Seek First

The Word of God needs to take deep, deep root in your heart so that you can stand troubles when they come.


Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right? Bless your heart. Yes, this is your friend Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you once again. We’re looking at the gospel of Mark these days. We’ve come now to chapter 4. This chapter contains some of the parables that our Lord Jesus spoke. I want you to see the rationale behind His speaking in parables. It doesn’t seem fair at first. He says in effect, I’m using parables so some people will understand and others won’t. Strange isn’t it? They were asking the 12, ask Him about His parables, and He said, “Unto you”, this is verse 11, we’ll come back to it later on, just want to touch on it now, “Unto you is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God, but unto them that are without”, that means outside, unsaved people, Christ rejecting people, “All these things are done in parables, and seeing them you see and not perceive and hearing they may hear and not understand, lest they should be converted and their sins be forgiven them”. Now, isn’t that strange? Doesn’t God want everyone to be saved? That’s of the Bible says, “God who will have all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to the knowledge of the truth”, Bible says that. Why then, would God hide anything, the meaning that is to say, of this blessed message from anyone? Well, I think it’s wrapped up in the very nature of human nature, and let me show you this. Paul talks about the natural man, the carnal man, and the spiritual man. The natural man is a person who has not been saved, he has not been born-again. The carnal person is the one who’s living the Christian life on the basis of his own ideas, and efforts, and as a result is producing his own faults, reproducing his own faults. The spiritual person is one who’s filled with the Holy Spirit and who has been given that blessed discernment, to understand the things of God. But I’m looking now at 1 Corinthians chapter 2 verse 14, “The natural”, that means the unsaved person, “receive not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him. Neither can he know them”, that word know is the Greek verb ginosko, which means of a personal knowledge of, “neither can he have a personal knowledge of them, because they are spiritually discerned”. “He that is spiritual discerns all things yet he himself is discerned of no man”. Then he goes on and chapter 3 to say, well now, Brothers, you folk, Corinthians, I couldn’t talk to you as spiritual people, but as carnal, as babes in Christ”, and so on. Now he says, “The natural, the unsaved person, receives not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he can’t have a personal knowledge of Him because they are spiritually discerned”. You see, we come down to the fact that until you make the Lord Jesus Christ, Lord of your life, you don’t really understand the great principles of eternal truth and life. You can study all you have. I have,

I’ve sat under unsaved professors who were expert in the biblical matters, and in Bible history, and who knew all sorts of philosophy, and yet they had no comprehension of the gospel, and when I would speak with people like this, through the years, they would shake their hands and say, “I just don’t, I don’t get it Bob. I don’t get it”. See, there is where it’s at. Isn’t not that God is going keep anybody from coming to Christ. It’s not that He’s going to keep anybody from of understanding the gospel. It is that until you are willing to commit yourself to Christ you just don’t begin to understand the things of God, because He’s the truth. You understand, you begin understand, when He becomes Lord of your life. That is part of the package. Well we’ll get back to this again. I wanted to show you that there in the middle of the fourth chapter, before we got into any the parables, but it says, “The Lord Jesus began again to teach by the seaside. This great multitude came and He entered into a ship, and sat now in this boat a little ways from the land’, it says, sat in the sea, “and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land, and He taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in His doctrine”, here’s your first parable, “Behold, there went out a sower, to sew” sow seed that is. “It came to pass as he sewed, some fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up, and some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth, and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth, and when the sun was up it was scorched because it had no root, it withered away. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit, and other of the seed fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased and brought forth some 30 some 60 and someone hundredfold. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear”. What was He talking about? Well He said, “The sower sews the word”, the seed is the word of God. A very apt figure of speech, it’s quite with reason that our Lord Jesus chose that figure of speech, because wrapped up in each seed is the potential for life and growth. You find a microcosm of the entity that will be full-grown, when the seed has germinated, inside you plant little bean for instance. Inside of that, is the little plants, in the root and the and the little shoot that comes on up the to seek the sunshine, and the two cotyledons that help to feed the baby plant until it’s established. Everything there is in miniature, but it’s all complete. The Word of God is the seed, and when you plant that in your heart and mind, you make sure that your life will develop according to God’s plan found in the word. So He says, “The sower sows the word and these are they by the wayside”.Now you see the fields in those days, very rarely had any fences, but the fields were bordered, in many cases, by footpaths, and so people walking along the footpath would occasionally step off the path and on into a field, and so there was a space between the plowed furrows and the footpath that had been trampled down. It wasn’t really part of the roadway, it was part of the field, but it been trampled down, and so the ground was hardened and the seed had no place to go, and so it says, “Immediately and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up you”. And you can understand how that is. Any of you people who were brought up on a farm, you know how the birds gather round whenever there’s a free lunch, and so, “These are they by the wayside, where the word is sown when they heard Satan cometh immediately and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts”.

