Soils & Saviors

This is the 2nd post of 3 on the Parable of the Sower  (Read Part 1)

As I read through the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:1-20, the soil of the human heart is really about what “saviors” we look to for satisfaction, significance, and salvation. The saviors we look to determines the heart of the harvest.

Savior #1: Myself. Savior #1 corresponds to Soil #1, the heart that is ultimately indifferent to the seed of Jesus’ gospel. In the context of Mark’s Gospel, the Pharisees are looking to their own self-righteousness and good works for salvation. They think that they’re good works can build a bridge to God. They’re looking to themselves. In our culture, this is the soil of many hearts. In an ABC News Poll, a random sampling of over 1000 American adults revealed that 89% of people believed in heaven and 85% percent of those people believed they were going there, and 60% believe that both Christians and non-Christians get in. The implication is that 60% of the people who believe in heaven believe that they’ll go to heaven because they’re good people. They’re looking to themselves for salvation.

Savior #2: Comfort. Savior #2 corresponds with Soil #2, the heart that looks for an easy spirituality because the savior here is comfort. This heart is not looking for anything too extreme. This heart says, “I want Jesus to be my Savior but not my Lord… because if He’s really my Lord and I really need to do and be what He’s calling me to do and be, it will mean being uncomfortable and being comfortable is my highest value. I don’t really want to have my boat rocked… I like life the way it is.” And just for the record, Jesus is not this kind of savior.

Savior #3: Pleasure. Savior #3 corresponds to Soil #3, the heart that’s looking for a balanced spiritual life… a little bit of Jesus is what I need in my life. But let’s be honest, when we have this kind of attitude, much like the savior of comfort, we’re often looking for pleasure to give us meaning and significance. Jesus defined it in v. 19 as the “cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things.” It’s the savior of pleasure. Notice that the plant in the parable sprung up but it ultimately bore no fruit because other things choked it out. We look to pleasure to provide meaning and happiness in our lives. I posted this quote on Facebook this week: “We sin because in that moment we desire, treasure, delight in, long for, fear, worship, glorify or want something more than we desire God.” In short, we sin and we choke out Jesus’ work in our lives because we desire something or someone more than we desire Jesus… it’s the savior of pleasure.

Savior #4: Jesus. The last soil, the human heart that is all about kingdom spirituality, is looking solely to Jesus as Savior and Lord. This human heart receives and welcomes Jesus, responding fully to His gospel and kingdom work as it transforms our lives and our world.

What Savior(s) are you looking to in your life?

Go to Part 3 – “The Receptive Heart”

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