By James Russell
I am writing from is Mark 4:1-9. The passage is a well known parable called the parable of the sower.
This parable teaches that the condition of someone's heart is the defining factor in their life. If they have a humble heart, the seed of truth God plants will flourish. But if the heart is not in the right place, the seed of truth will at best be stunted in its growth and never produce fruit.
Jesus is explains the parable further to his disciples in Mark 4:13-20. He talks about the things that will prevent a person from healthily growing in the grace of God.
They are as follows:
1. Satan comes and takes the word.
2. They have no root so they endure only for a time.
3. The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things choke the word.
For me this teaching hits home pretty hard. I find myself battling these three things every day, and not always winning. I want to keep my heart soft before God, I don't want to fall away and become another statistic.
My home group is currently studying the biblical character, King David. The focus of our study is to answer this question. How did David have such an unwavering extravagant love for God in the midst of the extreme ups and downs of his life? How did he miss these three pot holes and keep his heart right before God?
We are learning that although David wasn't perfect, he always kept his eyes focused on God. He prioritised spending devotional time with God and above all, he had his identity in the fact that God loved him. David knew his life was successful because he was loved by God and loved him back.
If we don’t take the condition of our heart seriously, we will be snared by the things Jesus warns us about and stop growing. May this community of believers keep our eyes on Jesus, so that we will become by grace, what God is by nature.