DISCIPLESHIP LESSONS FROM THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
Jesus taught parables to “outsiders” but He explained them to “insiders”! His disciples were taught deeper than the public outsiders! Parables often have more than one meaning. In Mark’s Gospel, the Parable of the Sower focuses on two major points: HEARTS & ENVIRONMENTS!
Making disciples requires recognizing the significance and difference of these two concepts.
“Some people are like seeds”. Seeds differ according to their purpose and DNA. So do people.
Not only do their purposes differ but their environments directly affect their purpose. Mark’s text reveals 4 types of environments. Understanding these will help you engage in discipleship.
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. Mark 4:15 (NIV)
Satan has had his way in this environment for a long time. When those we disciple live in this world, our words on one day, may be stolen the next. Their heart is right, but their environment is unhealthy. This is a challenging environment. Patience and discernment are required. Spiritual warfare and prayer are key to discipling this type of “seed”. Focus on their God given uniqueness and show them how to transform their environment into one that will maximize their gifting’s.
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.
This environment is cluttered with anxiety and inconsistency. It compromises whatever you teach them because they live in a world of insecurity and inferiority. They may leave their time with you excited and joyful, but it doesn’t last. You will need to stay in contact. Be repetitive in the regularity of your influence. Call, email, text and communicate encouragement to counter the shallow root system inherit in this environment. Grow them strategically in God’s Word.
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.
In this environment anxiety riddles their priorities with the gravitation pull of other desires. Discern what’s choking the Word from their thought life. They may never feel good enough. Compromise drives them to go after what everyone else is going after. Your affirmation is key
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 4:15 (NIV)
Because this seed lives in a receptive environment, they will challenge you with their hunger. They will absorb the Word at a rate you will love but that will also drive you deeper in your own understanding. They will reach out beyond you. Their hunger and environment demand it. Be okay with that. Connect them to other sources. Involve them strategically in discipling others.
PEOPLE ARE LIKE SEED…HELP THEM FIND THE RIGHT SOIL