Read Mark 4
You think you had a busy day! Jesus is in a boat just off shore, teaching a crowd about spiritual growth and the Kingdom of God (Mark 4:1-34). At even (4:35) He calms the sea (4:39), rebukes demons, heals an issue of blood, and raises the dead (4:35 — 5:1-43)!
Jesus described in a parable four kinds of responses from those who hear His Word, saying: Behold, there went out a sower to sow . . . some (seed) fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it (Mark 4:3-4). This means that some people respond to the Gospel with total disinterest. They represent the hearer who expresses no concern for spiritual values but seeks after pleasures and self-indulgence. Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the Word that was sown in their hearts (4:15).
Others who hear His Word are like seed sown on stony ground (4:5). At first they are receptive, but soon lose interest. These are they . . . who, when they have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for (because of) the Word's sake, immediately they are offended (4:16-17). "Stony places" means solid rock beneath a shallow covering of soil. These "converts" appear promising and full of life; until faced with a Christian lifestyle, or persecution because of the Word of God, then they immediately quit.
Other "converts" are like seed sown among thorns; such as hear the Word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becometh unfruitful (4:18-19). Such people seem to recognize the true worth of Christ and eternal life, but never make a break from their past. By not weeding out the things of the world that keep a person from being devoted to the Lord, they gradually take control of their hearts and spiritual interests are eventually crowded out.
But a more serious group of people who hear the Word of God are like seed sown on good ground; such as hear the Word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred (4:20). By faith, these people break up their stony places, removing the things that hinder spiritual growth. They root out the weeds and thorns of mixed motives, and they bear much fruit.
Jesus has said to all: I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit (John 15:5).
Thought for Today:
Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plenteous redemption (Ps. 130:7).
4:24 mete measure out, give to others; 5:19 suffered him not did not permit him.
For Mark 4:12: See Is. 6:9-10; Jer. 5:21; Ezek. 12:2.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by A Family That Loves Jesus • Staff: Kevin Jennings • Government Official: Rep. Steven Rothman (NJ) • Country: Denmark (5 million) in northern Europe • Major languages: Danish and Faroese • Religious freedom • 92% Protestant; 1% Muslim; .5% Roman Catholic; .5% cults; .1% Jewish • Prayer Suggestion: Cry out to God daily for mercy (Ps. 86:3).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33