Messages

3/22/20 The Mystery of the Kingdom of God (Mark 4:1-20)

Introduction

The parable today is about the farmer who sows the seed, which represents God’s word. The seeds land on four different soils, and have different results.


1. God Has Given Us the Secret of the Kingdom of God

In verse 10, Jesus tells the disciples that he has given them the gospel, the secret of the kingdom of God. We may think we realized the gospel by our own intellect but ultimately, it was by God’s grace. Without his grace, the gospel is only a mystery and we cannot receive Jesus. Therefore, our faith and salvation are God’s miracle. We are able to receive salvation because God wanted us and called us before time, so that we could go and proclaim his gospel to the entire world.


Jesus gives us the parables to serve as reflections to our true selves. Let’s examine ourselves as we investigate the four responses to the seed that is planted.


2. The Bad Soil

First, The farmer plants the seed in the pathway, where the seed is unable to take root, and they are snatched away by the birds, which symbolize Satan. These are people who hear God’s word but it goes out one ear and out the other. Satan knows the moment we receive God’s word, our souls will be revived and healed so he does anything to steal God’s word away from the believers before it reaches their hearts. Therefore, let's let go of our pride and remain alert to Satan’s attacks.

Second, The farmer plants the seed in the rocky soil. The seed is planted but is unable to take root. These are people who receive God’s word and they are happy but they are unable to take root and when hardship and trouble come, they lose hold of God’s word. God’s word must be our anchor and our strength in our most difficult and troubling times.

Third, the farmer plants the seed in the thorny soil. The seed is planted and it takes root but as it grows, the thorns choke the life out of it. These are people who received God’s word and it's rooted in their lives but they let the seemingly good things of the world dictate their walk of faith. People will do anything for money, fame and success. People become completely consumed by their anxieties and worries and even though we have God’s word, it isn’t the center of our lives. Let’s pray for God to remove the thorns in our lives, whether good or bad, and let God become our number one priority.


3. The Good Soil

Finally, the farmer plants the seed in the good soil, where the seed takes root, grows and bears many many fruits. The good soil is not something we do, but is the grace of God. What does it mean to know you’re a child of God? Having the assurance and peace of Jesus Christ. Where is our assurance from? “To those who believed and confessed in his name, he gave them the right to become children of God.” What is the content of our assurance? Guaranteed forgiveness and freedom from sin, and victory over Satan. Jesus doesn’t ask us to put up a front, but he accepts us and wants us to come before him just as we are. Jesus bought us with his blood and once we become children of God, we are forever children of God. We are God’s remnant who have God’s covenant and heavenly mandate. Heaven is our background.


Conclusion

We think that change is impossible in our lives or in others’ but God’s perfect method of changing lives is his word. Worship is the time for us to meet God, hear his voice, and receive his assurance and strength. All we need to do is accept God’s word and apply it to your life. If we stop with just listening to God’s word then that’s it. Let’s take the next step and meditate over God’s word and apply it to our lives.


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