By Toni Birdsong
So many people came to hear Jesus speak that day that he had to hop in a boat and paddle out on the water to address the crowd. They didn’t come to eat or socialize. In Mark 4 they, like so many people today, came looking for some way—some message—that might ease the incessant pang in their souls that everyday life had failed to ease.
So Jesus laid it out in the parable of the seed. You know the one. A famer scatters seed in a variety of ecosystems. Some goes onto a path and birds soon devour it. Other seed falls on rocky places with little soil that renders little sprouts with little roots that die in the scorching sun. Other seed falls among the thorns, which over time chokes out the crop before it can bear grain. Some seed makes it onto good soil and renders a hearty crop.
The seed in this parable represents the word of God.
The ground it falls on represents the believer at different degrees of faith.
The seed on the path = hardened believer; the devil’s easy prey..
The seed on shallow soil = unstable believer; weak roots.
The seed on thorny ground = believer who allows the cares, riches, and pleasures of life to choke out the Word.
The good ground = faithful believer who bears fruit.
During the holidays, it’s easy for believers to willingly move from good soil to thorny ground. It’s a subtle shift into our old self that some of us slink into. We can be strong, focused, fruitful in our daily faith walk and then—BAM! The holidays hit and our hearts have a tough time discerning thorny ground from the fertile soil.
What do you choose?
We choose to let the cares, riches, and pleasures of this world choke out the many blessings all around us. We choose to do what the world does—to exhaust ourselves, overspend, overcook, overeat, and overdo everything. We get around family and friends and morph a little (or a lot).
Do you find yourself comparing, competing or accumulating? Striving or stressing? Is ‘tis the season to keep up with the neighbors—more lights, more parties, more “stuff” under the tree? If so, these are all symptoms of living on thorny ground. The Word of Truth has been choked out—even replaced—by the words (and worries) of a world that has yet to be set free.
What kind of soil are you living on right now beloved? Be honest. If you lack peace, patience, and grace for those around you; if you are anxious, fixed on material things or lack the joy of the season—you may be living on some pretty prickly soil. Your root system has been compromised which has put this year’s crop in jepoardy.
You can do better. You can go deeper. Ask the Holy Spirit right now. Excuse yourself from the crowd. Let the gravy simmer. Go into a quiet room and settle your soil.
What are you grateful for today? Please list 5 things below . . .
I’m thankful today that the Word of God has landed on good soil in my life. Strong roots render good fruit. #LiveSticky