Summary: If you and I want the influence of our lives to have a multiplying effect in this world, then we must hear the Word; believe it and do it!
A lawyer, a doctor and a preacher were hunting together when they came upon a big buck. All three of them shot at the same time, and the buck immediately dropped to the ground. The lawyer, the doctor and the preacher rushed in to examine their prey, but they could not determine whose shot had actually killed the deer.
They got into a heated argument which drew the attention of a game warden. He asked them what their problem was, and the doctor told him that they were arguing about who shot the buck. The officer took one, quick look at the buck and confidently declared, “The preacher shot the buck!” When they all asked him how he could be so sure, the officer said, “Easy. The bullet went in one ear and out the other.” (As retold by P. J. Alindogan, The Potter's Jar blog, “Hearing,” 3-4-12; www.PreachingToday.com)
I’m afraid that’s what happens when a lot of people hear God’s Word: It goes in one ear and out the other. And that’s too bad, because this Book (hold up the Bible) will absolutely change your life if you take the time to really listen to it.
Tell me: Are you tired of the life you are living? Are you tired of the mess or even just the mediocrity of your life? Has it become boring to you? Then I invite you to turn with me to Mark 4, Mark 4, where Jesus tells a story that illustrates the amazing impact God’s Word can have on your life.
Mark 4:1-8 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables [those are short stories with a point, anecdotes with a lesson], and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.” (NIV)
Back then, a yield of 10 times the amount of seed sown was considered a great crop, but Jesus is promising yields of 30, 60, or even 100 times! Your life can be tremendously fruitful and productive, but first of all you have to…
HEAR GOD’S WORD.
You have to open your ears to his message. You have to listen to what he has to say. In fact, that’s exactly what Jesus invites us to do both before and after he tells this short story. In verse 3, He said, “Listen.” And in verse 9, He says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” God’s Word will have absolutely no effect on your life unless you take the time to hear it, unless you take the time to listen.