"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 4:3-4, NIV) "The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where
the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word
that was sown in them." (Mark 4:14-15, NIV)
If you could describe the state of your
heart using a descriptive word, what would it be and why?
On Friday, Nov 05, 2010 at Transformers Small Group,
Pastor Ed, Calvin, Olivia, Brian, Joel, David, Ruth, Winston, Daniel, Matt,
Rebecca, Melissa, and I had studied inductively Mark 1:1-34 about parables and
either shared insights we learned or listened to insights shared by other
brothers and sisters. To help me process the study more, I wondered what if
Jesus talked football instead of farming to address different hearts to engage
interests of football fans like me, Calvin, Pastor Ed, Olivia, Pastor
Hugo, Heather, Veronica, Evan, and others.
Calvin had shared with our group before that two
different people can read the same passage and come up with a different
application for their lives depending on what God reveals to them. My prayer is
if what I am sharing is anointed by God then you will be receptive to the
applications here and apply it as I pray I can apply the applications I learned
To that end, I decided to look at this passage in terms
of a football analogy and it's implications to my life. In this analogy, I see
God as the Quarterback (QB) who commits no errors in how He sends the football.
I see the football as God's Word. I see all of us as wide receivers who have a
tendency to commit errors. I see the things that hinder us from receiving the
football and running with it as the opposition.
"Listen, a quarterback with a perfect passer rating,
throws the football. As He throws the football, the football fell along the
path, and the defense came and took it away from the wide receiver creating an
interception... Some humans are like those along the path where the word is sent
to be sown. As soon as they hear it, the opposition comes and takes away the
word that was sown through a deadly interception."
I asked myself why an interception of the wide receiver
As wide receivers, when we are not in the right
position, proactively hearing and following the quarterback's signals when the
ball is thrown, even though we can see it coming towards us, because we are not
positioned correctly along the right path, it is taken away by the defense along
that path. The end result is we have let the football be devoured by the
opposition through a process called an interception.
I asked myself why does Satan come and take away the
Word that was sown in people's lives creating an interception?
As humans, when we are are not in the right position,
even though we hear the Word sown in our lives, since we are not positioned
correctly to be proactively hearing and following God's Word, as soon as we hear
it, Satan comes and takes away the Word that was sown creating a deadly
interception that could endanger our well being.
I asked myself what is the remedy in this situation to
avoid an interception of God's Word?
For that not to happen, it is important to position our
In the game, when a play is misread, the wide receivers
have a general idea what they could have done to position themselves better.
They go and try again without letting the interception becoming the end of their
lives, we need to find ways to position ourselves instead of thinking Satan had
his way with us and that's the end of it. Instead, we should spend time with God
and proactively hear the Word to ensure Satan will not take it away. It is great
to hear the Word on Sundays and other times but there is nothing like personal
time with the Lord. It is through this personal time with God that helps us
position our lives correctly to proactively hear God's Word.
So, let us get our life in a position where we can meet alone with God
without having a hardened heart and let Him speak to us so Satan cannot make us
forget the Word. In essence, let us have quiet times that are of quality so we
do not become like those along the path where the Word is taken away. I have
realized that this alone is not enough as scenario 2 sheds more light.
"Some fell on rocky
places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil
was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they
withered because they had no root." (Mark 4:5-6, NIV) "Others, like seed sown on
rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have
no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because
of the word, they quickly fall away." (Mark 4:16-17, NIV)
"The wide receivers now hear the football
coming and receive it with joy. But these wide receivers have no
root, so they last only a short time on the field. When opposition
comes because of the football they received, they cannot hold on to
it but will drop it.... Humans can hear the Word and at once receive
it with joy. But if they have no root, they last only a short time
in their faith because when trouble or persecution comes
because of the Word, they will quickly fall away."
I asked myself why does an incomplete pass
occur for the wide receiver even if the quarterback did not make the
As wide receivers, even after we position ourselves correctly and in
excitement are able to receive the football, if we are not 100%
rooted in the game because we are dealing with troubles or
persecution in whatever form it may come on the field, we will drop
the football creating an incomplete pass.
I asked myself
why can God's Word become an incomplete pass in our lives causing us
to quickly fall away even when God sends it to us without errors?
