Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”James 4:6b
In order to receive the grace of God in your life, you must first prepare the soil of your heart. Those who are proud are self-seeking, arrogant and have a hardened heart. Jesus often illustrated moral principles for us to apply in our daily living, as well as gave us spiritual insights into His Kingdom, through parables. The Lord Jesus told a parable concerning the conditions of the heart which will prevent or bear fruit in a person’s life. An understanding of the natural elements used in His teachings and what they symbolize will give us greater insight, so that we not only hear the voice of God, but understand what He is saying to us.
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. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”
Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:1-9
Everyone in the crowd had ears, but unless they had spiritual insight into what Jesus said, they were unable to comprehend His parables. Many heard the voice of God the Son that day, but they were unable to receive the truth He spoke. Unless a person understands the symbolic meaning of the natural elements used in the parable, it remains a mystery.
When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 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 so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” Mark 4:10-11
Except for the followers of Jesus, the Jews had committed blasphemy of the Spirit. They attributed the glorious working of Jesus’ miracles by the Holy Spirit – to the power of Beelzebub. Therefore, Jesus began to speak in parables in public so that the secrets of the Kingdom were hidden to the masses.
Once in private and away from the crowd, it says in verse 13:
… Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?”
The reason that understanding the parable of the sower is primary is that it emphasizes the key to unlock the understanding of the other parables. The key is that elements related to the natural world such as soil, seed, thorns and fruitful crops are symbolic with spiritual applications. There is a natural as well as a spiritual application in God’s Word.
The farmer sows the word. 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. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 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. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 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. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” Mark 4:14-20
Seed must be planted in good soil means that the Word of God can only take root, grow and bear fruit in a softened heart and compliant heart. The hardness of the soil of the heart must be broken by humbling oneself, repenting of sins and forgiving others. The stones of bitterness and selfishness need to be removed. The heart must be watered by the Word of God and softened by the oil of the Spirit. When properly prepared and received, the word of God will bear much fruit.
There are two types of fruit. The first is the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The fruit of the Spirit is the character of Christ being developed in the believer so that the person is conformed to His image. The second type of fruit – is bearing fruit after its own kind by leading others to Christ. Fruit contains seed. When a single seed falls to the ground which is prepared to receive the seed and it is watered, it grows into a plant. When the plant matures, it bears fruit that contains many more seeds. Therefore developing a godly character that producers a good witness will bless both the messenger and bring conviction to many of those hearing the message of the gospel.
If you are abusing alcohol or other drugs and want to lead a victorious life and be set free from addiction you need to have a relationship with the LORD God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. To find forgiveness and freedom, pray the following prayer or a similar prayer in your own words –
“Lord Jesus Christ,
I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to earn my way to heaven. Although I deserve God’s wrath, by God’s mercy, I accept your free gift of eternal life by faith. I believe that You were born of a virgin and died on the cross to pay the price of my sins. I believe you were buried, rose again on the third day, have ascended into heaven, and will soon come again.
Lord, please forgive me of my sins, come into my heart and take control of my life.” AMEN
If you sincerely prayed this prayer, then you have just made a decision by faith, to accept the free gift (God’s grace) of the substitutionary sacrifice of the Messiah (the Christ), whose suffering and death paid the price of your sins. You have been born again. As a new born, you need to be nourished.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
In order to grow and mature spiritually you need to:
•Be baptized into Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
•Speak to God each day through prayer. (Pray each day in the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
•Read your Bible every day. When you read the Bible, God speaks to you through His Word. (If you don’t own a Bible, then we will help you get one.)
•Find a Bible believing church and attend regularly – both worship services and a Bible study.
•Share with someone what God has done for you.
We have a variety of resources for you on our website such as:
Biblical Insights into Combating Addiction, Teachings on Prayer and Fasting, links to Christian resources for the addicted: Find Help, Healing Scriptures and information on our Annual Weekend of Prayer event.