An Active Role

These are the sermon notes from April 28.  Yes, I know, I am a week behind.

The message today is from a famous parable, the parable of the sower and the seed.

Mark 4:1-9

And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:

“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”


We are blessed that Jesus himself gives the basic interpretation of this parable.

I.  The Sower: v14

The sower sows the word.

The sower can be anyone.  We are all called to be witnesses of the gospel, to share the message of salvation.  We should look for whatever opportunity comes our way to share the good news of Jesus Christ.  The word is the message of salvation offered to all.  The message is scattered liberally, without regard to the soil type.

II.  The Wayside: v15

And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.

Some reject the word when they first hear it.  We should not be discouraged by this result.  Sometimes seed may lay dormant for a long time.  God is able to break up fallow ground.  He is able to soften hardened hearts.  Sometimes it takes a long time before a person will respond with faith, but it may still happen.

III.  The Stoney Ground: vv16-17

These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.

We all know of people who were saved and served God for a while.  However, for some it is like a passing fad that they embrace for a while before turning to something else.  This is where we should all use this parable as a warning to our own Christian walk.  We are able to take an active part in our faith development.  Let us put down roots through consistent Bible study, prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers.

IV.  Among Thorns:  vv18-19

Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

We need to be careful!  The blessings that God gives to us in this world can become a hindrance to our faith.  It is acceptable to enjoy the things that God has given to us, but they should never replace our love for God.  God is to be first in our lives, not just a part of our lives.  Again, we should use the lesson of this parable to take an active part in our faith development, and be careful to “Seek first the kingdom of God”.

IV.  Good Ground:  v20

But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

What does it mean to bear fruit?  The first response is to think of the fruit of the Spirit found in Galations 5: 22-23.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

If we are believers in Christ, our lives should be changed.  If the Spirit of Christ is within us, then that Spirit should be having an impact on our lives.  The fruit of the Spirit should be present, and increasing in any true believer’s life.

There is another aspect of bearing fruit.  In the natural world, fruit contains the seeds of new life.  It is the means of reproduction.  In the spiritual realm, we also, should be reproducing.  We should be sharing the word, planting the seed, if you will, of new believers.

Conclusion:  We can use the parable of the sower, not to resign ourselves to our lot in life, but to break up fallow ground, to send down roots, to weed out the distractions in our lives, and to produce fruit for the kingdom of God.


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6 Responses to “An Active Role”

  1. Cheryl Petersen Says:

    “God is to be the first in our lives” Very true, thanks for the reminder as I look around at all the nice things I have to enjoy. God, though is the better focal point.

  2. Jeremiah Ferguson Says:

    The parable of the Sower describes how that it is just not possible for the seed-word to grow and flourish in 3 states of heart. Not that there is anything wrong with the seed; rather the conditions are hostile to its germination and growth so no fruit can be borne. For the true disciple of Christ however, the Word is able to work within them to produce an array of attributes which together comprise “the fruit of the Spirit”. Bearing this fruit, they are known to be Messiah’s brethren. The matter is laid before us: there are 4 types of men’s hearts described in the Parable, and it behoves us to determine which answers to our own condition and circumstance. Only by an inward consideration can we take action, and allow our heart to be fertile for the growth of the Truth.

  3. Carolyn Espinoza Says:

    Formerly, for a number of years I was of the opinion that those among the thorns were Christians, redeemed but distracted, so as to not produce much fruit as Christians. While the versions of this parable in Matthew and Mark speak of these as being “unfruitful”, the version in Luke speaks of them not bringing fruit to maturity. I had given them the benefit of the doubt and assumed that they had produced fruit, but of an immature kind. I had also assumed that unlike the first two cases, since the seed took root in their life, and it doesn’t speak of them dying, that they were saved, though remained immature. However based on studies in John 15 and 1John primarily and like cross references, I have changed my opinion.

    • Pastor Curt Says:

      Ultimately, it is only God who decides who is saved, and who is not. Scripture certainly seems to indicate that there are some who think they are saved, but are mistaken. It should encourage us all to seek to grow in our Christian life.

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