Of the four illustrations Jesus shared on this day, only one of them had positive results. That’s only 25% success…a .250 batting average in pro baseball. God’s Word says nothing negative about this…it is just a part of life that failures will happen. For the example in this teaching, ‘Just keep sowing seed’…reminds me of Dory in ‘Finding Nemo’…’Just keep swimming…’
Let’s look to the 25% that falls on Good Ground:
(Illustration) Mark 4:8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
(Explanation) Mark 4:20 And the seed that fell on good soil represents those (honest, good-hearted people) who hear and accept God's word (cling to it and patiently) and produce a (huge) harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"
Out of the four, only this one is ‘fruitful’. It 1. Hears It. 2. Understands It. 3. Receives It. 4. Then produces fruit with it! How can you make sure you are ready to receive?
If you have been hard hearted towards a part of God’s message of love to you then you must soften and moisten. This is accomplished through acceptance.
If you have been shallow hearted towards a part of God’s message then you must begin to plumb the depths of the Gospel so that you can receive all (not just part) of it in your life.
If your heart is crowded so that God’s message is competing with the weeds of the world then you need to get your shovel out and dig up that stuff.
How will you know when your heart is good and your soil is ready to receive. Fruit is the evidence of a true believer in Christ and of good ground. What kind of fruit are we talking about? Winning others to Christ, Giving & Serving , Christian Character or Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and Praise to the Lord (Hebrews 13:15)
The 3 Fruitless hearts/soils each have an enemy that wins. The hard heart is defeated by Satan snatching up the truth. The shallow heart is defeated by counterfeit religious feelings. The crowded heart is defeated by the things of this world that smother growth. This heart…this good soil…is victorious. It takes God’s Word and plants it deep and then cares for it as it grows and then is very productive.
Does God find good soil in your heart? Are you producing a harvest with what He has given you? Galatians 6:9.