I. Spreading wide
Mark 4:13–20 NLT
Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others. The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
People who hear the message, but Satan comes at once and takes it away.
There are those who hear the message, receive it with joy, but fail to grow deep roots.
Others quickly respond to the Gospel but it is quickly crowded out by the worries of life.
Finally, there are those who hear the message, receive, and produce a harvest. 30, 60, or even a hundred times… Who are these people. They are the people who spread wide.
1. Cover and protect | Generosity
Proverbs 11:24-25 (NLT) - Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. 25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Money of course, here’s the real battle. Time.
Time to listen
Time to get involved, to lend a hand, ( Reach out)
1 Peter 4:8-10 ESV - Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
Time to share, tell your story. Time to lead others to the same New Life you have experienced.
2. Committed to kindness
The gospel is tough, Jesus is the only way. That is offensive. We need to be committed to kindness.
We live in a day of identity politics. Who I am… This is tough for Christians.
Ephesians 1:13 - And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.
My identity is in Christ alone.
Ephesians 1:6-8 - So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
In our world to accept Christ is to lay down so much. It is hard to here. We must be kind.
3. Consistent encouragement
How we speak affects those around us about 10% of the time it affects us 100% of the time
“When you speak great, kind and compassionate words to others, you become great, kind and compassionate.” -Tim Holt
Hebrews 10:24-25 - Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
We are commanded to be the Light of the world. That is your identity in Christ. He said you are the light of the world! We should start acting like it.
It is time to grow deep, stand tall, and spread wide. It is winter in the lives of some of those around us. Death is everywhere they look. When they see you, let them see the Evergreen. When everything else is dead it shows that there is still life. A place of cover and protection. A place that is committed to kindness. A place that is full of consistent encouragement. Spread wide!