The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’ (Mark 4:14-20)

If God's word falls on "the path," we do not make time to even listen to God's voice nor encourage others to do so.

If God's word falls on "the rocky ground," we listen AND get excited, BUT we neglect to understand the true roots of this excitement in order to let it actually transform us.

If God's word falls "among the thorns," we listen AND understand what He has to say, but we give our love and attention to one or many other things/people, whether that brings pleasure or pain. Again, we neglect to pursue an understanding of how God’s love can actually transform us.

If God's word falls on "the good soil," we listen, we understand AND we pursue that understanding. We invest in growing our own roots as well as reaching out to others in hopes that God’s love might permeate everything we touch.

God’s love is being sown constantly, no matter what kind of soil you are in this moment. It’s rooted in everything from the smallest act of kindness to the grandest gesture. It’s Jesus’ sacrifice. It’s God wanting a relationship with YOU.

Repeat these four words as your prayer for today: Listen. Understand. Pursue. Love.

Mary Shapiro moments in joy

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