The Sower Part 2
Bible Study brings us into something amazing and the Holy Spirit speaks. From Mark Chapter 4 and the Sower Parable.
Our Bible Study Live that is conducted every morning, Monday through Friday on my personal Facebook page, has been blessed many times with a strong word from the Holy Spirit. In this case, it was such a wonderful process, I felt it needed to be blogged and posted about. We will take each portion of the parable one at a time.
Please Read Mark 4:3-8
3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it.
5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.
6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.
7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.
8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” Mark 4:3-8 (NKJV)
For just a moment, picture in your mind the scene unfolding of a man casting seed across the ground from a burlap sack hung from his shoulder. He has worked hard to prepare the dirt for the seed. But he cannot get all of the ground ready and in order to cover all he has prepared, he casts the seed wide to ensure good coverage. So, naturally, some lands in places he did not intend for it to land. The wayside. And the rocky ground. Where the rocks under the surface have not been rooted out and gotten rid of.
Inches below the surface, the soil is heavily mixed with rocks. These rock create a problem for the new seed. They are deep enough that the seed can take root and begin to grow. But there is an issue for the long term success.
The seed is planted and water comes, then we see a small sprout break the ground. In no time our field is covered with green seedlings and promise. We discover that growth has happened in areas we have not prepared. But growth is growth. Right?
In the ground under some of the small plants lurks the rocks. What the rocks will do is prevent the roots of the young plants to go deep. Now we might ask, “Why do they need to go deep?” The simple answer is that a plant needs long term support. Not just support as in foundation, but nutrients.
Tomato plants are unique. Many times, they can be easily over-watered. The fruit can grow and ripened too early because it is constantly watered. The fruit will also end up small and pulpy. Once a tomato plant gets going, it really doesn’t need to be watered more than once a week. This action will cause the roots to go deeper to find the nutrition it needs. Especially that which comes from H2O. This process will cause the plant to focus the nutrition instead of just send it all over. The results will be larger and better fruit.
When a person comes to God, the priority for that person is to remain and grow with God. For that to happen, they need their “spiritual” roots to go deep in God. To get a hold of Him and make Him the central part of their lives. Deep roots create that foundation that will support them in two, distinct ways:
1. First it will give the person the necessary means to survive the problems of the world because they will always be able to depend on God, having their relationship with Him go deep.
2. The necessary spiritual “nutrition” will always be there to feed off of when the struggles and mis-understandings hit. And they will hit! But the result will be better, more productive fruit. A crop that Jesus says will yield multiple results. (vs. 8)
The parable says that because the soil depth was shallow (with rocks underneath) the seed produces a plant quickly, but without the deeper roots, it has nothing to give it sustenance when the sun becomes hot. Or, life gets tough.
We are given the gift of Jesus and all that includes. But, much like a gift at Christmas time, we have to do something with it. When Jesus is presented to us and we choose to accept Him, we might find ourselves excited and filled with joy. But then, we leave the service and go home to find life is still there. The problems are still in front of us, distracting us with the difficulties they represent.
And we are suddenly given the choice to decide if this new connection with our Creator is real or just a passing fad.
One of the gifts the Church has to offer the new Christian is discipleship. In a very real way,
discipleship can dig up the rocks as it is used to strengthen and guide someone who is recent in their faith. Because we are all subject to life’s hardships.
What are the rocks? They can be struggles like making sure we get teaching. Being encouraged by others. They can be choices. Often times, choices that are, in themselves, not bad choices. But they add up to things that keep us from digging dipper into knowing and understanding God. The easiest way to prevent a person from having shallow roots and, eventually, walking away from God, is to ensure they know that God is with them and teaching them ways to strengthen the relationship with Him. In other words, teaching them to study God’s Word daily and talk to Him in prayer constantly.
Even though Jesus teaches us that people will have struggles, it is always His intention that a person be saved. Understanding the problems that a person might experience when the Gospel is presented to them will help us as the Kingdom to grasp how to be present in a newborn’s life. And that is what a multi-fold crop is all about!