Good Earth, Part 4

“And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: ‘Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.’ And He said to them, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’” Mark 4:1-9.

In Good Earth, Part 1 the events leading up to the above parable were examined. In Part 2, the seed that fell by the wayside and the seed that fell on stony ground are considered. In Part 3, the seed that fell among thorns was taken up.

Parts 2 and 3 also compare King Saul and King Solomon with the seed in the stony ground and the thorny ground. We will now consider the seed that fell on good ground.

“But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” Mark 4:20.

The good ground in this parable represents the condition of the heart of the individual who receives Jesus Christ as his Savior when he hears the gospel (the good news).

The seed that fell on the stony ground and the thorny ground also represents the condition of the heart of the individual. Even though they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior the hearts of these precious souls are not strong enough to follow Him faithfully.

The seed that fell on good ground goes on to bear fruit to produce great numbers of saved souls and lives changed.

This is a percentage or number that we cannot know until we stand before Jesus in heaven. The important thing is to serve God unreservedly.

Men like the Apostle Paul, have hit the ground running and never looked back.

Literally millions have come to Christ, through the preaching of men like: Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), John Wesley (1703-1791), George Whitefield (1714-1770), Charles Finney (1792-1875), Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899), and our own Billy Graham (1918-2018). These men were disciplined, dedicated, focused, and fervent.

But that does not mean that you or I cannot serve God equally as well and gain as great a reward, even if we are deathly afraid of audiences; we need only do whatever God has put at our right hand with all of our might.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going [serving God among men stops here].” Ecclesiastes 9:10.

“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:14-17.

The things that God gives us to do may take us out of our comfort zone at times, but they will always be doable for us. Everyone God calls does not need to be a great speaker or unafraid of audiences, they merely have to be willing to serve Him.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.

This is why we should never envy someone else’s gift, because it is not suited to our personality and we would only botch it up.

Since this is so, do not waste precious time envying someone else, but rather do your own tasks and perhaps even you may be given the job you wanted at first. Maybe yes, maybe no, but God knows what is best for you.

“And He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.’” Mark 4:21-23.

This message is for those who are in stony ground as well as those who have been deceived by the riches and things of this world. You were given the Holy Spirit and eternal life to show the grace of God to the whole world; this is not a light to be hidden.

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit [the Holy Spirit] who dwells in us yearns jealously’? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:4-10.

The same goes for all Christians our light is to shine in a dark world in such a manner as to draw the walking dead and the world weary to us so we can share salvation in Jesus to them. Once the light goes out – there is only darkness.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.

“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:23.

“And He said to them, ‘Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” Mark 4:24-25.

Again, we see the Lord Jesus speaking perhaps more to the group of disciples surrounding Him than to the twelve disciples. He is speaking to all of us too, this is important.

Take heed what you hear, these are the things in the Scriptures and things that align with Scripture. If someone comes to you with a revelation, well and good, but it better be based on a clear reading of Scripture or it should not be heard.

This also applies to how much you study God’s word, the more you study; the more you will be given.

To the measure you study the word that is the measure you will receive. If you are truly desirous of knowing God, He will reveal Himself to you, if you are truly desirous of studying His word your measure will overflow.

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19.

Whoever has or works for, this great measure, more will be given to him; to those who do not bother, the pitiful little that they know will fade away.

One commentator made a good observation; “Whoever has” should dispense this knowledge to others in order for more to be given to him.”

This would be like a pitcher which is filled up; as it is emptied, more is added to it to pour out. This is good advice, a lamp is meant to be put on a lampstand.

“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Good Earth, Part 4 taken from updated on 11-26-18, reposted on 3-19-22, part 4 of 4 parts.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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