Summary: The parable of the seed and the sower
Mark 4:3-9 (NLT)
"Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.  As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.  Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The plant sprang up quickly,  but it soon wilted beneath the hot sun and died because the roots had no nourishment in the shallow soil.  Other seed fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades so that it produced no grain.  Still other seed fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted." Then he said,  "Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!"
The seed we scatter is the Word of God
– Message of repentance
– Message of salvation
– Message of grace
The seed is meant to be scattered generously
– A way of life
– In all places
The well traveled path
The rocky soil
Mark 4:14 (NLT)
The farmer I talked about is the one who brings God’s message to others.
Primary responsibility is to scatter the seed
– Instead of focusing on soil focuses on liberally spreading seed
Our task is to generously put forth God’s message of redemption
– We do not control the outcome, but we are accountable for the seeding process
– Should be a way of life
Mark 4:15 (NLT)
The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the message, but then Satan comes at once and takes it away from them.
The soil of the path is hardened
– The seed cannot penetrate
Represents those who are closed to the message of Christ
– Hardened by negative experiences
– Hardened by repeated rejections of Christ
The Rocky Soil
Mark 4:16-17 (NLT)
The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy.  But like young plants in such soil, their roots don’t go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word.
The Rocky Soil
The rocky soil lacks depth
– Adversity quickly uproots what has been planted
Represents those who receive Christ on only a surface level
– Never grow beyond their conversion
– Receive Christ on an emotional level and not on a heart level
– Lack commitment
Mark 4:18-19 (NLT)
The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News,  but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for nice things, so no crop is produced.
The message becomes suffocated by the thorny ground
Represents those who are unwilling to give Christ first place in their lives
– The things of God may be put on the back burner for personal fulfillment or gain
– The distractions in themselves may not be evil, but their prominence in the life of the hearer is wrong
Mark 4:20 (NLT)
But the good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s message and produce a huge harvest—thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted."
The message takes root and flourishes
– Not only heard, but put into practice
Represented by those who allow their life to be transformed by the message
– They are radically changed
– They bring out fruit in others
– They influence those around them
What Is the Condition of Your Soil?
Are You Generously Scattering Seed?
**Powerpoint available on request