“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Mark 4:14-20 (NKJ)
14″The sower sows the word.
God sows the seed of the word in our hearts. His word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12 NKJ). However, as powerful as the word is, it can not have any kind of positive effect in our lives unless we receive it into our hearts, keep it and act upon it. God determines the quality of the seed – you determine the quality of the ground!
15″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.
The word does not go very far into some people. It lands right beside them, not inside them. They allow the devil to steal it immediately. The moment they hear it, they have already forgotten it. “In one ear and out the other!”
16″These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17″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.
The “stony ground” people receive the word and allow it past their ears into their heart, but because the ground of their heart is hard, the word is not allowed to dig down and become rooted in them. The slightest bit of persecution or pressure that they encounter, the word goes right out the window and they are back to square one.
18″Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
19″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.
Some “weedy” and “thorny” people hear the word, but because they allow worries, greed, lust and covetousness into their hearts, the word is choked right out of their hearts. You can’t have the weeds and the good seed of the word growing together. The nature of weeds is to overtake and destroy the good plants. You will have to weed your garden and root out all the bad attitudes if you want the word to produce in your life.
20″But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
Your heart is good ground only if you hear the word, accept it and bear fruit. The word must be allowed to take root in you in a clean, soft patch of heart that is not being choked by the weeds. Each person’s fruit is going to be different – thirty, sixty or one hundred fold – depending on how good the soil is, how deep the roots go and how often it is watered. You cannot just be a hearer of the word you must be a doer too.
James 1:23-25 (NKJ)
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Luke 6:46-49 (NKJ)
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?
“Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. “But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”