The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 21 : The Gospel According to MARK

[Chapter 4-2] (Mark 4:10-20) What Kind of Heart Is Good Ground?

(Mark 4:10-20)
“But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, ‘To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that
‘Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.’’
And He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.’”
 
 
Today’s Scripture reading describes the parable of the sower. Our Lord Jesus told this parable when there were many people around and He explained this parable in detail to His disciples after all the other people had left. What truth did Jesus want to reveal to us through this parable?
Four different kinds of fields where the seeds were sown appear in the Word of the Lord: the field by the wayside, the field of stony ground, the field of thorns, and the field of good ground. And all these fields signify the heart of a person.
Firstly, what happens to the seed that falls on the field by the wayside? A bird can come along anytime and easily devour those seed that fall here since the seed is not covered deeply in the earth. As such, when a person’s heart cannot accept the Word of God deeply in his heart, Satan can come at anytime and snatch away that Word which God has planted in him.
Secondly, what happens to the seeds that fall on stony ground? These seeds initially take root in the ground, but the root cannot go deep down into the ground because of the hard stones and it withers away. This signifies the kind of heart that accepts the Word of God joyfully in the beginning and endures for a while, but stumbles soon after facing difficult tribulations or persecutions like these hard stones.
The third seed that is sown is on a thorny field, which signifies the kind of heart that is not able to bear fruit although it hears the Word of God but cannot keep the faith in the Word properly when fleshly greed like the worries of this world and the temptation of material wealth comes.
Lastly, our Lord also spoke about the good ground. This is a very important parable which the Lord spoke to those who have sincere faith, and you and I must keep this Word in mind always when we hear the Word about the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
 
 
The Seed That Falls by the Wayside Signifies Losing Spiritual Thing
 
We can easily find Christians who have a heart like the field by the wayside. Because they do not believe in the Word of God even after hearing it through the servants of God, Satan comes and devours the Word of God promptly. What should then one do when the faithful servants of God witness the Word of God? One must hear and bear witness of the Word, and if you think it is consistent with God’s recorded Word of Truth, then you must quickly accept it and believe in it. You must be able to believe in this Truth of salvation totally in your heart in order to finally make it his own and not lose this Word of life to Satan.
However what would happen if one said, “I think it is truly the Word of God, but I have to think about it more because it does not agree with my pastor’s teachings” or “It is definitely the Word of God, but I will believe in it after looking into the Bible a little more” even though he had acknowledged that the things that the servants of God had witnessed are consistent with the recorded Word of God? At that time, Satan comes to you and plants doubts in your heart, saying, “No, that is not true. What are you saying? Do you mean all the mainstream Christianity is wrong? That is wrong. You must not believe like that. You will be in terrible trouble!” And the people who have been deceived by Satan cannot make the Word of God their own and eventually lose the precious Word.
Therefore, when you encounter the Word of God, you must open your heart and listen to it by faith. It means that you must hear the Word with your ears and believe in this Word in your heart. You must know that Satan is always on the prowl for an opportunity to make you not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord is preaching.
Our Lord has spoken this clear Truth to us. This Truth is the very fact that the Lord has saved you and me perfectly from all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we hear the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit which is the Truth, we must first go through the process of verifying it in our hearts whether it is the true gospel or not. We must examine it in the Word of the Lord, questioning, “Which is the true gospel? Am I really a person that can receive salvation from the sins of the world by believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit? Or, can I receive salvation even if I do not believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit? What kind of person am I really before the presence of God?” And if we come to think that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is true, then I must not hesitate any longer and accept it into my hearts.
When we seek to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit which is the Word of God, we must believe in this gospel based on the Word of God even more. Our sincere hearts that seeks to learn the Truth in the Word of God makes us become the good ground that appears in today’s Scripture passage. When good ground is cultivated in our hearts, we can understand clearly the Truth God wants to give whenever we hear the Word of God and have firm conviction in our heart and not lose it to Satan.
Even after believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must have the attitude of faith that is willing to learn the Word of God continually and depend on this Word. What would happen if we thought that we did not need the Word of God anymore and become distant from His Word just because we have already believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? What would happen if one just lived a spiritual life with just a simple understanding of the gospel of the water and the Spirit without firm roots of faith planted into the Word of God, like the seed that did not take root properly because it fell on stony ground? Undoubtedly, we would lose our faith of believing in the precious Word of God that is more precious than our life.