As humans, even if we are positioned
correctly along the right path knowing where we should be so Satan
cannot come and take away the Word from us and we finally receive
the Word with joy, if we are not rooted in God's Word consistently,
we will have no root creating an incomplete faith in our lives
causing us to fall away by dropping the Word from our lives because
we are unable to deal with troubles or persecutions that come
our way whether it be ridicule, low-self esteem, afraid of what
people will think of us when we follow God's Word, etc.
I asked myself what is the remedy in this
situation to avoid an incomplete pass in our lives to avoid quickly
For that not to happen, we need to be committed to be
rooted 100% which includes positioning ourselves correctly.
In football, the wide
receiver learns about being rooted in the game by spending time
alone, watching clips of himself playing, analyzing the mistakes he has made,
looking at the playbook as important. It is one thing to just look at it and another
thing to study it and practice it daily. He comes to realize the importance of commitment from his
coach. In essence, he has commitment to be rooted 100% in the game despite of
troubles and persecutions he may encounter.
In our lives, the best offense for us would be to
spend time alone thinking through the actions we have done, analyzing the
mistakes we have made, and looking at our playbook (the Word of God) becoming a
workmanship for God allowing Him to help us to do good works instead of allowing trials and tribulations to hinder us. The playbook (Word
of God) is very important. It is one thing to just hear the Word of God and
receive it with joy but another thing to hear the Word of God proactively, and
receive it with joy proactively to be rooted in us by study and practice of
God's Word so as not to quickly fall away.
"Do not let this Book of
the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be
careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and
successful." (Joshua 1:8)
You can realize about commitment from the Master coach Jesus
Christ. In essence, you can be 100% rooted in God's Word daily to become a better Word
So when persecution comes, you need not be intimidated by
fear but can boldly say, "God has not given me the
spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."
(2 Tim 1:7)
I have realized that being positioned correctly to hear
the Word proactively, and receive the Word with joy being rooted in it and
carrying it is not enough as scenario 3 sheds light.
"Other seed fell among
thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear
grain." (Mark 4:7, NIV) "Still others, like seed sown
among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of
wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it
unfruitful." (Mark 4:18-19, NIV)
"The wide receivers have the football but want
to run with it on their own, creating a fumble, and not bearing any
yards. Humans can hear the Word but if they are a lone-ranger
letting the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and
the desires for others things to control them, it will choke the
Word from their lives, making it unfruitful, creating a fumble for
I asked myself why does a fumble occur for
the wide receiver?
the game, even if the wide receiver is now positioned correctly along the path
so no interception occurs, receives the football with joy without dropping it
for an incomplete pass because he/she is rooted in the game, the fumble could
occur because he/she wants to make the touchdown on his/her own strength though
without relying on the help of his/her teammates.
The 3 F’s may have flashed
in the person's mind: fun, fame, and fortune. He/she now gets the ball and keeps
running with it without realizing the danger he/she is in. The defense does not
give in but forces the ball loose, stripping the ball away and then taking it, causing a fumble.
I asked myself
why can God's Word become fumbled in our lives?
As humans, even
if we are now positioned correctly along the path, rooted in to
receive God's Word joyously and run with it in our daily lives, if
we do not take the help of God's community that He provides for us
whether it be through small group Bible studies, church, Sunday
School, etc, we will become a lone ranger with individualistic
ideals wanting to accomplish things on our own, letting the worries
of this life (academics, relationships, careers, etc) the
deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things to control
us and choke the Word from our lives, making it unfruitful, living a
life of brokenness, causing God's Word to be fumbled in our lives.
I asked myself what is the remedy in this
situation to avoid a fumble of God's Word?
For that not to happen, it is important to receive the help
that is provided.
In football when a wide receiver fumbles the ball because he is
trying to attain the touchdown on his own strength, for his own glory, he needs
to understand that there is no 'i' in team but a community effort just like the
San Francisco Giants won the World Series 2010 playing as a community, building
each other up. He needs to take a path that will provide him the resistance from
the opposition so the football can be carried successfully after it is along the
right path, received with joy being rooted in him/her to run with.
