Finding the Good Ground
Crowds Follow Jesus
Mark 3:7-10 NLT
7 Jesus went out to the lake with His disciples, and a large crowd followed Him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, 8 Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about His miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see Him.
9 Jesus instructed His disciples to have a boat ready so the crowd would not crush Him. 10 He had healed many people that day, so all the sick people eagerly pushed forward to touch Him
The Parable of the Sower
Mark 4:1-9 NIV
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 Hs 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.”
There are four types of ground mentioned in this parable:
1. The footpath
2. The stony ground
3. The thorny ground
4. The good ground
The question to examine from the parable is, what quality of “soil” is your life? Is it full of stones? Has it been packed down hard by the journey of life? Can Satan easily snatch the valuable and precious truth of God from your life?
Read the story about the garden.
My father and mother planted a big garden every year. Growing up during the Great Depression, they learned the value of a productive garden. They couldn’t afford to buy everything at a grocery store; most meals came from their garden. During my youth, my dad tended a large plot in our back yard. Every year he spread a load of manure, tilled it into the soil, and broke up the ground so it would be a good bed for the vegetable plants and seeds.
He would come in from work at night and look at the garden. He kept the rows clean and free of weeds. If rain didn’t come, he would water the garden enough to keep things growing. As each summer wore on, we were rewarded with tomatoes, corn and beans. There would be enough to eat and more left over to can and freeze for the winter. Having a can of store-bought beans or corn on our family table was considered by my parents to be something close to a mortal sin!
But we had all this because they knew the importance of “good ground.” They knew neither to let the soil get hard-packed nor to let weeds and thorns grow up between the healthy vegetable plants. They knew that thorns can thrive just about anywhere. They can grow in poor soil and good. They resist drought and blossom when it rains. Thorns don’t care if it’s hot or cold.
In my parents’ later years before they died, they could no longer plant and work the garden. I once visited our home and walked out to the garden plot. What I saw wasn’t pretty. Weeds, thorns, crabgrass and thistles abounded. It was an overgrown mess. When even good ground isn’t properly tended, left to itself everything else moves in. Nothing useful can grow until it is cleared out.
Ok what kind of ground are we.
What does this person look like? He probably has had no church background, has heard very little of the word of God if any, then he comes and hears the word… But satin immediately comes and takes away the word sown in his heart. He probably reminds him of what kind of person he is and how different the church people are. He tells him he would never fit in, and if he believes satins lie, he never makes it to the good ground.
The Stoney Ground
This person is the one who hears the word and receives it with joy. But, they have no roots. Too many stones in the soil. So they do OK for a while but when things don’t happen the way they expect it to, or they are persecuted for believing God’s word, they fall away. They give up, they go back to their old ways. They don’t make it to the good ground.
The Thorny Ground
This is the person who hears the word but the word is crowded out by the cares of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things. None of these three types of people find the good ground. They were not willing to put Christ first.
The Good Ground These people make it to the cross. They are willing to put Christ first in everything. Everything in life changes for them.
• They look different
• They Act different
• They see different
• They feel different
They have found their way to the cross. Christ gives them new life. They have found the good ground. They start to produce fruit, 30, 60, and a hundred-fold.
• They have been partakers of his divine nature. (1Peter1:4)
• They have become new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
• They have been born again by the spirit of God. (John 3:6)
Once we have found the good ground we begin to grow. God gives us everything we need to grow.
2 Peter 1:3-4 (NLT)
3 By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
1 John 2:16 (NKJV)
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
2 Peter 1:5-10 (NLT)
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.