February 28

Psalm 72; Psalm 119:73-96;
Genesis 42:18-28
; 1 Corinthians 5:9—6:8; Mark 4:1-20

And he said, “Let anyone with ears
to hear listen!” 
Mark 4:9

The devotional for today is Mark 4:1-20, The Parable of the Sower. This is probably one of the most significant and encouraging parables in the Bible. Jesus even told his Twelve, this particular parable was the basis for all parables. We learn of how Jesus was by the sea, and a great crowd of people were there to hear Jesus’ word. So great in fact, that Jesus got into a boat and sat in the boat, in the water, while his ‘audience’ was all on the land, watching and listening. He then taught them about “The Sower”, a farmer sowing seeds, and about the four places that the sower’s seeds fell.

* The first seeds fell along a path and were devoured by birds.
*The next place where the seeds landed was along a rocky path, where they were scorched and withered.
* The following place where the seeds fell was amongst some rocks and thorns, where they were choked and did not bear fruit.
* The last place, and the best place where the seeds fell, is on good soil. In the good soil the seeds flourished, and bore fruit, and multiplied a hundred times.

Try to visualize this; a great crowd of people on the land, similar to one of our modern day rock concerts, all of these folks looking out to the water, to the boat where Jesus stood. The ‘stage’ was a boat, and the ‘music’ was simple words, yet a very important story. An important story that compared Jesus to a farmer, planting his crop, sowing his seeds of faith. Jesus was such a great teacher. He knew his audience and taught them in ways that they could not only relate to, but would forever remember.

When we come to church and hear a sermon, or read about our faith, we have a choice.
*We can leave and never again think about what the message was. We can show up, but never really hear or accept the message.
*Or, we can think about the message briefly, but then, we eventually allow God’s word to wither and die. We allow Satan, like the birds, to devour our seeds of faith.
*Or, we can listen politely, but choose not to follow God’s word, because it may be inconvenient. Our greed and worries choke the message and make it unfruitful.
*Or, we can hear. We can accept. We can understand.

Let’s be the “good soil”. Let us not only hear the word of God, but let those words, those seeds of our faith, take root in our hearts and minds, to increase, to flourish and multiply.