take that next step too!