Sometimes we think we can make deals with God. We hear His commands, but we plan on being faithful later. Or we make light of our rebellious thoughts and actions, thinking they’re only minor offenses in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps we think God will overlook them just as easily as we’ve rationalized them.
Jesus put special emphasis on “having ears to hear” in the Gospel of Mark. He expected much more than a captive audience, though: “ ‘If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!’ And he said to them, ‘Take care what you hear! With the measure by which you measure out, it will be measured out to you, and will be added to you’ ” (Mark 4:23–24).
Jesus issued this command shortly after giving His disciples special insight into the parable of the Sower and the Seed. The rocky soil, the thorns, the road, the good soil—these represented various responses to the good news. The good soil was receptive to the seeds. But more than that, such soils “receive it and bear fruit—one thirty and one sixty and one a hundred times as much” (Mark 4:20).
Jesus revealed the secret of the kingdom to His disciples, to the surrounding crowd, and to us. Now that we hear, we must take care that we respond. Bear fruit befitting His work in you (Mark 4:20), and let others know why you bear fruit (Mark 4:21–22). Because He has given to you with such abundance, He expects you to live abundantly for Him—right now.
How are you rationalizing your response to God’s work? Are you delaying responding to God?