Today’s Bible Verse
Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have 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 seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”Mark 4:3-9 (NKJV)
Listen! Here’s one of the most powerful instructions Jesus gave to us. This passage speaks to us about the parable of the sower. It gives us insight as to why some disciples flourish more than others. Why some believers grow and why others remain stagnant. It reveals to us the necessary conditions necessary to bring spiritual maturity and fruitfulness in a person’s life.
Jesus said, Listen! There are four different soils mentioned.
⁃ stony ground
⁃ seed sown among thorns
⁃ good ground
Jesus explained that Satan comes immediately to steal the Word before it even reaches the ears of the listener. Whether you are sitting in service, attending a Life Group or doing your devotions. The enemy orchestrates a series of events to prevent you from hearing the voice of the Lord. Sometimes distractions come in the form of notifications on your phone, sometimes it’s distracting thoughts.
Then you realize that you are in service and tune back in for a moment. After a minute you start browsing through the internet. This cycles continues to repeat itself until next thing you know, life group or Sunday service is done. The enemy is the great distractor. This is how he steals the Word to prevent you from having quality time with the Revelator, the Holy Spirit Himself. This is what produces fruitless lives. (Pastor Wally Matanza, Word of Life Yokohama)
An Uncommon Life
So Jesus begins by saying, “Listen!” So how do we prevent this from happening?
1 Peter 5:8 (AMPC), “Be well balanced (temperate, SOBER OF MIND), be VIGILANT and CAUTIOUS at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”
James 4:7 (AMPC), “So be SUBJECT to God. RESIST the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.”
Before attending Sunday morning service, prepare your heart the night before and spend some time with the Lord (Psalm 51:10). Spend some time worshiping the Lord, listen to some sermons, and don’t stay stay up late.
Examine and purify your heart. Prepare yourself to hear the voice of the Lord. You are going to meet with the King of Kings. Do your best to eliminate distractions and turn off notifications on your devices. Bring your Bible and note taking gear to Sunday service and to Life Group. Make sure you are well rested the day before so you don’t fall asleep. Guard and protect your love walk and free yourself from ill will towards others
This ensures that you have prepared your spiritual atmosphere to receive rhema from the Lord that can change your life and the lives of the people you influence.
Resist the devil! Don’t harbor bitterness and anger. Choose to forgive and love others. When you develop a heightened awareness and guard against the tactics of the enemy, you will no longer be fruitless but rather be fruitful! You will develop spiritual maturity and increase in wisdom. Your faith will grow exceedingly to move any mountain that is in your way!
Father, I choose to give You first place in my life and give You my undivided attention. Create in me a clean heart, Lord, as I endeavor to walk in love and live by faith daily. I long to hear Your voice as I meditate on the teachings of Your word. I choose to listen to Your words of life that brings about change and transformation in my life in family.
Today’s Bible Reading
- Old Testament: 1 Chronicles 26-28; Psalms 136
- New Testament: Luke 9:37-50; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-9