In our lives,
we should not try to be a
lone-ranger Christian. We should not think we don’t need anyone’s
help. When we hear God's Word by positioning ourselves correctly, receive it
with joy and run with it being rooted in it, we should also have a
communal perspective instead of a individualistic lone-ranger
perspective. It is in community that the Lord builds His children up
for His purposes using the Church, the body of believers to let the
Word produce fruit which supplements our own daily time with the
"Let Him have all your
worries and cares for He is always thinking about you and watching everything
that concerns you." (1 Peter 5:7)
Again, going to Church, small groups, fellowships, retreats etc will give us a
support structure that will help supplement our time with the Lord and be an
effective wide receiver as we carry the Word continuously with us. We need to
depend on the Lord so He can transform us by His grace as we proactively apply
the Word so we do not let the Word be fumbled in our lives.
"They devoted themselves
to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and
to prayer...They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and
sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all people. And the Lord
added to their number daily those who were being saved." (Acts 2:42-47)
After we are positioned correctly to receive the Word, committed to
carrying the Word, and are in a community of believers in the Word, we are now in a
position as wide receivers to win with the Word in our lives as scenario 4
"Still other seed fell on good
soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a
hundred times...." (Mark 4:8, NIV) "Others, like seed sown on good
soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a
hundred times what was sown." (Mark 4:20, NIV)
"The football in the hands of the wide receiver along
the good path produced a touch down across 100 yards.... Humans who hear God's
Word proactively, accept it with joy being rooted in God's Word daily through
Quiet Times knowing the importance of being in community produce fruit yielding
thirty, sixty, or hundred times for the Kingdom attaining a touchdown from where
I asked myself how did the wide receiver make a
In football, the wide receiver now sees and hears the
football coming because he is actively engaged by positioning himself in the right place, being
rooted 100% in the game receiving the football with joy, running with it, making
sure to take the help and support of all his teammates. While his teammates
block the defense, the result is 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 TOUCHDOWN!!!
In our lives, when God sends us His Word, we now position our lives according to His plan and commit to carrying the Word
by being so rooted in the Word through our Quiet Times with Him to have a DEEPER
FAITH. We do not stop
there but are part of a community of believers in the Word. When we run, we now
know the essence of teamwork. While we are running, when the devil attacks us,
we draw our strength from being part of a STRONGER COMMUNITY of believers in the
Word supplementing our
personal relationship with the Lord through prayer and study of His Word. The
result is 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 ETERNITY. We have gained a spiritual touchdown
against our adversary, Satan. In God's eyes we become a champion and that's the
best championship we can have because we will be surrounded by the Ultimate
Champion: Jesus Christ making a GREATER IMPACT for His Kingdom.
"Carry each other’s burdens, and this way you
will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2)
I ask you now dear friend, how can F.O.O.T.B.A.L.L be
used to explain God's Word working in different hearts?
Dear friend, you have read how the terminology of
football such as interceptions, incomplete passes, fumbles, and a touchdown were
used to explain four different hearts and how God's Word worked in those hearts.
In those hearts, only one heart is the receptive heart that bears complete fruit
but the rest of the hearts are a hardened heart (along the path), an unstable
heart (rocky road), and a selfish heart (among thorns). The football analogy was
used to expand on those hearts to see which is the only heart where God's Word
would produce fruit.
I pray you come to realize the importance of a
receptive heart that Christ wants you to have by His grace.
The purpose of today's devotional was for me to
understand the role God's Word plays in different hearts through a football
analogy and how true growth in the Lord can only come by having a receptive
heart that hears God's Word proactively daily, receives it with joy being
rooted in Him by drawing our nourishment in Him daily, and is part of a
community of believers daily instead of living a selfish, individualistic
"Football Offers Omnipotent Truths By
Lessons!" (F.O.O.T.B.A.L.L)/"How can
F.O.O.T.B.A.L.L be used to explain God's Word working in different hearts?"
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your Word and how you have used a farming example
to reach the people of that day. That example can still be used to teach us the
type of heart we are. I thank you for the opportunity to be able to make an
analogy to football and understand different hearts through a football analogy.
Oh Lord, please help us not to be aligned with a hardened heart, unstable heart,
or a selfish heart that becomes a thorn in other people's lives. We want to have
a receptive heart to hear you proactively, receive your Word with joy always
being rooted in you and drawing our nourishment from you, and being part of a
community of believers you have put in our lives so we all can grow together in
deeper faith, stronger community, and have a greater impact for your Kingdom's
sake even as we spend solitary time with you. Thanks so much Jesus. Help me to
apply all I have learned for your honor and glory. Thank you Oh Lord. Please Oh
Lord forgive us our sins, hear our prayers, and answer us Oh Lord for we are so
sorry for our sin. Thank you so much Jesus. Thank you that you hear us and
answer us as we turn to you. In Your Name I Pray Jesus! Amen!
