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Soil Tested

Mark 4.1-9 and 13-20
Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
 
And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
“Wayside” people, like many of the religious leaders, refuse to believe God’s message. “Rocky soil” people, like many in the crowds who followed Jesus, believe His message but never get around to doing anything about it. “Thorn patch” people, overcome by worries and the lure of materialism, leave no room in their lives for God. “Good soil” people, in contrast to all the other groups, follow Jesus no matter what the cost.

To hear Jesus’ words is to believe them, to use them immediately in decisions and attitudes, and to base life on them—our recreation and work, family plans and money matters, schooling and voting, praying and singing. To hear Jesus’ words is to make Jesus our true Lord. So which type of soil are you? What do you need to do to become good soil?

Pastor Jeff
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