Monday, May 22, 2017


Mark 4

1 Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore.

A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat.

Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore.

2 He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

  3 "Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.

4 As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.

5 Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock.

The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.

6 But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn't have deep roots, it died.

7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain.

8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"

9 Then he said, "Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand."

  10 Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant.

  11 He replied, "You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God.

But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders,12 so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:

'When they see what I do,
  they will learn nothing.
When they hear what I say,
  they will not understand.
Otherwise, they will turn to me
  and be forgiven.'"

  13 Then Jesus said to them,

"If you can't understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?

14 The farmer plants seed by taking God's word to others.

15 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.

16 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy.

17 But since they don't have deep roots, they don't last long.

They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word.

18 The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God's word,

19 but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life,

the lure of wealth,

and the desire for other things,

so no fruit is produced.

20 And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"

I've wondered if this parable is Jesus telling us what our lives will be like as we try to share with others this new life with have in Him?

I've also wondered if it is something of a summary of my life in ministry during those 30 years as a Methodist music minister, those 10 years with House of Grace, & these 7 years here in Blairsville, as well as whatever lies ahead.

And I wondered that this parable not only is indicative of my life, but describes each of our lives, yours included, as we walk this journey, loving God & loving others.

We have such a success orientation here in our white evangelical middle class world in regards to most everything, including sharing with others about Jesus.

Maybe Jesus was alerting us to the basic fact that no matter what we say & do, some people are not going to choose to accept the grace & mercy offered by God through Jesus.

And that some who initially connect will simply not go the distance.

But those who lock on to Him & abandon themselves to Him will find an abundance is who they are & what they do.

Perhaps Jesus is reminding us that our job is to sow, but when all is said & done, success is not always a guarantee, in view of the plethora of dynamics involved.

How many of us who have lived more than a couple of years have seen many people jump on the bandwagon of following Jesus just to fall away down the line.

And how many of us have come to realize that the number of people who actually ending up going the distance with God, abandoning their lives to His Lordship are actually few & far between.

It is so easy to settle – to choose to live the good life – but never embrace what is necessary to live the God life of abandon & adventure.

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