ANALOGY OF INVITING PEOPLE TO THE GREAT PHYSICIAN:
We are like an ambulance taking
sick people to the
hospital. People are dying and there is an emergency because of an
epidemic virus. The ambulance takes the initiative to go to the place
people are dying and bring them to the hospital. They are not dead yet
but there is no time to wait. The ambulance needs to get to the hospital
for that virus to be treated. The virus has infected the mind, body, and
soul spreading rapidly. You and I cannot do anything to heal our friends
of this virus except be the AMBULANCE taking them to the HOSPITAL where
the GREAT PHYSICIAN waits.
Once at the hospital, there is a GREAT PHYSICIAN that waits. The sick
are gathered from all corners of the earth and come to this hospital.
This hospital is called CALVARY OF SALVATION and the EMERGENCY WARD is
The GREAT PHYSICIAN is not like other doctors who can only treat
patients with physical ailments but this GREAT PHYSICIAN is much
more and knows He has to stay 72 HOURS for every dying person there to
He knows what He has to do! This GREAT PHYSICIAN knew that only His
BLOOD can wipe away this epidemic VIRUS, so for you and me He went to
the blood transfusion room where people were about to die. There He lay
down on the bed made of wood.
The surgeons walk into the room. They turn this GREAT PHYSICIAN on
His back. Instead of using an IV, a WHIP with sharp glass, etc is
used to draw out the BLOOD from the GREAT PHYSICIAN'S back! It does not
stop there but to elevate the head on the bed of wood, a CROWN OF THORNS
is used which draws more BLOOD.
As the head is elevated, the GREAT PHYSICIAN's hands are stretched
wide on the wooden bed. Then the feet are bound together. This is done
for the BLOOD transfusion to begin. Instead of using an IV, NAILS and a
HAMMER is used. The NAILS are pounded through the hands into the wooden
bed with a HAMMER so the BLOOD flows and that BLOOD is saved. The NAILS
are pounded through the feet into the wooden bed with a HAMMER so more
BLOOD flows and that BLOOD is saved. As the BLOOD continues to flow from
the GREAT PHYSICIAN's body, the GREAT PHYSICIAN flat lines. Then the
surgeons insert a SPEAR into the heart to make sure all the BLOOD is
out. All the BLOOD is out!
Now, the GREAT PHYSICIAN is moved into the JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA MORGUE
being guarded by security.
Now the CALVARY OF SALVATION hospital has a BLOOD DONOR whose BLOOD
can be used to save everyone there from this EPIDEMIC VIRUS.
Those dying need to be taken there to receive the BLOOD transfusion
that is available. However, the BLOOD will not be forced upon those
dying! THE PUREST RED ANTIDOTE is only given to those that are willing
to receive the BLOOD TRANSFUSION so they could LIVE.
All that accept the BLOOD are being CLEANSED of this EPIDEMIC VIRUS
in their system that is infecting the mind, body, and soul. This
BLOOD goes into the dying person's mind, body, and soul and eats away at
the virus cleaning them and making them pure. This VIRUS is known as
SIN. The BLOOD is the PRECIOUS CLEANSING BLOOD OF THE GREAT PHYSICIAN,
The WOODEN BED is the CROSS OF CHRIST where the dying need to be led
72 HOURS LATER, there is a commotion at the JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA
MORGUE. THE GREAT PHYSICIAN is not there anymore and the ANGELS that
visit tell loved ones who came there, that THE GREAT PHYSICIAN IS ALIVE
and will save all that come to Him.
It is true even to this day, for all that come to the HOSPITAL OF CALVARY come to realize that His CLEANSING
BLOOD shed on the WOODEN BED (CROSS) will never run out. Anyone infected
who wants to be healed of their sickness can accept what Jesus did for
them and be covered in His precious CLEANSING
I have done that friend and know that at the foot of the cross where
Jesus died shedding His precious cleansing blood for my sin and the sins
of the world, I can find forgiveness and grace. You can find Salvation
Thanks be to God that Christ's death on the cross was temporary to
remove all His precious cleansing blood for our sake but after He was
buried, Jesus came back to life to save.
