Friday, January 27th. Mark 4:1-9

Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”  Mark 4:1-9

 

In life, in ministry, in relationships, in business – it is very easy to get discouraged.  We might want what we want but far more often we get what we get and they aren’t always the same thing.

 

This parable names our discouragement.  Whether we insert ourselves as the soil, the seed or the sower, what we usually hope for – an abundant harvest – seems a hit or miss proposition.

 

Our inclination is to focus only on the seed falling into good soil and notice that its abundant harvest more than makes up for the seeds that are lost, burned or choked.

 

Far better would be to focus on the crazy sower.

 

In Jesus’ explanation of the parable to the disciples, the sower is God, the seed is the Word of God, and the soils are examples of the ways that the Word does, or doesn’t, sink deeply into us so as to bear fruit.  Again, we hear this, immediately are tempted to judge ourselves, often harshly, and the result is discouragement.

 

I don’t know if it is a midwestern Norwegian thing or a character flaw but I can receive 99 great compliments and one slight complaint and it will be the complaint that rings in my ears for days.  I read this parable and my mind can’t get past the poor soils because I know something about being lost, burned and choked.

 

The only solution is to focus on the crazy sower.

 

God doesn’t quit.  As crazy as it seems to scatter perfectly good seed on driveways, weed beds or the cracked soil of a Texas drought, God keeps scattering that seed.  In the face of tempation, difficulty, discouragement, exhaustion, rejection, and hunger, the seed keeps coming.

 

I hear again of the relentless love, I notice that the sun has risen for yet another day, and my ears perk up.  May we both hear and listen.

 

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, keep sending your Word our way.  May it work itself deeply into our imaginations, may it guide our wills, may it instruct us in our path.  Don’t give up on us.  Encourage us to keep on keeping on.  Encourage us as we join you in sowing love, that it might bear the fruit of transformed and blossoming lives.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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5 Responses to “Friday, January 27th. Mark 4:1-9”

  1. Scott Says:

    “I don’t know if it is a midwestern Norwegian thing or a character flaw but I can receive 99 great compliments and one slight complaint and it will be the complaint that rings in my ears for days.”

    Yeah, me too. The more I’m focused on me, and not on the “crazy sower”, the worse it is. Good thoughts (again).

  2. Mary Says:

    I once discovered a begonia growing in a pile of bricks I had in the backyard. That was amazing in itself.Then, when you consider that I’ve never planted begonias before or have ever seen begonias in the yards of my close neighbors, it was truly phenominal. Goes to prove that the “crazy sower” can and will make things grow in the most unlikely places…and that includes us.

  3. Chris Bowen Says:

    Just what I needed to hear today…thanks for the Good News!

  4. Joanne Says:

    This devotion is perfect for today. I went on an interview today and as I was driving home I kept praying to God for the call back…then I said that if it is not a fit, I will not be upset. Maybe a little disappointed but not upset as I do have another interview next week at another company. I am trusting God with this and not going to worry about it.

    Thank you for. The Daily Devotions.

  5. Sharon Longnecker Says:

    This is truly a “wow” devotion! Thank you so much. I love the “crazy sower” both as the idea and for real. What a way to bring home God’s love and perseverance.
    Thank you,
    Sharon Longnecker

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