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Seeds in a Rocky Place

I’m posting about the different “heart soils” in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 4.  Today I’ll deal with the rocky soil.  This is about rocks with only a thin layer of dirt to cover them.  The seed germinates and springs up quickly.  But just as quickly, the sun comes out, scorches the plant, and it withers and dies.

Jesus explained the spiritual application this way.

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

This verse literally says that these people receive the Word in the middle of joy.  It sounds like a camp meeting to me.  There’s excitement in the air.  The whole atmosphere of the meeting is charged with a heavenly joy.  It’s easy to believe in a place like that.

We’re not talking about people who don’t believe what they hear.  They believe it’s for them.  The problem is, that what has sprung up so quickly, also withers just as quick.  What is it that withers?

For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”  And this is the word that was preached to you.
1 Peter 1:24-25

What withers is the glory of man.  This type of person hears the Word and believes that it’s “all about me.”  That’s why there’s all the joy and excitement.

They think that the Word is for my blessing, health, and prosperity.  Forget about what God’s ultimate purpose is.  It’s me that’s important.

The Lord says that in this rocky heart there is some faith exhibited for a while, but it doesn’t last long.  Eventually, trials and testings will come.  When this happens, Jesus literally says that they will become offended.  Why does Christ use this word?

When I go through a time of testing, I realize that it’s not all about me.  I get offended that I’m not the center of all the attention.  I don’t want the spotlight on Christ and what He’s trying to accomplish in me.  I want the priority to be my comfort and happiness.  The result is that I get offended and walk away from the Lord and His plan for my life.

If I want my heart prepared for an abundant harvest, I must assume that the Word of God spotlights Jesus Christ.  I must desire to know His heart.  There are many who read the Bible and pursue God only for what they can get from Him.  The big question on their minds is, “What’s in it for me?”

Instead, we should be focusing on God’s eternal purpose – to draw all humanity into His kingdom.  The blessings of God are great, but they’re not an end in and of themselves.

God has promised us prosperity, but it’s to finance the spread of the Gospel.  God has promised us health and healing, but it’s so that we can minister the Good News of His love to the best of our ability.

All the promises of God should be viewed through the filter of God’s will and God’s plans.  That’s what’s missing in the shallow faith of rocky soil.  We need to keep our hearts clear of the rocks of self-centeredness.

Question: How is God working through you to bring about His purpose?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on January 22, 2018 in Faith, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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Roots and Rocks

Luke 8:13
“Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root.  They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”

Roots and rocks are not a good combination, especially if you are a plant.  One of the places that has very rocky soil is the state of Maine.  One day, as I was hiking in Maine, I came across a strange sight.  It took me a while to figure out what I was seeing.

I was hiking down a mountain on a series of switchbacks that went back and forth across the slope.  The ground, which up to that point had been a normal brown color, suddenly had a ten foot wide streak of dark chocolate dirt across the trail.

When my foot hit this new dirt, I began to slide, uncontrollably, downhill.  When I was finally able to stop myself, I began to look for the cause of this.  What I realized was that a huge tree, that had grown in the dirt on top of a rock, had literally slid down the side of the mountain in a rainstorm the night before.  Its roots had not held because they could not get very deep.

I took this as a spiritual lesson to me.  If you have no root system, you may grow up for a while.  Eventually, however, you will now be able to hang on in the storms of life.  To be secure you must be firmly grounded in Christ.

Take the time today to add depth to your root system.  Spend time in the presence of the Lord building your relationship with Him.  Let Him speak to your heart as you wait upon Him.  With the strength you gain from your times with the Lord, you need never fear the road ahead.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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