Let’s start off this post with some sugar-free, to-the-point, realness. Lately, I’ve been in a desert of sorts. No, not literally, but spiritually. I am spiritually…dry. A dryness that that occurred to me that ONLY God can relieve. I know what you’re thinking, “Duh, Dolce! Obviously only God can satisfy you spiritually!”. Though it is a simple fact, I think we all lose sight of this beautiful truth sometimes. It’s time I call upon God’s Almighty Power and Love to save me from this slippery slope, and to give my strength and wisdom to learn from this season. It’s all a process!
So here is my goal for this Christmas season (and for the rest of my life!):
- At least 30 minutes a day in The Word–distraction free (buh-bye iPhone checks mid-devo)
- Pray. Every. Single. Day. Multiple times a day. Whole-heartedly.
- Surrender my day to God EVERY morning
- and last but not least, spread The Word every chance I get!
I’ll be honest, I just typed that and thought “Oh dang, everyday? YES. Every day!” It really helps to write out goals, and I recommend it to everyone whether it be work goals, school goals, personal life goals, whatever! It really helps to write it out by hand as well, the letters soak in deeper as you manually write them.
Now onto a parable that God has placed on my heart today. For about the past week I have been reading through the book of Mark. Side note: I have never actually read through this book until now, and man I was missing out!!
The Parable of the Sower: Mark 4: 1-20
1 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,
“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”
13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 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. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
I think something cool that I thought about here was the fact that there are SO MANY people thirsting so deeply for The Word that they are following Jesus where ever He may go just to hopefully catch a couple Holy words from His mouth. Jesus Christ had to stand in a little boat just to separate Himself from the crowd so He could project His voice for all to hear! Are you this passionate about furthering your faith? Are you constantly chasing after Jesus to learn how to be more and more like Him? And–here’s a biggie–are you LISTENING when He speaks to you? Just some questions to ponder about in your heart. [Take a little time to think about & write down your answers if you want to]
The 4 types of soils Jesus teaches about:
- Seed sown on the surface of the soil (shallow soil)
These seeds have fallen onto the surface of the soil path, not carefully burrowed under ground. This soil is shallow & nothing is holding the seeds in place to safety flourish into a plant & bear fruit. In this kind of “soil” Satan can easily attack & snatches away “seeds”. This represents a very shallow faith, in which you are not latching to God’s Love, but rather weak and vulnerable of Satan’s attacks.
- Seed sown on rocky places
The seeds have been planted in very infertile soil, soil containing many rocks and things which can smother the plant and inhibit it from reaching it’s potential. A real life example of this situation is receiving God’s Word and heading in the right direction, but failing to FEED your faith (i’ll go into that in the 4th soil type), and not having a solid foundation in Jesus. The “seed” will quickly die out.
- Seed sown among the thorns (ouch!)
We all have “thorns” in life–worries, anxiety, depression, sickness, heartbreak, addictions, family troubles, body-image issues, etc etc etc. Everyone has thorns; the problem comes up when you let you faith be choked up by these trails. A literal image of the thorns is planting a seed next to a big plant with thorns that competes with it for sunlight and water–the essentials of life. The “seed” will then become unfruitful & wither away. Don’t let the thorns win!
- Seed sown on good, fertile soil
In the last verse of this passage, Jesus illustrates the seed growing in fertile soil. In this soil you “hear The Word, accept it, and produce crop“.This seed of faith is growing on a good foundation of Jesus Christ and His relentless love for us sinners. In this “soil” you constantly feed & nourish your “seed” with rich sunlight & thirst-quenching water to help it grow & produce fruit. Feed your seed of faith constantly with constant prayer & praise, spending time in the Bible, rest in His Presence, attending church & bible study, and surrounding yourself with believers who can hold you accountable, learn alongside you, and just do life with you! Spreading The Truth every chance you get is a way to be a planter yourself and plant “seeds” into those who haven’t heard the Good News of His love.God will bless you beyond what your mind can even imagine. Let Him equip you with wisdom, love, patience, boldness, and many of the other gifts He loves to shower upon His children, so that you may bear fruit.