Series: Doers of the Word
Message – Soils of the Heart
Soils and hearts
Mark 4:9-20, “(9) And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (10) But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. (11) And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, (12) so that ‘SEEING THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND HEARING THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND; LEST THEY SHOULD TURN, AND THEIR SINS BE FORGIVEN THEM.’ ” (13) And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? (14) The sower sows the word. (15) And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. (16) These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; (17) and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. (18) Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, (19) and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (20) 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.”
Wayside – The devil actually comes to EVERY heart – EVERY time the word is sown there. The difference is in HOW this heart HEARD the word. The wayside heart’s approach to the Word is casual. They do not value it hardly at all. It is simply one opinion in an ocean of opinions. In reality, regardless of their claims, it carries no true intrinsic value to them.
This is the “Yeah but…” heart. If you EVER use that phrase in relation to something God and His Word says, then His Word to you is no more than one opinion among many.
Stoney Ground – The intended meaning of “stoney” here is shallow. You can readily see that this heart doesn’t sound “stoney” at first in that it IMMEDIATELY, receives the Word with gladness. However, it is only a surface and emotional response. There is no abiding respect for or commitment to God’s Word – only a superficial delight in something that appeals to them on some surface level. never the less, they DO receive it. However, when the devil comes to take it away – he finds it is not easy pickings since, unlike the wayside heart, it actually entered the heart. The devil has NO authority to remove something from your heart which you, of your own freewill let in! So he has to influence you (“tempt”) to let go of it willingly. This is NOT difficult with the Stoney (shallow) heart. All it requires is removing or calling into question the advantage of the Word they rejoiced over and they will let go of it every time! This is because the “WAY” they heard the Word was out of selfish ambition. When, in their view, the apparent advantage was removed – the Word no longer served any purpose to them.
- Mk. 6:41-52
- Mk. 8:17
- Mk. 16:14
- Jn. 12:40
- Acts 28:24-29
- Heb. 4:7
Thorny Heart – This heart is conditioned to desire the Word and even value it on some level but is NOT committed to it. As much as I hate to rely upon Disney for examples…this is a “Dory” heart…meaning, it is flighty and easily drawn away. They deliberately place themselves in positions to HEAR the Word, but their respect for it is a religious one – not a relational one. These are “Sunday” Christians and fair-weather friends of Christ. They have an emotional love for Him – like Peter…“Peter do you love me with a self-sacrificing love? Peter responded, :Lord, you know I have an emotional fondness for you like a friend.” ~ John 21:15 (paraphrased). Their attentions are SO divided that any slight thing will remove it from focus on Christ’s words to them…be it worldly cares and concerns, financial needs and desires or any other earthly things which competes for our attention and allegiance.
One more note about this heart is TRUST. This heart has very little of it! It hears the Words of Jesus, but does know the Jesus of the Words. They are familiar with Him, but they do not truly KNOW Him and therefore, His words concerning worldly cares and concerns, financial needs and desires or any other earthly thing, seems distant, archaic. This is a divided heart. It has a large compartment for natural cares and concerns labeled “real” things, while God’s Word falls into that heart file category labeled “religious things” in which the non-real world of Scripture is placed.
* To this heart, all Scripture is good for sure, but it is NOT real in that it is NOT where they place their trust. To place all their trust in Christ’s Words without a natural “backup plan” for insurance, seems risky and fearful to them like those of a stranger. Their hearts are not homey to the Word or God or Christ Himself. They do not in reality TRUST Him. The ears they hear with are religious ears, not ears of valued relationship!
Good Heart – This is the heart which while it may indeed struggle against all those tendencies listed above, always come back to that same truth which Peter embraced, “Where would I go? You have the Words of eternal life.” This is a Jacob heart. One that wrestles with God, but in the end always give Him the final word! This heart loves, cherishes and values Christ first – offering the net result of a heart which also clings to and highly values His words!
We will pick up here next week in our teachings of a homey heart…Blessings!
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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