Why is it like this?
The difficulties will come to us while leading our spiritual life as it is recorded in the Word of God. I am saying that hardships, persecutions, temptations and enemies come to us who are willing to follow after the Lord. We would not be able to overcome such difficulties and eventually would leave God when we face such circumstances if we did not have faith and deep knowledge of the Word, especially if we did not have deep knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit which is the Truth. Consequently, we would lose our faith that believes in the righteousness of God. The Lord referred to such people as those who are like the stony ground or the field by the wayside. I know that you and I must not become like such people. And we must also beware and be cautious about people who have such hearts.
Although you and I know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now, there are still so many people who do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit in this world yet. In order to share the gospel of the water and the Spirit correctly to such people, we must engrave the Word which the Lord has spoken to us more deeply in our hearts. You and I must become people of faith where the roots have spread deep down into our hearts. Through the Word of God we must believe with deep understanding about our sinful nature, the righteousness of God, and His judgment (John 16:8-11). We must know clearly what kind of sinners we humans were before the presence of God, how God loved sinners so deeply in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and how God saved us who are sinners from all the sins of the world by the gospel of the water and the Spirit and made us the perfect children of God, and preach this correctly to the people of the world.
Because humans originally were sinners from birth, all the people of this world must receive the remission of sins of their heart by believing in the Lord-given gospel of the water and the Spirit. We cannot but live with our sins and receive judgment for those sins if we do not believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit before the presence of God. Only the people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can receive the remission of their sins and become the perfect children of God and receive the eternal blessings from the Lord. Therefore, you and I must learn the will of God, apply it in our life, and follow by faith with humble heart in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And by this faith, we must fight against the Devil who makes us stumble and overcome the false faiths that comes from the Devil, and from believing in lies. We must humble ourselves before the Word of God which records that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the only Truth and only follow the Lord with faith of believing in this Word only. Moreover, we must also become believers who know how to admit boldly “what is right is right” and “what is wrong is wrong” according to this Word of God. The Scripture commends such believers as “those of noble character” (Acts 17:11).
You and I who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must make this faith even more formidable by holding onto the Word of God only and follow the Lord with this Word as the driving force. It is because we cannot realize the will and the truth of God and follow Him faithfully just because we have simply come to know this gospel. Faith that does not depend on the Word of God is still infantile faith and not a mature one. If you still have infantile faith and face various difficulties with such faith, then you must know that you need faith and knowledge of understanding the Word of God clearly even more during these times. You cannot but fall spiritually in the end if your faith has been rooted properly. This is the reason why you and I must increase our faith and the knowledge of understanding the Word of God.
 
 
Some Seeds Fell on Thorny Ground
 
People who have a heart like thorny ground are the ones who cannot reap fruit although they have believed in the word of God because the worries of this world and the temptations of material wealth and fleshly greed have come into the heart and blocked off faith of believing in the Word of God. In other Words, it means that they could not believe in the Word of the Lord properly because they were too worried about the world. Although such people hear the Word of God and believe in it, such people cannot believe in the Word properly because they have a heart set towards the world and have so many worries about life. Because of the overcast heart which is set towards the world, they cannot accept the Word of God properly and they also cannot hold onto the Lord faithfully.
Of course, fleshly greed comes up and fights against this faith even though we have faith of believing in the Word of God because we fleshly humans are imperfect beings. When such fleshly greed comes inside us we start thinking, “Why are there not many people who know this gospel of the water and the Spirit? Does it mean that so many people who exist in this world do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Does it mean that I am among a very few people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? If this is so then I will be persecuted by the people who do not believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit and even be called a heretic. It would then be a loss for me, wouldn’t it?” However, I know this is not the proper faith. The Lord referred to such a heart as a thorny field, not good ground. You are in a state like a thorny field if you distance yourself from the Word of God because you think, “How can I live in this world if I believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Wouldn’t my relationship with the other people be broken if I believed in this true gospel of the water and the Spirit? Could I possibly incur a loss fleshly while living in this world because something terrible happened due to this faith? This Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit seems to be the Truth, but would I not incur some kind of loss if I believed in it?” If this happens, then such a person falls into a state of not being able to accept the Word of God into his heart.
