Mark 4:1-20 (NIV)
The Parable of the Sower
4 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” 9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” 10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise, they might turn and be forgiven!’” 13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
What do you need to do so your spiritual life is producing an abundant crop?
I am dirt. You created me from the dirt of the earth and in the end I will return to dirt. I know from my garden that there is work to prepare the soil before things will grow. Naturally, dirt is hard and unpliable. There are rocks and boulders that need to be removed. It needs fertilizer and peat moss mixed in to make it absorbent and healthy. And then there is constant maintenance of weeds that continually get in the way. Lord, I ask that you would prepare me to be good soil. Dig out the big obstacles in my life that get in the way. Use the trials and tribulations in my life as fertilizer to make me richer and more fertile. Till my soil so that You can break up the things that make my heart hard. Expose my sins of fear, selfishness and pride that lay under the surface. Crush the big chunks of worries of this life, deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things that block the roots of Your Word from penetrating deep in the soil of my heart. Let Your grace soak into my heart, softening me and uprooting the weeds that need to be changed in my life. As I repent, You pull the weeds with Your tools of forgiveness and grace and I become more like You. You add people in my life like peat moss that helps my soil hold nutrients for the seeds that are planted. Make me receptive to accept and grow the seeds of Your Word. Let Your seeds find my ground fertile as they penetrate deep in my soul. Let the warmth of Your light from a close relationship with You make the dead seeds transform into new life. Let Your Word take root in my life so that transformation and change are possible, both personally and in community. A garden needs continual care and maintenance. Lord thank You that you never leave the garden of my heart, but continually prop me up, prune me, remove weeds that surround me and destroy mites that can eat me from within and destroy my fruit. Daily doses with You and Your Word waters my soul to keep me fresh and vibrant as my relationship with You grows stronger. Lord, produce a bountiful “harvest” in me as You accomplish Your purposes in and through me. Amen