Saturday 26 September 2015

Mark 4:18-19 « Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. »

Here in the Gospel of Mark chapter four, Jesus tells one of the most well-known parables: The Seed and the Sower.  He speaks of four different kinds of hearts, represented by the types of soil.

  1. Heart number one is represented by a very hard, beaten down kind of soil. The seed of God’s word cannot even penetrate that soil.  And the birds of the air come and eat the seed before it can take root.
  2. Heart number two is represented by a shallow soil.  The seed of God’s word comes and takes root quickly, but because there is hardness deeper inside the heart from disappointments, hurts and unforgiveness, the plant is destroyed by the heat of trials and tribulations.
  3. Heart number three is spoken of here in verse 18.  It is good soil, but the seed of God’s word is sown along with the seeds of the world.  The two types of seed grown side by side until the weeds of the work choke out and kill the good fruit from the seeds of God’s word.
  4. Heart number four is a soil that is rich, without stones, and where the seeds of the world are not sown.

Today is the final full day of the Fast.  I trust that the Holy Spirit has already done a great work in your heart during the Fast.  And in this final day we want to look ahead to the future and begin to establish good habits that will prevent the seeds of the world to be planted in our hearts again.

There are three deadly seeds from the world: fear and anxiety, the attraction of wealth, and the forbidden fruit.  Fear in the world is overcome by faith in God.  Fear and faith are actually of the same spiritual substance; one is based in the promise of the world, and the other is based in the promise of God. The attraction of wealth is overcome by generosity towards God and towards others.  God will bless you with more if He knows you won’t become a prisoner of wealth.  So be generous.

And finally, just as you have learned during this fast that you can indeed live without meat and cheese, you can live without video games and movies; so too, you can live without the forbidden fruit.  You have already begun to gain victories over that which God has placed under the ban.  And as you continue to strengthen yourself in His word and His presence this year, you will find that the forbidden thing will lose it’s power over your soul.

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