These hearts that are like a thorny fields, stony ground, and fields by the wayside and cannot accept the Word of God exactly as it is purely when they hear the Word of God but only accept it as a theory. The thorny ground especially is a heart that thinks that he does not have anything more to learn through this gospel even though he has accepted the gospel of the water and the Spirit in his heart. There are people in the world who are only interested in their physical prosperity although they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This Word applies to such people who’s hearts are thorny ground. They cannot receive salvation from sins because they do not have faith of believing in the Word of God firmly. They listen to the Word of God just like other people, but they cannot escape from their sins completely and receive salvation because they just hear the Word of God but they do not hold fast onto the Word in their heart properly.
You must at least receive the remission of your sins in your hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit which is the righteousness of the Lord if you want to believe in the Lord who has saved you from the sins of the world and follow Him. And even if you already believe in Him, you must not become prideful but you must instead continually reaffirm the fact that you have received the remission of your sins through the Word of God. It’s because you cannot follow the Lord faithfully without faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with firm conviction about this faith.
Furthermore, in order to follow the Lord faithfully, you and I must have firm resolve not to allow anything of this world to interfere without faith in God, but rather cast it away. When Jesus said to Peter and his brother Andrew, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), they both left their nets and followed Jesus. For these two people who were fishermen, the net was a very valuable thing that is directly related to their livelihood, but they left this net because they had firm conviction that Jesus had something more valuable than their nets. Dear fellow believers, you must be like this also. Even if we lose family or even the most valuable things we have, we the born-again who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must have firm resolve to follow the Lord to the center of our hearts.
Some born-again believers may think like this: “I will receive the remission of sins and go to Heaven by believing in the righteousness of the Lord without incurring any kind of loss. I will just believe in the Lord, receive all the good things, receive only blessings, and go to Heaven happily like this without incurring any physical loss.” Such people are not appropriate for the Kingdom of the Lord. The hearts of these kinds of people are in a state that the Word of God has not rooted well. Even if they possess the gospel of the Truth momentarily, such people eventually lose it and stumble spiritually and throw out the Word of the Truth.
 
 
You Must Become the Worker Who Sow the Seed on Good Ground
 
The Lord told us to not sow seeds on such fields like the field by the wayside, the stony ground and the thorny ground. Then what kind of person must we be before the presence of God? Like the good ground in today’s Scripture passage, we must become someone whose heart is like the good ground. As you also know, the good ground in this world is referring to a field that has been cleared of all stones by the farmer. And the farmer has covered these seeds with good earth so that these seeds would not be blown away even when the wind blows strongly. When we interpret it spiritually, it means someone’s heart must be prepared perfectly by listening to the Word of God.
Confucius said that he would have no regret whatsoever even if he died in the evening if he just came to understand the Way in the morning. This means that if a sinner could understand and realize the way into the Kingdom of Heaven, he would not have any greed in the things of this world and that it would not matter even if he lost all the things of this world. We must also become people who think of the things of God as precious, and we must not cling to the things of this world. Only people like this can have seeds sown on good ground and reap precious fruit. Only people like this can truly receive salvation from their sins and also enter the Kingdom of God by accepting the Word of God into their heart perfectly.
As I have explained earlier, thorny ground implies someone who has concerns and greed about material wealth; and the stony ground implies someone who stumbles spiritually because the root of his faith is not deeply rooted; and the field by the wayside is referring to someone that Satan comes to and devours the Word that was given to him. The person who sows the seed in our hearts, that is, the One who sows the Word, is the Son of Man, and this Son of Man is this Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Lord who came to this world as the Son of God and also as our Savior in order to save us. Someone who knows the Word of God and has accepted the Word into his heart receives salvation through the Lord, but a person who is not like this cannot receive salvation. Today, Jesus wants to teach us this truth through this parable of the sower.
Jesus spoke in detail to His disciples and also to you and me about the truth that belongs to Heaven. The Lord said that a person who sows seed on good ground reaps fruit that amounts to more than 30 times, 60 times, and 100 times, and that, in order to become good ground, we must not calculate the profit and loss when we hear the Word of God but just accept it purely in our hearts.
