Mark 4:1-12 “And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. 2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, 3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”
In order to understand this parable, you had to ask Jesus to explain it. He still will answer, but you have to ask.
Do you believe Jesus will answer you? Will you seek His answer?
Mark 4:13-20 “And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? 14 The sower soweth the word. 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.”
God has invested in you. Don’t just sit on it. Jesus is waiting for increase to come back to Him. It’s not so much about the Lord or His Word, but what you do with it. What kind of heart do you have? What kind of Christian are you?
There are four types of Christians: Wimps, Wannabe’s, Whiners, and Winners. Which are you?
A Wimpy Christian is likened to the one on stoney ground. It is shallow. Wimps that know they’re wimpy only pick on people that are weaker than themselves. They can’t overcome things like sin, it’s too competitive. They struggle with temptation. They have no roots. They have trouble leaving the crowds behind. Wimps are afraid of what people think. They are easily offended at preaching, persecution. It’s the pressures that cause that feeling of rejection and causes the wimp to fall away. Wimps don’t think about how much God loves them and approves of them and accepts them, they care about what everybody else thinks.
When God backs you up and you know it, you don’t need to know who else is backing you up.
Are you sometimes afraid because you feel no one else is backing you up? Do you care too much what others think?
Wimps tend to take the easy road of backsliding when the road to be a Christian gets hard. Wimps don’t have commitments that last. They tend to back up and vacillate from their commitments.
The strong dig down and have a resilient life, they have resistance to the pressure. They’ll speak the truth even if it means getting into trouble.
Wimps don’t like to tell the truth because they’re afraid of what’ll happen.
Col 4:14 “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.” 2 Tim 4:10 “for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica—Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.” Demas was a wimp. He quit and gave up.
Quitters are losers, not winners. They don’t know how to fight.
Jesus said to the rich young ruler, ‘Sell everything you have, give to the poor, and follow me (serve).’ That guy walked away. He had a personal invitation to be with Jesus and instead he walked away. He knew what he was turning down. He couldn’t handle the kind of commitment involved. If you want to be a real soldier, you’ve got to learn how to do some stuff that will be hard. You challenge yourself.
If you’re a wimp, you’ll hide. King Saul hid from Goliath. They all spent forty days in fear.
It took David about forty minutes. David had a fight inside of him. He had the anointing upon him and he refused to back away.
Today, it’s not about getting into fights with other people. It’s about fear and the things that you’re up against in life. You have this lack of strength and are heavy and fearful.
You’ve got to choose to fight against the spirit of fear and stand on something solid. It’s not easy or fun or something you want to do. You signed up to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. You’ve got to rise up and not be a wimp. You’ve got to endure. You’ve got to be resilient. Be calm. Handle emergencies. Christians are resilient. They are like weeble wobbles, they weeble wobble, but they DON’T fall down.
Do you have a godly fight in you? Are you willing to get back up when you fall and keep on seeking after Jesus and His way?
Dan 11:32 “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” (AMP) “With smooth words [of flattery and praise] he will turn to godlessness those who [are willing to] disregard the [Mosaic] covenant, but the people who [are spiritually mature and] know their God will display strength and take action [to resist].”
You’ve got to learn how to get roots. The devil and temptation and the world’s system are not long time fighters. You just have to outlast them in a fight. You want to know how to overcome the devil? Just don’t quit! Keep standing. Hang in there!
You don’t grow when things are easy.
If you are able to do it, you should do it. It’s your job to roll away the stone and Jesus will raise the dead. Pray, go to church, read the Bible. Be like Noah. Keep preaching, keep building. Be like David. He never backed down with the bear, the lion, or the giant.
Don’t be a wimp. God is looking for good soldiers for His kingdom.
2 Tim 2:3 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
Fasting, praying, and obedience to the Word of God, even when it’s not going your way. A good soldier just keeps pressing on. If you don’t have that strength, start searching. Learn how to pray and fast. Reach for God in ways you’ve never reached before. Losing is not an option. Get rid of those stones. Don’t be a wimp. Find the want-to.
The second type of soul is a ‘wannabe’. They say one thing and do another. They want the credit, but not do the work, ‘whited grave,’ beautiful on the outside, gross on the inside.
Acts 5:1-2 “Now a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s full knowledge [and complicity] he kept back some of the proceeds, bringing only a portion of it, and set it at the apostles’ feet.”
You can’t lie to Jesus. Peter called them on their lie, God caused some kind of brain aneurysm and they both died.
God wants a return on His investment. It’s about time you do and act the way you profess. Don’t say one thing and do another. You can’t fool God.
The answer is submitting to the Word of God.
You’ve got to get under the authority and anointing of the Word of God.
Are you willing to work? Do you understand what you’re supposed to do and are you doing it? In what areas of your life are you lazy?
The Sons of Sceva were wannabes. (Acts 19)
You need a genuine old fashioned trip to the altar and submit to the ministry and the Word. Receive it and say, ‘Yes.’
The third kind of soul is the whiners. They are always complaining. They are very negative. They spread negativity like a disease. Whiners were the ones that traveled in the desert for 40 years and then died. Negative people aren’t always mean, they just don’t have faith. Twelve spies went to spy out the Promised Land. Only two didn’t whine.
Complaining and murmuring drive God nuts. Instead, ‘Bless the Lord at all times.’
Two simple words will take care of a whiner: ‘Be Thankful!’ Get your tank full of thankful and you will be fine and won’t whine. Be thankful and you’ll have the fruit God wants in your life.
In what circumstances do you allow yourself to become negative and complain? Are you willing to change that and learn to be thankful instead?
The fourth type of soul is the winners, the good ground. This is the ones who have suffered the loss of all things, but counts it as trash because he knows he’s won Jesus Christ.
Phil 3:8 “But more than that, I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege and supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [and of growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him—a joy unequaled]. For His sake I have lost everything, and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ,”
Are you a winner? If not, you can choose to be. Fight the good fight. Trust God. Be thankful. Are you willing to change?
The stuff of this world is going to be destroyed, but the stuff of heaven is eternal. Winners don’t complain. They rejoice. Winners win friends, people, against temptation, the devil and sin. Winners produce fruit and victory. They have faith in the Word of God. They know their God. They keep the Word. They have faith in times of disaster and trouble. They daily practice holiness and separation and consecration. They build altars to God and tear down altars to Baal. They fight doubt and win with faith. They fight depression and win with praise. They fight the things of this world and win by the Word and the Spirit of God.
This Bible Study excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!