Focal passage: Mark 4:1-9
One of the first things I learned when I became a Christian was that the Bible is God’s perfect and life-giving Word. That was incredible news! I couldn’t fathom that the God of the universe would want to speak to me and guide me.
It was also intimidating, and I allowed fear to get in the way of how I interacted with the Bible.
I would skim over passages, hang scripture on my wall or memorize verses without giving thought to what it meant for my life.
Don’t get me wrong, reading the Bible, memorizing scripture and placing reminders of God’s Word around our homes are good things. Nevertheless, it’s not enough to know and remember what God teaches; we must also be active participants of His teaching.
In Mark 4:1-9, Jesus speaks to this very point. The “sower” ultimately represents Jesus, but by extension represents each of His followers in our attempt to spread the gospel. The “seed” is the Word of God, and the “soil” represents the condition of one’s heart upon receiving the Word.
Jesus teaches about four types of soil: hard soil, rocky soil, thorny soil and good soil (Mark 4:4-8). The first three types share a common problem – the seed isn’t allowed deep into the soil. Similarly, the hardness of our hearts, hardships we face and distractions of the world can keep God’s Word from being rooted deeply in our hearts.
Upon falling on good soil, the final seed “yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty and some a hundred” (Mark 4:8). Jesus goes on to say, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:9). These two passages show us that obeying God’s Word will produce fruit.
We have access to the truth through the Bible, and God has placed other teachers in our lives to help us know His Word. Living out God’s Word, however, will change our lives and the lives of others forever.