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How to change – Mark 4

Some found my bible study on Ephesians 4 helpful.  Here's another on Mark 4:1-20:

four soils

Verses 10-12: Jesus promises that those who are outsiders to Him will never understand His word, only be hardened.

Do you come to Jesus in dependence to understand His word?  Do you read it with Him at the centre?

Meditate on this: Diligent bible students are not changed but hardened when they don't read to receive Christ. (cf John 5:39-47).

Verses 4 & 15:  Satan is active in snatching away the word that lies on the surface.

Do you realise the height and depth of this spiritual battle?  Do you pray accordingly: 'Deliver us from the evil one' (probably the best translation of Matt 6:13)?

Are there ways you could receive the word more deeply?  Communion?  Community?  Meditation on Scripture?

Verses 5-6&16-17: There is a shallow reception of the word that fails when trouble comes.

Are you ready for the 'when' of v17, or do you only look for quick joy?

How do you respond to trouble and persecution?  Does your entitlement spirit get enflamed?  What sorts of things do you start to tell yourself?  How can you counter such thinking?

What does it mean to have a 'root'? (v6). 

Verses 7&18-19: Where the word is received along with other competing allegiances there will be no fruitfulness.

Name your worries.  Write them down.

How is wealth tempting you?  How is it deceiving you?  Write it down.

What are the 'other things' that you are desiring?  Articulate how they've captured your heart.  Write it down.

Think through how all these are choking you.

Now consider what is promised you in Christ's word.  Write it down / draw it / sing it / speak it out to others.

Imagine what fruitfulness is possible if you do the necessary weeding.  Talk to Jesus about it.

Verses 8&20:  Supernatural fruitfulness is promised to those who 'hear the word and welcome it' (literally).

What would it mean to 'welcome' Christ's word in your life? (Look up other uses of the word: Prov 3:12; Acts 15:4; 1 Tim 5:19).

Daydream about what 30,60,100 fold growth would look like in your Christian life.  Think about 5 years from now.  Think about 20 years from now.  As you imagine this remember to think gradual but to think big.  Seeds grow slowly, but exponentially.  You'll probably overestimate the change you might see in a year but underestimate what's possible in 5. 

Meditate on Col 3:16-17 and think about ways you can have the word of Christ dwelling in you richly.

Now trust Jesus' words about Jesus words.  Though weak looking, though slow growing, they really are that powerful!

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 Here's a sermon of mine on Mark 4

Here's a kids song on it.

 

0 thoughts on “How to change – Mark 4

  1. theoldadam

    Good advice!

    We are in a battle, that is for sure.

    Thanks be to God that our Lord has already won the victory, but because of the world, the flesh, and the devil...the battle rages on.

    Worship, Bible study, eating the body and blood, and good works (not in order to be saved) are all great things to do to keep that flame of faith burning hot and bright.

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