Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Daily - 1/26/10

Mark 4:1-20

1 On another occasion he began to teach by the sea. 2 A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.

2 And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them,

3 "Hear this! 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 had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.

6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.

7 Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain.

8 And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."

9 He added, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear."

10 And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables.

11 He answered them, "The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables,

12 so that 'they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.'"

13 Jesus said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?

14 The sower sows the word.

15 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.

16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.

17 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.

18 Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word,

19 but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.

20 But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."
Sometimes I want to believe I'm in the fertile ground, but man ... I’m still in the thorns. On a daily basis, I let the anxieties of the world choke out the life I receive from the word. Sometimes I feel like I need a flame thrower to take out these thorns. It seems like every time I get one thorn bush clipped from an area of my life, I look another direction, and God shows me a new bush to go after. Then I look back, and I can already see new growth coming off the bush we'd just clipped.

Spiritual growth is a process that moves slowly. The funny thing is that there are obvious thorn bushes out there, but there are many, many more subtle ones that are almost invisible. I can't see them without God, and He's not God's going to show them to me unless I submit to Him and ask to do it. Then he does, and I realize how pervasive sin really is in life.

On one hand I look back and am amazed at what God has done in my life.. On the other hand, He could do so much more with me if I’d just get out of my own way. But forward we go.