MARK 4:24-25: “And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: How important is it to guard what we “hear”? Jesus warns His disciples to pay attention to what we hear. He does this immediately following His teaching on the Parable of the Sower. When He explains this parable to His disciples Jesus points out that the difference between fruitfulness and unfruitfulness is in how each person “heard” the Word. There are really only four ways we “hear”. They are “disinterested”, “discouraged”, “distracted”, and “diligent”.
“Disinterested” hearers really are not hearing at all. We have all been guilty of this. This is when someone is talking and we are not even directing our attention toward them – because we really are not interested in what they are saying, or we just don’t have any confidence in what they are saying. This is the seed sown by the wayside.
“Discouraged” hearers begins with enthusiasm and attentiveness. However, they soon begin to hear only the negative aspect of what is being shared. They zero in on all the pitfalls and problems that lie ahead. Not wanting to count the cost the discouraged hearer disengages and does not continue or bear any fruit. This is the seed sown on the rocky ground.
“Distracted” hearers do not know who they want to listen to. There are so many competing voices they are easily distracted from any concentration and focus that will bring them to action and fruitfulness. It is not just the distraction of sin, but it is all the general distractions of life. This is the seed that is choked out by the weeds.
“Diligent” hearers are the ones who listen attentively to every word. Not only does the person listen to every word, but they begin to think upon what has been said. They are not discouraged by negative voices. They are not distracted by competing voices. They are tuning everything else out around them so that they can hear the one speaking to them. This is the type of hearing that produces fruit in life. This is the type of hearing we must exercise when we come to God’s Word!
Lord, give me ears to hear and eyes to see. Give me a hunger for the truth of Your Word that embraces it in faith and tunes out every doubt, negative thought, or competing voice that tries to steal it away from my heart. May I hear the still small voice of Your Spirit speaking through Your Word, and hearing – may I bear Your eternal fruit in my life. In Jesus Name!