“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” (Mark 4:16-19, NLT).
This well-known parable of Jesus has been taught and preached many times over and most of us know its lessons well.
According to Jesus, when the message of the coming of the Kingdom of God is told, there are four categories of people who hear the message.
The first category of people hear the message and never even believe it. The fourth category of people hear it, accept its teachings, and become productive disciples.
But, it is the people in the other two categories that are concerning to me. It might surprise you to know that the people in these other two categories received the message of the Kingdom of God and even believed it at some level.
They believed it but were unproductive!
Now, whether your theological position is that two categories of hearers were saved and then fell away from their salvation or your position is that they were never actually saved in the first place, you have to conclude that their problem was a lack of productivity for God’s Kingdom.
What made these two categories of hearers unproductive was the fact that the message of God’s Kingdom didn’t have deep roots in their life or was crowded out of their life by other cares and interests.
But, a productive disciple is a deliberate disciple. Productivity in the Kingdom of God happens on purpose, not by accident. It is an act of the will of the one who hears and believes and follows!
So, deliberate disciples cultivate the Kingdom in their lives through Bible study, prayer, worship, and service to others.
And, they prioritize the Kingdom in their lives by utilizing their time and resources to be productive in harvesting souls for God’s Kingdom.