Those who have received the remission of all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are totally different from the people who do not believe in the Word of God. They have a heart of believing and following the Word of God properly. We can never receive salvation from our sins if our faith is not pure like the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You and I are nothing if we cannot understand the Word of God that has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In order for us to believe in God correctly and receive salvation, we must first hear the correct Word of God from the servants of God who know the gospel and preach the Word of God properly. Check if the preacher you meet is preaching the Word of God like this. And if the preacher preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Word of God, exactly as it is without seeking personal interests, then you must believe in it in your heart immediately.
You must not try to understand the Word of God religiously only nor accept it as a matter of knowledge. Such a person is like stony ground or the field by wayside. One must absolutely know the gospel of the water and the Spirit if he wants to become the good ground and reap precious fruit, that is, if one wants to receive true salvation in his heart by believing in the Word of the Lord. Only then can we know and believe in God as our true Savior. You and I must be equipped with the correct knowledge about the Word by knowing and believing in the Word of God through the gospel of the water and the Spirit in order to become the people of faith. We must continue with the Word of the Lord and let it take root by faith deeply in our heart based on the knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It is written in the Scriptures, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Like this Word, we must solidify the Word into our hearts through actual experiences that apply to our lives, instead of stopping at simply knowing the Word of God. We must always acknowledge the Word of God while living in this world by continually learning it and applying it into our lives.
 
 
We Must Become the People Who Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
What must you do in order to be united with Jesus Christ spiritually and become one body with Him? You must offer up the sacrifice of faith that is pleasing to the Lord. The people of the Old Testament offered up this sacrifice to God by the method of laying their hands onto the head of a sacrificial offering and offering it up as a sacrifice and burning the flesh of that sacrifice. This is called burnt offering, and God was pleased to accept such sacrifices of faith.
However, the reason this burnt offering was really important was that this sacrifice was “the plan of salvation that God had decided to save us in Jesus Christ.” Put differently, it means that the sacrifice of the Old Testament was the shadow of Jesus who was to come in the future. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to this world in order to save us, and this Jesus saved us by taking all our sins upon Himself through the Baptism of John the Baptist, dying on the Cross, and being resurrected from death. And as I have said before, all such ministries of salvation by the Lord were prophesized through the sacrifices offered up to God in the Old Testament.
The Word about the sacrifices of the Old Testament is recorded in detail in the Book of Leviticus chapter 16. Through this Word, we will take a look at how these sacrifices offered up to God were fulfilled in the Old Testament. At that time, the person who was responsible for the sacrifice for the Day of Atonement was called the High Priest, and in order for him to enter the Holy Place to receive the remission of his sins and the sins of his family, he had to first wash his body cleanly and put on the linen clothes and holy garments of the High Priest. And he then offered up the sacrifice of atonement for his sins and the sins of his family by offering up a bull as a sacrificial offering. He had to do this by the method of going into the Holy Place with the blood of the sacrificial offering and burning incense. And he had to take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he had to sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times. In order to blot out his sins and the sins of his family, he had to pass the sins over onto the sacrificial offering and offer it up to God. Originally he who had committed sins should have died, but when the bull received the laying on of hands and died in his place, God approved this sacrifice and instead received the wages of human sins from the bull.
Also the High Priest prepared two goats as sacrificial offerings for the Day of Atonement to blot out all the sins of the Israelites. They received the remission of sins when the High Priest offered up one goat before the presence of God and the other one before the people. The High Priest took the first goat and offered it up as a burnt offering just like the method he offered up the bull: He laid his hands on the head of the goat and cut its throat and drew its blood. According to the sacrificial system recorded in the Book of Leviticus on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest then lit the incense and sprinkled the blood of the goat on the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place. Then he came out and began the actual ritual of blotting out the sins of all the people of Israel.
Then he brought out the second goat and laid his hands on its head before the all the people to pass all the sins of the Israelites over onto the scapegoat. After passing the sins over onto the scapegoat, he handed the goat over to a designated person who took it into the desert faraway and left it there. The scapegoat that was left in the desert without water and grass eventually died after roaming around for a while with all the sins of the Israeli people. One year’s sins of the entire Israelites were completely passed over onto the sacrificial offering by such method of the High Priest offering up the sacrifice of burnt offering like this.