Well, you and I’ve seen this happen, much to our sorrow, haven’t we? Someone might have profited by God’s word, but was so under the control of sin and Satan, and the heart was so hard, that there wasn’t any penetration of the Word of God, and so Satan snatched that truth away before the individual even had a chance to think about it. Then Jesus said, “These are they, likewise on stony ground”, now this is the kind of ground, there isn’t really very much depth of the soil, and before you dig very far, you run into a rock. These people on stony ground, when they have heard the word immediately receive it with gladness. If you’ve only got an inch or two of soil, and you drop a seed into it, well that it is exposed to more heat from the sun, than it would otherwise get, an it’s apt to germinate more quickly, isn’t it? So it says, “When they’ve heard the word immediately receive it with gladness”, but it says, “they have no root in themselves and so they endure, but for a time afterward when affliction or persecution arises, for the words sake, immediately they are offended”. Now, what is it that demands depth in your life so that you’ll last? What is it that demands depth? There are two things that Jesus mentioned, affliction, that’s the troubles that everybody gets, and persecution, that’s the kind of trouble it is produced by people who are against you, because they’re against Jesus. So, you have two kinds of trouble that is mentioned, where you need a deep root for your faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ. First, affliction or persecution. Have you given any thought to whether or not your trust in the Lord Jesus is great enough to see you through the troubles that come to everybody? You just had your car painted and somebody backs into it. You’ve just gotten over a siege of the chickenpox with the one or two of your youngsters, and now comes another epidemic of some sort, and you have another siege of sickness. You just thought you were doing pretty well on your job when your company is bought by another corporation, and you are being shuffled out in the process. You just thought that you had gotten over one illness and you’re feeling fairly well, when all of a sudden you have a flare up of arthritis or something else, equally painful. All these things happen to us, don’t they? Troubles that come to everybody, and it isn’t that God is mad at you, it isn’t that He’s forgotten about you, it isn’t that that’s the way it is in life. God says, “He comforteth of us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God”, and God allows us to go through things, “Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”, said the psalmist, “I will fear no evil for thou art with me”, and so He allows us to go through some of these things, in order that He might prove Himself real, so that we could share Him with others. You need to be completely committed to the Lord Jesus and the word of God needs to take deep, deep root in your heart, so that you can stand the troubles when they come you can stand the opposition when it comes, because you are a child of God. Then, He goes on to say, “These are they which are sown among thorns, such as hear the word and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word in it, become with unfruitful, stone the thorny ground”. Now, what are the thorns that choke the word of God? Our Lord Jesus is very specific about this and you and I will do well to pay attention to him a as He points out the things that that hinder fruitfulness in God’s word. It’s not that the seed didn’t germinate, it is not that the life was not there, it was there all right, but there are other things that choke it out. What are they? Well He said, “The cares of this world”, that takes in everything from housework to homework to the you name it. Things that are world responsibilities in your life. You have to do them. The work won’t do itself. The wash won’t wash itself and the shirts won’t iron themselves. Your homework won’t do itself, and the sales won’t make themselves. You have to get out make those sales. The budget won’t budge itself. Cares of this world. I’ve got to do this. Now, has it ever occurred to you, that if you allow the duties, what our Lord Jesus calls cares, if you allow the duties and responsibilities of everyday life to be your first priority, it ends up, that kind of prioritizing, ends up by choking your fruitfulness as a Christian. Well you say, “I have to do my work Brother Cook, what you talking about? You want me to just stop?”, oh no, no, no. “Seest thou man diligent in his business, he shall stand before kings, he shall not stand before mean men”. The Bible is in favor of doing the job, but the Bible is also in favor of putting Jesus first, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”.

Dear Father today, may we specialize in putting Thee first, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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