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Bible Pathways 10/14/2003

October 14

Read Mark 4 -- 5

In Today's Reading:

Jesus' parables; the storm stilled; a legion of demons cast out; Jairus' daughter raised

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 4:1-4). This means that some people respond to the Gospel with self-destroying indifference. They represent the indifferent hearer who is open to pleasures and self-indulgence, but callously closed to the Word of God. Satan comes immediately, and takes 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 arises 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; but faced with the loss of a friend or a job, or persecution because of the Word of God, they immediately quit.

Still 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 others things entering in, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful (4:18-19). Such people seem to recognize the true worth of Christ and eternal life, but they have never made a break from their past. When the things of the world that keep a person from being devoted to the Lord are not weeded out, they gradually take control of their hearts. Consequently, the Word of God and spiritual desires 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 a hundred (4:20) By faith, these people break up their stony places, the areas in their lives that were never yielded to God. They root out the weeds and thorns of mixed motives that destroy spiritual effectiveness, and they bear much fruit.

Jesus has said to all: I am the Vine, you are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit (John 15:5).

Word Study:

5:30 virtue = healing power

Cross Reference:

For Mark 4:12: See Isaiah 6:9-10; Jeremiah 5:21; Ezekiel 12:2.

Prayer Needs:

BP Staff: George Kopchak · Pray for Rick Sanchez and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KIJN-AM/FM, Farwell TX · Government Official: Rep. Steven Rothman (NJ) · Country: Ukraine (52 million) east-central Europe · Major languages: Ukrainian and Russian · Religious freedom · 55% Ukrainian/Autocephalous/Old Believers/Armenian Orthodox; 15% Catholic; 3% Protestant; 1% Jews; .5% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to fill you with His love for the unlovely (I John 4:7-8).

Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 9:6

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