Monday, Feb. 19

Mark 4:1-9; 14-20

1 Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. 2 He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:3  “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.  4 As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.  5 Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.  6 But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died.  7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain.  8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”  9 Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”  

13 Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?  14 The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.  15 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. 16The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 17 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 18 The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word,  19 but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.  20 And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”



Lord, help me to receive these words like the people who were the first to understand them. Help me to examine where you want to plant seeds – where the soil of my life is tough and dry, where rocks have crowded out the potential for growth, or where weeds and thorns have taken root – do a work in my life, that I can receive your word, and whatever you plant will take root in my heart and mind. That it would produce a harvest on fertile soil, for your kingdom. By your grace and mercy, till the soil of my life.

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