"Brutiful"How has God worked in “brutiful” ways in your life?
Top Music Videos
Still other seeds fell on
fertile soil, and they
sprouted, grew, and
produced a crop that
was thirty, sixty, and
even a hundred times
as much as had been
Theologian C. H. Dodd described Jesus’ parables as
stories that tease us into thought. They provoke us—
shock us even—into deep soul-searching.
The first parable in Mark 4 is a good example. Jesus
compared His preaching mission to a farmer sowing
seed that fell on different types of soil. Jesus’ missional
success depended not on His message (the “seed”), but
on how receptive hearts were to receive it (the “soil”). He
categorized His audience into four heart types:
• The hard heart, where the seed can’t penetrate (Mark
4:4,15). I once asked an author if he would ever consider
Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah. His reply was that there
was nothing that would sway him from his religion. In this
case, Jesus’ message couldn’t even get a hearing.
• The shallow heart, where initial faith is abandoned
because of hardship (vv.5-6,16-17). I knew a girl who
needed to decide whether Jesus or her boyfriend would
be her priority. She returned to her boyfriend, to the
demise of her faith. Her faith wasn’t yet deep enough to
face the costs of discipleship.
• The distracted heart, where the worries, riches, and
pleasures of life compete for our attention (vv.7,18-19).
At one time, this was me. When I came to faith, my life
changed but my old lifestyle of nightclubs and music vied
for allegiance. I gave in and my faith began to wither.
• The attentive heart, where the message is received
and pursued for life (vv.8,20). This heart produces a miraculous harvest of fruit!
Jesus invited His audience to wrestle with this parable and wring out its
meaning (v.9). Failure to do so would prove there was little interest in Him and His
forgiveness (v.12). Jesus’ invitation extends to us today. How open is our heart to
His voice and message? How open is our heart to Him? —Sheridan Voysey
Read Isaiah 53:1.
It seems that God’s
prophets have always
had a hard time being
heard. Read Revelation
3:20 to hear Jesus’
response to an open
Which heart type would
you use to describe
distracted, or attentive?
How can you open your
heart to Jesus today?
- "Brutiful" - How has God worked in “brutiful” ways in your life?...read more
- The First Day—Again - How does Jesus’ resurrection infuse you with fresh hope?...read more
- Clueless at the Light - What would others say about my influence on them?...read more
- Stinging Words - How have you experienced emotional or spiritual captivity?...read more
- Everyone Has a Story - Who needs you to listen to them? Make time for them today....read more
- Gateway of Hope - How has the rough stuff of your life kept you from hoping in God?...read more
- Philip Flunked - What specific truth about God could help you with a problem you’re currently facing?...read more
- Source of All Life - Every blessing comes from God....read more
- Trapped in Sin - How can you be set free and made right with God?...read more
- Hope Beyond Discouragement - How will you point others to the Source of Hope today?...read more
- Play Your Part - How can you encourage others to fulfill their calling?...read more
- Broken Community - How do we live out holiness without becoming judgmental of others?...read more
- Giving Out Love - How has God provided for you and those you love?...read more
- Assets that Matter - How can you submit more fully to the Holy Spirit’s refining work in your life?...read more
- The Skeptic - What doubt about God is most persistent in your thoughts?...read more
- Is God Necessary? - God is hidden but present, revealing Himself more fully to those who invite Him to stay....read more