Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mark: 4 soils

This week took me through Mark 4:1-23.  Jesus tells the parable of the sower and the seed, explains the parable and then starts his parable of the light.

Amazingly, my last two blogs were about the Word of God.  This parable is about the Word.  It is represented by the seeds.  The farmer scatters it everywhere, I mean everywhere.  It goes on a path where the birds eat it.  It goes on rocky soil where it grows no root and then dies.  It goes on the thorny soil and gets choked by the thorns.  It goes on good soil where it keeps growing.

Jesus told parables to specifically hide his word from people who will not believe.  How do I know?  He says so in verses 11 and 12.  When he speaks, his elect believers will learn, come to know him, and grow in holiness, but at the same time, people who will not believe and be saved will just not understand and simply drown in their sins.  At the same time, the message is offered to everyone without discrimination.

This parable explains God's Word and how it works in people.  It also describes people and how they will react.  As a Sunday School teacher and worker with children, from my perspective, the soils are not in permanent states.  All of the soil needs Christ's Word to grow and to know Jesus.  Not all react at the same rate or in the same way.

The rocky soil grows for a time, but these people do not have their faith based on Jesus.  It is based on their friends, the good programs at church, good music, a great book, but not actually Jesus.  They don't read the Bible throughout the week, and eventually they leave church.  But God can plow the soil, dig up the rocks, and replant his Word, and they can return.  And he can use me to do that.

The thorny soil are people that grow and genuinely believe, but they are so preoccupied with their jobs, their kids' activities, multiple activities in the community and even church, and they never get to sit down and just feed themselves the word and they never seem to grow in knowledge and faith.  God can dig up those weeds and reorient that person so that they can relax and thrive.

Then the path.  It's like they never even hear the Word.  They never set foot in church on purpose, and if anything, these are the true reprobates.  If a church member leaves and never returns before he dies, then it's a good sign that there was a path lying beneath that soil.

Just the same, it is not my job to know.  My job is to spread the Word to the ones that do come, love them, keep hoping in the Master to bring about the growth, and just believe that I will see them for eternity in joy and love.  And I simply love them in the time that I have them under my influence so much that it hurts.  I know God will use that in their lives, too.  Why else would he put me there?

Finally, the lamp.  After 6 years of volunteering at a pregnancy resource center, I cannot do it for now because I got a day job.  I need to find some way to keep trying to reach people outside the church to bring them in.  Internet is a good place to do that.  But I need to find another way to do that or to help someone else.  God will show me the way.

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