Summary: A look at the parable of the sower

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"I’ll Serve the Lord as Long as there are no Difficulties or Discouragements"

Mark 4:1-9

According to John Gipson the following story was published in the Galveston, Texas paper. It concerned a woman and her parakeet named "Chippie." It seems that the woman was cleaning Chippie’s birdcage with a canister vacuum cleaner. She was cleaning the bottom of the cage with no attachment on the tube, when the telephone rang. She turned her head to pick up the phone, continuing to vacuum the cage and as she said, "hello" into the phone, she heard the horrible sound of Chippie being sucked up into the vacuum. Immediately she put down the phone, ripped open the vacuum bag, and found Chippie in there, stunned but still alive.

Since the bird was covered with dust and soot, she grabbed it, ran into the bathroom, turned on the faucet, and held the bird under the water to clean it off. When she finished that, she saw the hair dryer on the bathroom sink. She turned it on and held the bird in front of the blast of hot air to dry him off.

A few weeks later a reporter from the newspaper that originally published the story went out to the house to ask the woman, "How’s Chippie doing now?" She said, "Well, Chippie doesn’t sing much any more. He just sort of sits and stares."

I believe that most of us can identify with Chippie. Life has sucked us up, thrown cold water on us, and blown us away. And somewhere in the trauma we have lost our song.

Tonight I want to continue our look at the Parable of the sower but tonight I want to look at the account found in Mark 4:1-9. Read Text

The rocky ground in our parable did not only have rocks in the soil but it probably also had bedrock - a ledge of rock with a shallow layer of topsoil. That’s why Jesus said:

"Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away" (Mark 4:5,6).

The struggle with this type of growth is that the seeds sprout quicker, and the plant wilts sooner. In my growth pattern sometimes I have a sudden spurt of growth, it would probably be wise for me to ask myself, "Is this because I have no depth?".

We all know that natural growth is slow, continual, and gradual. If we woke up tomorrow and went to Rylan’s room and instead of seeing a one year old little boy we saw a 6 foot 6, 250 pound man sleeping in his crib we would have reason for concern. The same must be true of our spiritual growth. This is a biblical principal.

Williams Translation of 2 Peter 3:18 reads this way:

But instead, You must continue to grow in the spiritual strength and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory now and forever!

Continual growth is what God is looking for. He didn’t expect Abraham to get it all done in one night and I believe that He is willing to take the time for us to get it right as well.

You see a sudden change may be more for manipulation than for transformation and spiritual healing. I may be bargaining with God. I may be trying to cut a deal with friends or family. If that is true, the wilting will be as fast as the sudden growth.

All growth will experience some set backs. We all have some rocks in our life that we have to deal with.

Job 14:1 says "Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble.

And Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:12 “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution”.

Rabbi Edwin Friedman calls it our “Previous Level of Dysfunction” It is his thought that when the troubles of life come we tend to regress to they way we used to be. It was not his idea. The idea of slipping back into our previous level of dysfunction comes from our creator.

Jesus explains his parable in verses 16-17 and says "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble"

Times are going to get tough and we will struggle and if there is no depth we will wither and die.

Now if I were to ask you where do the rocks in your life come from the easy answers would be my enemies, sickness, or house burning down. But the bible says that our rocks come from a little closer than that.

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