To this day, all who call on the Name of the Lord will be saved when
they acknowledge what Jesus Christ has done for them and what He can do
Friend, Jesus loves you so much and if you were the only one living
on earth, Jesus would have done the same for you. What I shared with you
was an analogy but in real life it has happened. Jesus went to the cross
for you and me and His precious cleansing blood was shed so you and I
could have life. Jesus came back to life 72 hours later and is alive but
His blood continues to heal people on every corner of the earth to those
that accept Him.
Jesus, I want to thank you so much
that you came as God-incarnate to run a sin-free platform. You know what the
world is plagued with and what your opponent Satan has been trying to do. Satan
was a liar from the beginning and tries so hard to take us with him. But, you
don’t want that I know for while we were yet sinners you died for us. You came
back to life to save us so we can be freed from the power of sin and death.
Thank you Lord for paying the price for me! Thank you for your impeccable record
advertised in the Gospels. Thank you that your accomplishments are all listed in
a book published throughout the world called the Bible. It is no ordinary book
but your Word of Truth. In your Word of Truth, you also tell us about your
opponent and all his lies. Thank you for making us aware of that. Thank you for
being my Lord and Personal Savior as I come to you and vote you into my heart.
Lord there is no lever to pull but the words of my mouth and the meditation of
my heart. I confess with my mouth that you are Lord and repent of all my
sins. Please forgive me and help me. I believe you died and rose again for me.
Come Lord Jesus into my heart and forgive me of all my sin. Thank you Jesus so
much for coming into my heart and making my heart your home. Thank you that you
will bring change into my life as I seek you Lord. Thank you for your awesome
promises. Help me Oh Lord not to be deceived by your opponent ever! Satan comes
to steal, kill, and destroy but you have come to give life in all its fullness!
I thank you so much. I want to campaign for you daily. Please help me Lord to
contend for your Gospel. Thank you that my name is written and certified in the
Book of Life as I turn to you. You are the perfect candidate to vote for! Lord,
I also pray for the earthly elections happening that you would give us wisdom to
put the right people in office. Thank you so much Jesus for hearing us and
answering us. In Your Name I Pray Jesus! I want to thank you again for loving us
so much and be willing to be a candidate years ago and continue to be a
candidate. Amen! Thank you we can always turn to you and you will be there for
us. I love you Jesus. In Your Name I Pray my Jesus, my Savior, there is none
like you! I could search for all eternity long and find there is none like you.
No matter what you feel in your heart,
know that Jesus has come in and resides with you! You are not alone! To
make your walk strong with the Lord, spend time in prayer talking to Him
as you would to a friend. You don’t need special words to talk to the
Lord. Spend time in His Word reading Psalms and turning them into
prayer. Next allow God to heal you and speak to you through the Gospel
of John or Gospel of
Mark before moving on to other Books of the Bible! Slowly, let the Lord
show you to which Scriptures He wants you to go to next. It is also important to be part of a body of believers to
help you grow in the faith. Find a Bible believing church that preaches
the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation proclaiming Jesus Christ our
crucified and risen Lord who brings us hope, healing, and help! But
beware of churches who do believe in the Word of God completely but
there is no freedom in Christ but legalism involved.
As a professional, it is not too late to join a
church! As a student, it is not too late to join a fellowship on campus this
fall of 2010! May the Lord's presence and peace fill you with His
love now and forever! Amen!
Friend, if you have prayed this
prayer and meant it in your heart, you are a new creation in Christ and
all old things are passed away and everything has become new! You may
feel something or may not but don’t base it on feelings but base your
new life in Christ on the promises of our Savior who will never leave
you nor forsake you! Amen!
Spend time in His word and let the Lord
speak to you! Start out in the Gospel of John! You can also check out
the Gospel of Mark which are the devotionals I have been going through.
Learn from Jesus through study and prayer. Also find yourself a church
fellowship and a college fellowship you can be part of where you can be
part of a community of believers to supplement your own walk with the
Lord. Let it be a Bible-believing and Bible-breathing church! Believe in
Bible LIVE Eternally!
Feel free to email me at
if you want to meet to study the Bible,
pray with, talk about Spiritual issues or whatever is on your mind! My
number is 412-641-9426
"This is my
work and I can do it only because Christ's mighty energy is at work
within me." (Colossians 1:29, TLB)