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Over to you 

Mark 4 v 1-20

It’s a funny thing. Jesus stood up in a boat and told the raging waves to be calm and they instantly obeyed. No question, no hesitation—just total obedience. Jesus’ words have that kind of power. And yet, when it comes to human beings, there’s a much wider variety of responses. Jesus’ words have just as much authority over us, just as much power—but God has given us the responsibility for what we do with His words. 

Parable of the sower

Read Mark 4 v 1-20

Jesus’ first concern is for the sowers, His disciples. They need to understand that even though they have the most brilliant truth to share, not everyone will take it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the seed—it’s the word of God; the problem lies in the soils, the human hearts and lives into which God’s word falls. Even with the promising responses of this story, in the end only one soil yields any fruit. 

• The hard path, v 15 . The seed lies on top. The word is heard but doesn’t penetrate. But why is there no response?

• The rocky soil, v 16, 17. Enthusiastic response—the person believes in Jesus and wants to follow Him. The problem is the cost...

• The thorny soil, v 18, 19. This time the response is more thoughtful. God’s word has time to take root. But in the end the competition wins the battle for space... 

• The good soil, v 20. You can only define soil as ‘good’ when the seed actually produces fruit. Our lives start to be ‘fruitful’ for God—we become more like Jesus.

It’s a challenging parable, because it explodes the idea that simply being receptive to God’s words will do—that it doesn’t need to actually take over our lives... 

  • Which soil best fits the way you have been responding as you have read or heard God’s words in the last few days? 


Do you want to be good soil? 

  • What fears and worries surface in your mind as you think about bringing yourself into complete obedience to Jesus words? 

  • Talk to Him about these things, and ask Him to change your sluggish heart, protect you from ‘the competition’ and help you to be a receptive, responsive servant. 

  • And pray for fruit! In your life and in the lives of others. The fruit of a godly life that pleases the Lord and draws others to Him as well... 

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