"He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “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." Mark 4:2-4
When someone who is in authority says, "Listen!" you should listen. When that person commanding you to listen is Jesus, well..............!
After He called the crowd to attention He began telling the parable about the sower and the seed. Sowing is how they planted seed in those days. First they would plow the soil of their field and then walk across the field and back tossing the seeds onto the soil from their hand. I assume the more experienced a sower was the more accurate his tossing of the seed, but still there was seed that landed in unintended places. In His parable the Master made each place represent a different type of hearing heart and the seed represents the Word of God.
Some seed landed on the path. The path would be the equivalent of a sidewalk today. It was where everyone walked when they passed by that area and because it drew so much traffic the dirt was packed down hard. So hard was this packed down soil that seed landing there had no chance to put down roots before a bird swept down to snatch it. Any seed that landed on the path was wasted seed unless you were a bird.
A heart becomes hardened just as a path gets hardened, by the pressure of constant use. When a heart frequently hears the Word but never listens to it that heart becomes hardened. The Word of God never has a neutral result. When the Word is heard and obeyed it becomes soft and molded like clay. But if the Word is heard and deliberately disregarded or disobeyed that heart becomes hardened.
My mother tells me I earned my first spanking when I intentionally disobeyed her. I was three years old at the time and loved to crawl into the cabinets under the kitchen counter and play with her pots and pans. She gave me stern orders to not do so again.
One day she couldn't locate me and began to call out my name. As she continued to call with no response her level of concern increased. Just as she was about to panic she heard a clank in the area of the lower cabinet. Opening the doors she saw me sitting under there playing with her pots and pans.
Relieved but angered, she sternly rebuked me, "Bradley, didn't you hear me calling you? I have been calling your name for quite awhile now!"
According to her my response was, "I hear you - but I pay no attention!"
She got my attention! She warmed my cold, disobedient heart from the backside up!
What is the condition of your heart? Are you obeying God's Word? Are you hearing but paying no attention? Do you listen to what He says to you? Are you yielding to conviction or are you resisting it?
Once a heart grows hardened it is hard to change. It is a dangerous condition to allow.
When you hear God's Word today - will you listen?