In Mark 4:1-20 we read about a sower.
The seed is the good news, God’s word.
Each of the 4 scenarios represents the different ways people receive God’s word.
How can we ensure we are like the seed that falls into the good soil?
But those last seeds—those sown into good soil? Those people hear the word, accept it, meditate on it, act on it, and bear fruit—a crop 30, 60, or 100 times larger than the farmer dropped to earth. Mark 4:20 (The Voice)
1. To be fruitful we must “hear the word”
Fruitfulness starts by listening, letting the word of God in, and refusing to be distracted by other voices.
Be careful who you listen to and what you listen to – don’t let the good things you hear get snatched away.
Birds quickly snatched away seed that fell on the path (v.4). In the same way the tempter tries to snatch the word of God before it can take root in us (v.15).
The tempter has always been trying to snatch the seed before it can grow; it is a Biblical theme. For example. we see it in his lying to Eve (Gen.3:1) and his use of lies in tempting Jesus (Matt.4:1-11).
2. To be fruitful we must “accept the word”
“The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130 NKJV
“…humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” James 1:21 NLT
You have to let the word get in to you.
Don’t become like that hardened path. We are warned not to harden our hearts (Hebrews 3 & 4). We might be hardened by bitter experiences or disappointments; some self-inflicted, some inflicted upon us.
3. To be fruitful we must “meditate on the word”
“(Those who) delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night … are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Ps.1:2-3 NLT
Seed that fell into this soil among rocks, sprang up quickly; it then withered in the hot sun because its roots didn’t go deep. (v.5-6)
These are people who hear the word and receive it immediately with joy and enthusiasm; but without deep roots, doubt, trouble, or persecution instantly withers their faith.” (v.16-17)
How deep are your roots? We don’t want to be trees that get blown over in a gale.
Meditation on the word helps to get your roots down deep.
4. To be fruitful we must “act on the word”
Jesus compares the “weeds and thorns” in this parable to worries and the drive to accumulate stuff. “Things that cluster around close and choke out the life of God.” (v.7,18-19)
We have to deal with these weeds and thorns, and whether it’s worry or materialism scripture gives clear instructions. (See Phil.4:6 and 1 Tim.6:17)
We must put the word of God into action (James 1:22-25) – Act on the word!
5. The consequence? Fruitfulness
Fruitfulness is the consequence of allowing the seed of God’s word to work in our lives.