We have been discussing the importance of God’s Word to our spiritual growth. In this post, we will begin to examine some specific truths that the Bible teaches about itself. The Word contains God’s power, and it includes instructions on how to use it. The Bible is comparable to a spiritual user manual. God did not leave us to fend for ourselves!
Jesus taught a parable about a man who sowed seed in four types of ground. Mark included this in the fourth chapter of his Gospel account.
Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Mark 4:3 – 9)
The man in this parable scattered the seed. It landed first on a type of ground that Jesus called “wayside.” This ground was packed down and so hardened that the seed was unable to penetrate it. It sat on the surface as a result, and eventually, birds came and ate it.
The seed could penetrate the second type of ground, but it had so many rocks that there was not enough earth for deep roots to develop. Any resulting plan would be unable to survive because of the shallow root system.
Weeds and thorn bushes covered the third type of ground. Seeds were able to penetrate this soil but could not survive. They would sprout but could not produce fruit because of the weeds and thorns surrounding them.
Jesus described the fourth type of ground as being “good.” It was not packed down, had no rocks, and did not have the weeds and thorn bushes. Any Seed planted produced crops measured as “thirty,” “sixty,” or “one hundred” fold harvests.
And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? (Mark 4:13)
Jesus told His disciples that they would not understand any of His other parables without first understanding this one. This statement is something we should pay attention to on our journey into spiritual maturity.
French army engineers discovered the Rosetta stone in 1799. It contains writing in hieroglyphics, in ancient Egyptian demotic, and ancient Greek. The stone enabled scientists to unlock the mystery of hieroglyphics which previously had been unknown.
The parable of the sower is a spiritual Rosetta stone that provides us the ability to unlock the other parables of Jesus. A person who can understand this single parable will find the mysteries of God’s Kingdom opened to them.
Jesus provided His disciples with an interpretation is found in Mark 4, beginning in verse 14.
The sower soweth the word. (Mark 4:14)
Jesus chose a seed to illustrate how the Word of God operates.
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)
God has established the law of seedtime and harvest to govern His creation. A seed must be planted in the ground and then given time to grow before any crop is ready for us to harvest.
Seeds do not care who the person is that plants them in the ground. They operate the same regardless. If we are going to get the “seed” of God’s Word to work, we will have to learn how to cooperate with it.
Jesus chose to illustrate the Kingdom of God with seed because the laws governing it operate identically to how natural “seeds” work. These laws will work for any person who will learn to function according to them.
Many sincere people plead and beg with God in prayer without receiving any answer. I used to be confused by this. Their hearts seemed to be right with God. Over time, I learned the seedtime principle and realized that praying is not necessarily sowing.
Prayer is equivalent to watering a seed. A person can fertilize and water the ground all day long with no result if they do not plant a seed in it!
It doesn’t matter how nice a person is or how sincere they are. None of us will receive anything from God if we are not planting the “seed” of God’s Word in our hearts.
I have met many people who are angry at God because He did not come through for them. They blame Him for the lack of results even though it is clear they have not spent any time meditating on His Word. These same people would think a person crazy who complained about their crops not appearing in any ground with no seed planted!
Most Christians today do not spend time each day meditating on God’s Word. They are not planting the seed in the ground of their heart. These are the people expecting a miracle who will become angry with God when no results manifest.
I know that you may be reading these words thinking of a person who did not meditate in the Word and still received a miracle. God gave certain ministry gifts to His body to help people when they do not have time to plant His Word in their hearts. He did this as an act of mercy.
A person diagnosed with six months to live does not have time to spend a year becoming grounded in the Word of God. God provided the gift of miracles and the gifts of healing for situations like this. The Church accesses these gifts through an act of God’s love, but He does not want us to become dependent on supernatural ministry gifts.
The body of Christ runs to ministers operating in supernatural gifts. Some people do get healed this way but not the majority. In my experience, most who do receive this way will eventually “lose” their healing because they do not know how to stand on God’s Word.
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