In our recent post 6 Things Worth Fighting For I pointed out the six things for which the New Testament tells us to agonize, beginning with entering into the narrow door. What makes it narrow are all the other things stood up in front of it that seek to claim our attention, our affection, and our adherence.
Jesus knows this is the lay of the land when he comes to call us to himself. Jesus knows we are distracted, like the crow, to the shiny and easy way. We are drawn to what seems convenient or is commended by the world. Our heads turn at headlines and our minds do not naturally tilt towards the truth. This is why Jesus goes forth as a sower sowing the good seed of the Word.
But, even as the Sower, Jesus knows the majority of us, if not all of us, are resistant to the word. For some, the word is easily stolen from them. For others, the word doesn’t take root. It’s not the priority of their life. For some, the word gets choked out by “the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things”. (Mark 4: 19) Nothing comes from it.
We need to remember, there are always things trying to enter into us to keep us from entering into life.
Despite this, Jesus says some of his seed falls on good soil. People “hear the word, accept it, and bring forth fruit”. (Mark 4: 20) The word, translated accepted makes all the difference. The word, παραδεχομαι, means to ‘accept and pull in’. This is not:
- accepted from a distance, either mental or emotional.
- accepted as an option or temporary preference.
- accepted as a practical advantage or a means to an end.
This is an acceptance that serves as a catalyst for changing my being. This is an acceptance that changes how I self-identify. If I accept this word I am no longer governed by my own or anyone else’s word. I echo the Apostle Paul, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.” (Philippians 3: 8 – 9 NLT)
This acceptance makes me like John Wesley, “a man of one book“. This acceptance makes me like the Thessalonian saint who, “when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2: 13)
Jesus equates this acceptance as feeding on him, ingesting and assimilating his words, which are “spirit and life”. (John 6: 63)
Have you been enabled by God to accept the word Jesus is sowing?
Have you made accepting the Word your most important priority?
Follow Gary Keller’s admonition: “Until my ONE thing is done, everything else is a distraction.” In the same way, until we accept the Word of God, everything else is a distraction.