Jesus often used illustrations from daily life to explain God’s plan for creation in terms people could understand. The people of biblical times lived in an agrarian culture where they farmed the land and raised animals for food and sacrifices. Whether or not we live on a farm, the stories Jesus told related to timeless truths that are still relevant to us today. Through these parables we learn about how the kingdom of God grows within our hearts.
The Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:2-20 teaches us some basic principles about our spiritual growth. Jesus teaches that God (the farmer) desires to PLANT His Word into our hearts. Every plant starts from a seed, and the seed in this parable is the WORD OF GOD. A heart that is ready to live out the will of God is considered to be good soil and a person who has a hardened heart is considered to be bad soil for truth to grow in. God reveals His character to us through His Word, the Bible. (Mt. 13:1-9; Mk. 4:2-20; Lk. 8:4-8)
Every plant must have the right environment to develop healthy and strong. Just like a plant, Christians need the right environment to grow into the kind of person that God wants us to be. In 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 the Apostle Paul teaches that he planted a seed, and then another believer (Apollos) came along to WATER the seed, causing it to grow. One of the key components of a healthy spiritual environment is COMMUNITY. When we surround ourselves with a network of relationships with other Christians, God will water the seeds of truth in our hearts, causing them to grow. (Jn. 4:10-14; 1 Jn. 1:7)
The Church is intended to be a family that nurtures and cares for one another. Ephesians 4 teaches us that Christ equips each of us to serve one another in this family with the same love that God has shown to us. We GROW most when we are exercising or living out our faith by SERVING others in community. (Eph. 4: 11-13; 1 Cor. 12:7-11; Rom. 12:4-8)
When a plant fully matures, it multiplies itself by releasing its seeds into the soil below. These seeds also reproduce. In another parable Jesus said that many people’s hearts are ripe for the HARVEST and God sends us out to show people how much God loves them that they might receive the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. SHARING our faith keeps our hearts beating strong for the will of God. (Mt. 9:37-38; Mk. 4:26-29; Jn. 4:35, 15:8)
We are a family, here to serve one another along this ongoing journey of growing in faith. If there is something we can do to help you along this path, please reach out to us and let us know what we can do to help!