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Monday, February 27, 2023
Bible Meditation: 
Mark 4: 13-20

But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who HEAR the WORD, ACCEPT it, and bear fruit… Mk.4:20a

The Parable of the Sower indirectly alludes to the Believer’s admirable attitude to TREMBLE AT GOD’S WORD: But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who HEAR the WORD, ACCEPT it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred” (Mk.4:20). This parable concerns a sower who scattered seeds, which fell on four different types of ground – wayside, stony, thorny, and good ground – representing found kinds of people or four kinds of heart. We as believers, determine what kind of soil our hearts will be – hard, shallow, crowded, or receptive. The Word of God will work in our lives only to the extent that we manifest meek and receptive hearts: “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (Jam.1:21).

.People have different attitudes to God’s Word. Some don’t want to hear it at all. Some hear but despise it. Some hear it half-heartedly, and disobey. Some are excited to hear the Word but do nothing about it. Also, some don’t show initial excitement, but later open their hearts to the Word and obey. Yet, others are quick to hear and quick to obey. These have the attitude of Trembling at God’s Word as understood in light of the Parable of the Sower which is recorded ad interpreted in three of the Gospels (Mt.13:1-23; Mk.4:1-20; Lk. 8:1-15). The analogy in this parable is that the human heart is like receptive soil to the seed of the Word of God. The soil represents four categories of hearers' hearts, four different responses to God’s Word: the hard heart, shallow heart, crowded heart, and fruitful heart.

For the hard heart, the seed falls along the wayside, preventing it from sprouting at all. This represents people who are hardened by sin, who hear the Word but fail to listen or reflect, never really understand or believe it, and are fruitless. Satan plucks the message away, keeping the heart dull and preventing the Word from making an impression (v.15). For the shallow heart, the seed falls on rocky or stony ground which provides just enough soil for seeds to germinate, but without depth of earth, these do not take root and are soon withered in the sun. This pictures the people who hear the Word of God, initially receive it with joy and profess delight with it, but because there is no sustaining root, they wither. The heart is not changed, and when trouble arises, such fair-weather people cave in quickly (vv.16-17).

In the crowded heart, the seed falls among competing weeds which choke out its growth. Thorny grounds depict those who seem to receive the Word, but whose hearts are full of deceitful riches, pleasures, and lusts; the things of this world take their attention away from the Word, ending up with no time for it (vv.18-19). Such people are pre-occupied with the world’s worries, greed, and riches, and slowly but surely, lose interest in divine things. They are unwilling to give up the world to gain Jesus. Finally, there is the fruitful heart that receives and trembles at the Word. The seed falls on good ground, producing a rich harvest and much fruit. This good soil portrays the one who hears, understands, and receives the Word, allowing it to accomplish its result in his life. This is the truly saved soul: Salvation’s proof is fruit (Mt.3:7-8; 7:15-20).

Our reception of God’s Word is determined by the condition of our heart! Let’s assess the state of our discipleship and faith in light of the four soils: How do I hear God’s Word (vv.23-24). Does my heart reflect all the four types of soil to varied degrees based on different areas of my life? Do I tremble at God’s Word? The good soil represents faithful, fruitful disciples (v.20). They accept and tremble at God’s Word, producing a rich harvest. They are willing to really listen and learn, and to give up everything for Christ (Lk.14:33).

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, make our hearts good ground that receive, accept, and TREMBLE AT YOUR WORD, as faithful and fruitful disciples, in Jesus’ name.
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