How often do you leave church and before you’ve had lunch forget what the pastor said? There may be more to it than poor memory or lack of attentiveness.

“The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.” —Mark 4:15 NLT

From my journal a couple weeks ago:

One of Satan’s primary objectives when we read Scripture is to try to take it away, just as he did in the Garden with Eve. He convinced her that God was not being truthful with her and Adam. Does he still try this with me? I have learned so much Scripture and feel pretty sure about truth. But certainly he does. He did so with Jesus, just differently than he did with Eve. Satan may not try to convince me when I’m reading Scripture, but he’ll wait until I’ve forgotten what I’ve read then try to get me to make decisions as someone who doesn’t know the truth.

Father, help me to resist the lies of Satan, to stand firm in the truth you’ve spoken into my heart.

On the other hand …

“To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.” —Mark 4:25 NLT

Also from my journal:

What a wonderful promise! If I heed the teachings from Jesus, if I listen and apply to my life, then I will receive more.

I remember as a young piano student getting frustrated with my teacher because for about a year, I would go weeks between lessons. She’d leave for a month or six weeks or more at a time. I don’t remember why, just that they were visiting family in the Midwest—wherever that was! I think I was at a cusp musically, a turning point where I could have gone either way. I could have quit, which I tried because I was frustrated with her, but my mother would let me. Or I could have gone on and become an accomplished musician.

But the promise from Jesus here is that he will not abandon me. No, I’m the one who doesn’t show up for our lessons sometimes. How I crave a deeper understanding of Scripture and knowledge of who Jesus is! Teach me, Holy Spirit.

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