Wednesday 10th August 2016 - Daily Reading:
Mark 4:1-20 - The Parable of the Sower

Over the next three days we are going to take a look at some of the parables that Jesus told. Today, we will take a look at the Parable of the Sower. Jesus is speaking to a crowd and tells them this story of a farmer who went out to sow seed. The seed that was scattered landed in various places. Some on along the path, some in rocky places, some fell among the thorns, and some landed on good soil. Jesus also explained in the story the consequence of the seed landing where it did. The seed that landed on the path got eaten up by the birds. The seed that landed on the rocky places sprang up quickly as it had a little soil, however because there was no root, once the sun came up, the plants withered. The seed that fell among the thorns were choked up and so did not bear grain. However, the seed that fell on the good soil grew and produced a crop.

It then seems that Jesus said 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear', and then he left the crowd. The story had finished. However, for the disciples, they hadn't understood what it was that Jesus was saying. It had confused them! And so when they are alone with Jesus, they ask him to explain. And so Jesus does exactly that... he takes the time to further explain it to them (verses 14-20).

Whenever this parable is told, it tends to be in the context of evangelism... the gospel being preached, and the response of those who hear it. I don't think that is wrong. However, this morning, let's consider how we may apply it for ourselves in our walk with God.

The seed that is sown is the Word of God, and the place where the seed lands is the condition of our heart. And so it is important that we keep our hearts in the best condition in order to receive the Word, allowing us to grow and produce. How is the condition of your heart? Is it hardened? Jesus says when our hearts are hardened, Satan will come and take away the Word that has been sown. Are we getting rooted in the Word? Jesus says where roots are lacking, we will struggle when times of trouble come. Let's make sure our hearts are in a good condition, so that when we hear the Word of God, it stays in our heart, grows us, and takes us to a place of producing fruit.

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