Mark 4:11-12 “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”
These past months have seen many a change personally, locally, and around the world. This last September, my earthly father graduated to Heaven. He did not recover from the effects of his latest stroke, and the Lord took Him home. His passing and the hole it has left in our family is still fresh.
So are the things my father taught me. Character, hard work, integrity, and love of family. He embodied these with a quiet, yet, firm resolve. I miss the opportunities to call and ask his advice on parenting adult children. I wish he were still there.
As I have aged, I have seen and heard things that remind me of my mother. Though she passed in 2001, her voice still speaks to me through time. Neither of my parents was perfect, but what parents are? What they taught and the legacy they have left I pray will always speak well of them who they were to me and my siblings.
The parable of the Sower and the Seed is a parable familiar to most Christians. Yet, we think it only as applying to salvation. We leave off a fundamental truth for our growth as a child of God.
Jesus speaks very pointedly to his disciples about what He has just taught them. The seed, the Word of God goes forth to be planted in our hearts. The type of ground on which it is sown is our responsibility. Jesus relates that some hearts are so hard that Satan comes and snatches the seed before it can ever take root and begin to grow.
Others fall on stony ground – it finds some earth to take hold but is easily offended when challenged to remove the stones that more growth can take place. The thorns are the cares of the world. Some of us allow the gods of this world to have a greater place in our hearts than the One who saved us, and His Word is choked – the life that God seeks to give is literally choked out.
We all know that excellent ground brings forth good fruit.
Yet, today, we think this parable as only applying to salvation.
Every seed of truth we hear; whether in our churches on Sunday morning, Sunday school, or even in our daily reading of the Bible; God seeks to sow seeds still to see fruit in our life. God tells me:
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
At the epicenter of our life is the place from which all life – our life, flows. The heart God speaks of is not that organ that pumps blood effortlessly throughout your body, it is your mind – our meditator.
When you readied yourself for church yesterday, was your mind clean; emptied of all sin and strife so that the seed preached unto you fell on soft, pliable, and readied soil? Often our hearts are hardened; wanting to be coddled and treated with kid gloves. We are easily offended because the preacher yelled, or he stopped to make a point about our sin.
We wholly miss the opportunity for God to teach, instruct, admonish and correct.
Our enemy, Satan, needs only to get you and your family to disagree about something on your way to church. He may have a specific person call or present some distraction that will capture your attention and miss the opportunity to have a vital seed planted in your hear that day.
Often, preachers will say that it is only halfway through their sermon that they begin to see any spiritual response to the truths being preached. Why? It takes that long for hearts to be prepared enough to receive the Word of God.
As you begin your Monday, what condition is your heart? Is it that hard ground; unable to press any seed and Satan comes and snatches it away? Or is it pliable, clean and soft; ready to receive whatever it is that God so desires to give you?
You are not alone in this battle – each of us struggles with the daily assault on our mind. When you start out early to quiet your mind and receive the seed on soft, readied and prepared heart, don’t be surprised when the fruit comes.
Expect it. Long for it. Pray that God never stops bringing fruit in your life!
You can experience revival if you make a clean, ready and prepared heart your priority every day.