I have told you this somewhat complex method of sacrifice of the Old Testament era because of the following reason. The sacrifice of the Day of Atonement in the Old Testament is same as the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we believe in now. God blotted out one year’s worth of sins of the Israelites through the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement during the Old Testament, and likewise God gave the remission of all our sins eternally in the New Testament era by receiving Jesus Christ who came to this world in human flesh as the Lamb of God. God spoke about this in the Book of Hebrews chapter 9 verses 11-12, as it is written, “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” Hebrews chapter 10 also describes that the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement was the shadow of the good things to come, that is, the eternal sacrifice for sins by Jesus Christ. So the Bible states, “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).
Jesus who came to this world and saved you and me from sin was prophesized in the Old Testament even from His birth. Take a look at Isaiah 7:14. It is written, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Jesus who came to this world like this according to the predestined salvation of God, took all the sins of the world by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist and shed His blood and died on the Cross just as the sacrificial offering of the Old Testament received the sins by the laying on of hands.
At the time Jesus received the baptism, the voice of God was heard, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). This Word implies, “The One who just received the baptism from John the Baptist is My Son, and My Son took over all your sins at once. And My Son will carry your sins and go to the Cross and shed His blood and die on the Cross. Then He will be resurrected from death and come alive again. My Son has saved you perfectly.” All the sins of the world were able to pass over onto Jesus through the baptism of John the Baptist. Because John the Baptist who baptized Jesus knew this fact, he was able to say, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Yes! Our Lord took all the sins of the world upon Himself at once by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, who was the representative of all mankind and one of the descendants of Aaron the High Priest. All our sins were passed over onto Jesus when the Lord received the baptism from John the Baptist and the Lord carried all these sins that were passed over onto Him like this and went to the Cross. Just before He died on the Cross, the Lord said, “It is finished!” What did He finish? It means that the Lord fulfilled all the promises of taking our sins upon Himself through the baptism, shedding water and the blood on the Cross due to those sins in our place, and being resurrected from the dead and becoming our Savior.
Because Jesus paid all the wages of our sins completely by the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our place, God said, “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:18). You and I must understand this Word to its full depth. We must not now try to become the perfectly righteous people by keeping the Law, but instead realize our sins and our sinful nature through that Law and know what kind of person we are before the presence of God. I am saying that we must first realize who we are through the Law of God, and also know what Jesus Christ has done for us and how much He loves us as we believe in Him.
Although we were born sinners due to the sin Adam which he committed in the beginning, we have become the righteous again because of the obedience of Jesus as the propitiation for all mankind, as it is written, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). It means that we will never become sinners again if we believe in Jesus Christ as our true Savior. We are no longer sinners because all our sins have been passed over onto Jesus Christ. You must understand properly the depth of salvation that saved you from all your sins and believe in it properly. We must accept the Word of God exactly as it is into our hearts. We must cultivate clean, pure and good ground like the gospel of the water and the Spirit of the Lord who blotted out all our sins and received the judgment in our place, and plant the Word of the Lord in that ground.
It is fundamentally impossible for us to deny fleshly thoughts with our own strength. We must depend only on faith of believing in the Word of God properly in order to defeat the egotism of the flesh. We can finally have a change in our egoistic heart when we hear the Word of God and think, “Is this right, or wrong? Is this of the Word of God, or not?” and then accept the Word of God if it is true, thinking, “I must also follow the Word.” The egoistic heart of flesh absolutely cannot be broken just because one tries to break it with his own will. Knowing this, the Lord said, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). We must follow this Word in order to follow the Lord because this is the true Word of God and the truth that God asks from us who have faith. Furthermore, we must absolutely do this because this is the right thing to do. Although it might be a small thing, we come to receive the blessing and love of the Lord when we accept the Word of God by faith. You also will be able to know that God gives faith and the Holy Spirit teaches the truth of the cleansing of sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit as you are leading your spiritual life according to the Word of God. The Holy Spirit gives you strength and joy when you overcome this egoistic heart by the Word of God. The Holy Spirit then gives praise and encouragement to our souls for doing the right thing.
