Mark 4:1-20 – Are You Receptive to the Word of God?

Beloved, it is necessary to take an honest inventory of the state of your soul, and to be sure to verify that the Gospel seed has taken root in good soil.
Presumably, many of you here today have, at some point in your life, welcomed the Word of Christ into your heart. There was a day when you regarded everything that the world had to offer as rubbish, and you chose to follow Christ. But what about now? What is your present position within this parable? Has anything changed? What is your primary concern? Do the things of this “world” distract you from following Christ? Or does your primary concern remain with heavenly things—is your chief concern following Christ regardless of the cost?
Differing from the roadside soil, if the condition of our heart presently matches the rocky soil, we are told that we possess the ability to receive the word. Notice that this time the seed manages to penetrate the soil. Not only that, but Jesus says that we “receive (the word) with joy” (4:16).
This is something many of us can relate to. I sometimes leave church on Sundays thinking I’m “Super-Christian” only to find out on Monday how superficial my response to God’s Word was. If daily trials and afflictions derail our pursuit of Christ, it is a sure sign that we have only superficially received God’s Word.
And what if the present condition of our heart matches the weedy soil? Unfortunately, many of us know what it is like to have God’s Word germinating in our heart only to see it later choked out. This analogy of the “weedy soil” is the most unsettling for me. There is the sense that we might be able to avoid having our hearts resemble a dirt path or shallow soil. But the idea of weed-infested soil, I’m afraid, is a genuine reality for most Christians.
We may have prayerfully prepared are hearts to receive the Word of God, but what we often fail to do is remove the harmful things within our heart. In short, we fail to do our weeding. We desperately want to see the Word of God take root in our lives, but at the same time, we are lackadaisical about having the sin, bitterness, and anxiety removed from our hearts.
Beloved, those of us who, at one point in our life, received the word of God with all sincerity, ought to make certain that we are presently receiving His word. We ought not take for granted the current condition of our heart; we ought not take for granted the current condition of our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Whether you are someone who has never received and accepted the Gospel of Christ, or whether you are someone who once received the Gospel, but is now distracted, the called for response is the same for both: Pray to the One who has the ability to change the nature of the soil. Pray to the One who has the ability to change the condition of our heart.
The benefits of being “good soil” are innumerable. Pray that our Heavenly Father would give us “ears to hear” (4:9), and strength to obey, in order that Christ might be glorified in our lives. Amen.

Bryn MacPhail

Read Mark 4:1-20 and examine your heart to see how you have been responding to the Word over the last few weeks. Is something hindering you from receiving the Word with all joy and putting it into practice? Are you faithfully seeking to grow in your love for the Lord as you intake more of his Word?

Not In Me by Sovereign Grace

Posted on: January 11, 2018 - 10:00PM

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