Jesus is my medicine. Let me explain. I see people so often that just need to be in a better place spiritually with God. It’s funny, I asked a friend of mine once what was keeping him from embracing God, indeed, embracing Jesus in His life. His response was something like this, “You, know I have so much on my mind and so many concerns that I just really don’t have time to think about that right now.” In my mind, I am saying, “Hello, think about what you are saying. Jesus is the great healer….HE is the answer”. It’s kind of like, oh you have a headache, here is an aspirin and being told, “Yo dude, I don’t have time to think about an aspirin, let alone take an aspirin, I have a headache to deal with?” Makes, sense, doesn’t it?
It’s also funny because many of these daily studies have been directly speaking to what is going on in my friend’s life. I told him the truth that I am simply writing daily about the application of the next Scriptures in the Gospel of Mark. Sometimes that is how God talks to us….He is orchestrating the conversation and we are just participants. I told my friend that I wasn’t really writing about him directly. Well, today friend….yeah, you are a part of God’s story. I love ya man. No offense intended.
Mark 4:16-19 (TNIV)
16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Jesus is explaining to the disciples the truth about life and a person’s interaction with coming to know their creator…..God, indeed Jesus Himself. Jesus isn’t pulling any punches. He is just clearly describing a truth in life. The question is….where do YOU fit in to God’s story here? Which seed are you?
Here, simply put, are the ways we come into relationship with Jesus (and some of the consequences):
1. The seed is planted on the path: We hear the call from Jesus, indeed, from God to be a part of His family but we allow the birds of the air (Satan, those opposing voices) to snatch us up and carry us away. The result: We never grow, we never blossom we just exist.
2. The seed is planted on the hardened soil, the path and the dirt is too shallow for the seed to germinate: We hear the call from Jesus, indeed, from God to be a part of His family but don’t prepare our hearts for the realities of life. We somehow think that if we come to Jesus…we are like transformed into a world without worries. So, in our shallowness…..the result is that we never grow, we never blossom we just exist.
3. The seed is planted in rocky places where the soil is shallow but is deep enough to allow the seed to germinate and start to grow….but not deep enough to protect the seed from the blistering sun that saps the moisture out of that little bit of soil and kills the growing seed: We hear the call from Jesus, indeed, from God to be apart of His family but we are just following the crowds and not really applying the wisdom that is being offered to us. We believe but never get around to really doing anything with that belief. The result is that when trouble or problems arise, we quickly fall away because we haven’t applied God’s Wisdom to our lives. Ultimately the result is that again, we cease to grow, we never blossom we just exist.
4. The seed is planted among the thorns: We hear the call from Jesus, indeed, from God to be apart of His family but we are overcome with the worries of our day and with the pursuit of those things that we somehow think will solve those worries, money, material things, and the like. We leave little room for God, indeed for Jesus, in our lives. The worries and worldly pursuits crowd out our relationship with Jesus. The result: Life and it’s pursuits choke everything out of us, we never grow, we never blossom we just exist.
5. The seed is planted in “good soil”: In contrast to all these others above, we seek a relationship with Jesus and follow Him no matter what the cost. We seek and listen to His wisdom and work hard at applying it to our lives. We surround ourselves with fertilizer, people who will encourage us, help explain and expound on God’s truths (we usually get this at church), we surround ourselves with God, indeed Jesus through the daily interaction of prayer and listening to Him through His words (the Bible). We obey and follow through though sometimes it may seem like a struggle (Hello, the struggle is always there if you don’t follow Jesus but often with worse results and YES, it is hard work to struggle through doing the right things which results in much less heartache and less problems!). THE RESULT: Finding true joy in life among the daily challenges, finding acceptance, hope and a sense of belonging to something greater than yourself. Finding true fulfillment in life and most of all……finding a true place in a true family with Jesus….which extends into an eternity (we call this salvation).
SO my friends…….what type of soil are you gonna be planted in? What do you need to do to be planted in good soil?