4 Methods of hearing and reading the Bible: Only one will Transform you!

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 “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.  As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.  Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.  But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died.  Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and
choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain.  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 planted!”  Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”  -Mark 4:3-9 (NLT)


The Bible is the most read and purchased book in the world. One resource
states that over the last 50 years, there have been 3.9 billion copies sold.
The Bible IS the most popular book ever and it is God’s WORD to
humanity.


The Bible is the most controversial book ever sold!

The Bible was 1500 years in the making and was written by over 40
authors from many backgrounds; shepherds, fisherman, a tax collector, a
doctor, a military General, Kings, a prime minister, and a cupbearer. Only a
few of these authors had an education.


God used the most unique people to compose His inspired words in which He would use for his audience to teach them what is true and to help them realize what is wrong in our lives. He uses it to correct when a person is wrong and teaches what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).


What makes this Book so controversial? It is in the way it is read, understood, and applied! In Mark chapter 4, the writer introduces a parable spoken by Jesus concerning God’s Word.


Below are 4 different scenarios in this parable of hearing and
reading the Bible and only one will transform you!

1. Not all who read it believe it and receive it. 


From this parable, the Farmer is a representation of Christ spreading the
Gospel and the Word of God in the metaphorical form of seeds.

You see, the first few seeds were spread to a group of people who never
really took the Word serious; they left it unattended. These particular
individuals were surface readers.

When a person does not let the Word get rooted into their heart and life,
the enemy will come and eat up the Word and snatch it away!

The enemy, the Devil, is out to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a) every life that he can. If he can steal the Word of God from a person, they will lose their rich and satisfying life (John 10:10b).


Don’t let the enemy steal the Word of God from you!


The devil is very busy about careless readers
- Mathew Henry

2. Not all who hear and believe persevere in The faith. 


The second group of seeds fell in soil but the soil was very shallow with
bedrock underneath.


In other words, the environment was not proper for the root of the seed to
take hold.


These individuals received the Word. Not only did they receive it, but they
accepted it with joy! However, they never allowed the Word to take root in
their heart; they read for information only.


There are a lot of people who can quote Scripture after Scripture,
but never allow the Word to transform them.

Individuals, who read for information only, will soon fall away as soon as
they are challenged with problems and adversity. The Word is not rooted in
them and their faith is weak.


Listen, it is vital that the Word transforms you. A person can’t just read the
Word and thrive. To have faith in God’s Word is to act upon It. Faith without
acting on the Word is dead! (James 2:20)


I have seen a lot of individuals who boast about how many Scriptures they
know and can quote. However, many of those never get grounded in the
things of God; they live very shallow, Christian lives. If troubles of any kind
come along, their faith is weak and many things come out of their mouth
other than Scripture.


When a person is in some sort of pressure, what comes out of them is what
has been stored in their heart.

What comes out of you when you are under pressure?
Is it:

  •  Doubt?
  •  Fear?
  •  Foul language?
  •  Anger?
  •  Blame?
  •  Excuses?

Or is it the Word?


If you have been transformed by the Word...The Word will come out of you!

3. Not all who hear, believe, and have faith produce good works.


The third group of seeds fell among thorns that eventually choked out the
plants.


So, the Word had started to Grow, but there was just too much
competition. The worries in life, the lures of material possessions, and
activities that compete with God crowded out the message of the Word.

There are so many in the Church world today that allow activities to
compete with going to church, reading the Bible, and being in community
with other believers. In this case, no fruit is produced; the plant is choked
out by everything competing with the Word.


When individuals allow things to compete with the things of God and His Word,
their spirituality will choke out and they will not produce any fruit!

4. Some read it, hear it, believe it, receive it and apply it.

The fourth group of seeds fell in really good fertile soil and began to
multiply.


Those that truly hear and understand God’s Word will produce a harvest.
When a believer reads it, hears it, believes it, receives it, loves it, and
applies it, it will TRANSFORM their life.

Not only will the Word Grow in a person, Jesus said that there will be an
exponential harvest. I believe this harvest is all about others.


Transformation is not just about the person that is being transformed.
“Spiritual transformation is a process of being transformed to the image
of Christ for the sake of others.” - Robert Mulholland

It is so important to read God’s Word. The Word of God is truly
transforming! It: encourages; instructs; teaches; equips; protects;
convicts; and challenges.

Will the Word change you today, or will it leave you like the first group
producing nothing? How about the second group who only produced a leaf on the plant just to die out because they never became rooted in the Word?

Maybe you are the third group. You produced a plant and almost produced
fruit, but became choked out by the problems, issues, and the love for
material thorns in life that became competition for God’s Word.

Or, you are a World Changer. You became so involved in the Word that It
became a part of you and took root and began to produce in you thirty,
sixty and even one hundred times as much as was planted.

Let the Word of God transform you!


Prayer

“God, thank you for Your Word. Thank you for being straight up with us. Only Your Word can transform us.
Stir up your gift in us and give us a desire to read Your Word and apply it to our lives. Thank you for being patient and giving us grace. I pray that every person who reads this is transformed by your Word.
In Jesus name, Amen