When you go and sow, the kingdom of God will grow {Mark 4}

5:37 AM

By Lisa Thayer

Happy Valentine’s Day Ladies!

The first word Jesus says in today’s reading is, “Listen!” This is a chapter we all need to pay attention to. Yes, we’ve heard these parables before, but do you understand them? Are you listening?
The parable of the four soils can best be explained by saying, ‘when you go and sow, the kingdom of God will grow’. Jesus tells us that, “The farmer sows the word.” (v. 14)

Do you ever wonder how someone you love can hear a clear gospel message and yet not respond by receiving Christ? Are you bothered when you see someone seemingly make a decision for Christ and get all excited about it only to end up drifting away when disappointment comes? Does it trouble you when others get all wrapped up in the worries of this world? Does it bother you when someone gets all wrapped up in the wealth of this world? The trouble here is not with sower nor the seed, but with the soil, or rather the soul.

When you go and sow, the kingdom of God will grow.

A hard heart will not allow the seed to grow. Nor will a hollow heart allow the seeds grow. Seeds that fall on a hindered heart will be choked out by the weeds of life (cares of this world). But seeds sown in a humble heart, will grow and produce a crop. Humble-hearted people hear and accept and bear fruit. Jesus says in Luke 8:15, “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by preserving, produce a crop.”

Mark 4:9, Jesus says, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” One of the keys to living the Christian life is to never stop listening to the Lord. Do we hear and heed what He says? If we are not willing to ‘heed’ what God says, we will not ‘hear’ what He says.

Isn’t it interesting that in each of these four types of soil, they all ‘hear’ the Word? The first the seed fell “along” the trampled trail. In the second, it fell “on” rocky ground. In the third, the seed settled “among” the thorns. In the fourth, the seed went “into” the good soil. Have you allowed God’s Word into your life?

It’s a mystery how these seeds grow. Jesus says, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain – first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)

This is a good reminder that the gospel message cannot be manipulated. The seed of the gospel grows and we don’t know how. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”

When we come to the parable of the mustard seed, I am reminded that this smallest seed, which represents our words used to share the gospel message, when it falls on the right soil (soul), it will grow into the largest plant and produce a place for others to gather the seed and spread it around. We have no idea the soil, we simply have to respond as we have been commanded. As a Christian we are to share the truth of Christ. We can’t get wrapped up in how much we say, we simply need to respond as the Holy Spirit leads.

When we break open a piece of fruit or a vegetable, what is inside? Typically a lot more seeds. That’s what happens to us as we share our life experiences with others and share how Christ entered our lives and changed us. Our broken lives shared with others is the perfect way to share the gospel message.

When you go and sow, the kingdom of God will grow.

And the last story in this chapter when Jesus calms the storm, we are reminded that problems occur in every area of life. As a Christian, we will have stormy weather and calm seas. We need to be prepared for the storms that will definitely come. We cannot surrender to the stress, but remain resilient and recover from the setbacks. With faith in Christ, we can pray, trust and move ahead. With just a word, Jesus can calm the storms in your life.

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