Think About It … What do you do to keep your house plants alive? Jesus uses an object lesson about plants and farming. – He makes a spiritual application – What makes for good spiritual growth?
Listen for different kinds of treatments which affect plant growth. Mark 4:3-9 (NIV) "Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
Listen for different kinds of treatments which affect plant growth.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times."  Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Truth Offered to All Who do you think Jesus was implying for the meaning of the symbol of the farmer? What do you think the “seed” symbolized? Into what various places did the seed fall? What happened to the seed in these four locations?
Truth Offered to All You have not heard the gospel message before and someone comes and gives you the good news of John 3:16. Why has this “seed” been snatched away? Karena Allah begitu mengasihi manusia di dunia ini, sehingga Ia memberikan Anak-Nya yang tunggal, supaya setiap orang yang percayakepada-Nya tidak binasa, melainkan mendapat hidup sejati dan kekal. Consider that even if people speak English, we sometimes use religious jargon which has little meaning to the hearer.
Truth Offered to All What other events snatch the “seed” of God’s words away before they can even make an impression on one’s heart and mind? What are some “thorns” that tend to choke out a person’s faith in the words of God? What circumstances have a tendency to “scorch” someone’s trust in scriptural Truth?
Listen for why Jesus spoke in parables. Mark 4:10-12 (NIV) When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.  He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables  so that, " 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'"
Insight when You Seek Truth How did the disciples respond to the Parable of the Four Soils? How did Jesus defend His use of parables? How do stories and illustrations help us to understand more clearly the message of the Bible? Why do you think Jesus considered Isaiah’s words relevant to His preaching about the kingdom of God?
Insight when You Seek Truth Knowing that most of the men in the crowd were farmers and Jesus used an illustration from farming, why did many in the audience not understand His message? Why do you think Jesus explained the “secret” only to his disciples and not to the crowds in general?
Listen for the symbolism of the story explained. Mark 4:13-20 (NIV) Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?  The farmer sows the word.  Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.  Others, like seed sown on rocky, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.
Listen for the symbolism of the story explained.  But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.  Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;  but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.  Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop--thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."
Growth when You Receive Truth According to verse 13, what problem did this exchange bring up? What did Jesus want us to understand about God from this parable? How do you determine what kind of “soil” represents you?
Growth when You Receive Truth How can you make sure that the worries of life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the other desires of the world will not choke the life out of your Christian walk? What can you do—and not do—to make the message “take root” when you teach or tell others about Christ? According to our passages today, what can you do to increase your fruit as a Christian?
Application In what area of your life do you need to start listening to God? – Is there something which you are worrying about? – Is there something God wants you to start (or stop) doing? – What promises does God want to impress upon you right now?
Application Pray for people in your circle of acquaintances who need to have the seed of the word fall on “good ground”? – They have heard the Gospel message – They are struggling with issues which tend to confuse them about God’s Truth. – Keep sowing the seed
Application Pray for the proclamation of the Gospel in areas of the world where it has never been heard before – Pray that the Truth falls on “good ground” – Pray that Satan’s efforts to snatch away the “seed” will be thwarted – Pray that their lives will demonstrate much fruit (Fruit of the Spirit).