The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. – Mark 4, verses 14-19.
Thanks for your patience in walking through this parable; I hope I’m not exasperating you. It’s just that there are some themes in here worth sharing and now’s a good time to do that.
And I appreciate you patiently reading. After all, this past Sunday was the Super Bowl. Even if your team didn’t win, it’s an occasion when nearly a billion people on the planet are all focused on doing the same thing. Imagine what we, as a people, as humanity – the people of God – could do if we were all focused on doing the things God wants for us. Instead, we get wrapped all around lesser things like wealth, power, war, envy, and politics (but I repeat myself).
Because of that, the word is out there, available to all, and heard by all. Not long ago I had a discussion with my pastor in which he said he thought that the Gospel had already been preached to the entire world. I brought up the platitude about pygmies in the Amazon, and folks in the slavery of Iran and other places where radical Islamism doesn’t allow other information to be shared. Yet his point stuck with me: the Gospel has already been shared in every language on Earth.
Therefore Satan is still very much at work. I like how Jesus treats Satan as a fact. Satan is a real being; there really is a devil. Jesus treats him as a real being and as a real force in the world. Do we? Or do we treat Satan like a mental illness, like just another condition we can cure with pills? That isn’t how Satan views us. He thinks of us as tools, as things to use in his quest for power, war and dominion. How ironic is it that he’s already defeated.
Tell that to the millions, though, who don’t realize that falling away is a choice. We don’t have to cleave away from Jesus and His peace. We choose to. We choose to fall away every time we choose anything that is sketchy or not of God. Surf the porn site and you aren’t choosing God. Let your anger get spun up and you aren’t choosing God. We don’t need to be Adolf Hitler to not choose God. We each do it a thousand times each day.
And yet we are here for a better purpose. We are here to bear fruit. We are here to share Jesus with the world, using the talents He gives us, being ourselves. We aren’t here to pay attention to Satan, or to fall away, or even to watch the Super Bowl. We’re here to live Jesus for those who don’t know Him. Nothing else matters.
Lord, govern my life and let Your purpose be my only purpose.
Read Mark 4, verse 20.