The people who love dogs hug their dog, kiss it, and run around with it. And during that process the dog feels that the owner loves it and therefore is loyal to that owner and desires to be with the owner always. A person who has experienced his weakness or shortcomings coming up and also experienced the abundant joy and happiness through the gospel of the water and the Spirit in his spiritual life is also like this. He who knows and believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can feel his faith growing gradually in the process of comparing himself with someone who believes without knowing this true gospel and also in the process of evaluating which faith is correct. It means that a person’s faith of following the Lord becomes more formidable through various kinds of experiences of even denying his own thoughts with the Word of God when it comes into his heart and eventually breaking such a heart and uniting with God again, and so on.
The heart of every human being is weak, but there will come a day when one sets up his heart absolutely. One must decide whether to go towards the world or set the heart for the Lord and follow Him. Even if the Lord does not ask forcibly, there will come a time when one must make a clear decision. Of course, the path we must choose is to follow the Lord. What is the consequence when we follow the Lord? We must evaluate this through the Word and make a wise decision, that is, to choose the way of following the Lord. We will encounter difficulties at some time as we live out our faith properly like this. However, this difficult circumstance is absolutely necessary for you and me. This is because we come to realize just how weak our strength is to carry on in this righteous path only when we are in difficulties and thereby depend on the Lord’s Word even more. Then our faith of believing in God becomes even stronger than before. As dust accumulates on a shelf, faith accumulates unwittingly. And we get to enjoy the joy of dwelling truthfully with Christ while living like this.
In order for you and me to follow the Lord properly, we must be the good ground the Lord spoke about. We must have the attitude of the heart that accepts the Word exactly as it is if it is truly the Word of God without considering our own profit. Then God does all the rest. We just have to understand that the Word of God is true and accept it wholeheartedly into our hearts. After this the Word of God controls you and me and teaches us, guides us, and leads us onto the righteous path. God leads us to the path He is pleased with.
Dear fellow believers, the Lord is telling us at this hour that we must become this good ground. You and I must become the people who are prepared in our hearts to accept the Word of God properly like this. We must become such people who accept the Word of God initially whether it agrees with our thoughts or not. Then the Almighty God will lead us in the most proper way. He can lead everything―such as our hearts, thoughts, and circumstances―because He is the Almighty God who is the Truth.
However, what would happen if our hearts were not prepared? Even our Lord cannot do anything for us if we are not prepared to accept the Word of God into our hearts and also do not even have the desire to do so. The just Lord cannot demand it forcibly because He is noble in character. However, we must at least prepare for our hearts to receive the Word of God. God can make us the righteous people who receive blessings like Abraham if we are just prepared to receive the Word of God into our hearts.
You and I do not have anything to worry about in the Lord. The Lord will fulfill everything when the time comes. God created the light on the first day, made the firmament to divide the waters on the second day, and divided the land from the sea on the third day. The work of the first day implies receiving the remission of sins; the work of the second day implies that the born-again should discern the Word of God and the word of Satan; and God’s work of the third day implies that our weakness should be revealed in order for us to bear spiritual fruit.
Like this Word, our weakness was not revealed when we first received the remission of sins into our heart by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then, after a short time passes since receiving the remission of sins, the desires of the flesh keep coming up like the way the dirty land that was covered by water is revealed, and we consequently realize that we are such a person. However, despite the fact that we are such insufficient people, we can follow the Lord because we still have faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our hearts. We become the people of faith who bear spiritual fruit by the faith of believing in God. As the Lord said on the fifth day, “Let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens,” we can become the righteous people who follow God by faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit no matter how weak we are. You and I are the people who have been created according to the image of the likeness of God. Therefore, we must become the people who are like God by faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Dear fellow believers, you must become this good ground before the presence of God. You cannot receive salvation from all your sins if you do not become this good ground in which the Word of God can be deeply rooted inside. The fields that are not of good ground must repent. Have you become this good ground? Is your heart ready to receive the Word of God? It does not matter even if you feel inadequate. You just have to depend on God according to the Word of God and live in God’s Church. Then our Lord leads you in everything else.