Summary: In an age when the church is becoming increasingly irrelevant to the daily life of people, when the message of the church seems to increasingly fall on deaf ears, and when the truth is mocked as meaningless and unattainable, Jesus speaks to us these words
Seeds that Survive
Seeds that survive. We’ve been talking about this parable of the sower and the seed for the last couple of weeks. Last week we talked about the Wayside soil – wayside hearts – hardened hearts that need a plow and rain to soften them so that the seed is not stolen away by the enemy.
This week I want to talk to you about rocky soil.
Characteristics of Rocky soil – Unlike the wayside soil the ground is soft enough for the seed to penetrate and for the roots to find purchase. The plant quickly springs up in the very fertile and welcoming soil only to find that its roots have no depth and when the sun scorches down the plant withers and dies.
The Rocky Heart: If the need of the wayside soil is a softer heart; the need of the rocky soil is deeper roots. Rocky hearts receive readily the wonderful counsel of God. Our ears perk up and our hearts resonate with the words and heart of Jesus message. With joy we accept the call but when tough times come or demands of our time, energy, emotions, or conscience is more than we are comfortable with we return to the old way of life.
o Cheap Grace – we live in a Christian world where grace is cheap and meaningless. Grace means anything goes. Grace means that heaven is ours no matter what we do or believe. This is Oprah theology. The Buddhist, the Muslim, the Hindu, the Cultist as long as they are faithful to their belief there is no difference in the eyes of God. We are now teaching this in Christian seminaries around the world. Jesus said “no one comes to the Father except by me” but He didn’t really mean it. In rocky soil the ideas of love and forgiveness come easy but ideas of sacrifice and responsibility not so much.
o Homogenous Social Norms – Like schooling fish we think there is safety in numbers. If I’m part of the norm, part of the crowd, I’m ok. When hunting I figure I don’t have to be faster than the bear just faster than whoever I’m hunting with. We want to be like everyone else. There is an inner drive to be the same, look the same, act the same and be accepted by all. Heard mentality. We want to be accepted more than we want to be right. And so we live in two worlds one Christian the other secular.
o Shallow Theology – the truth is that past the very basics most Christians have no idea what they believe or why. They have no idea what things like worship, holiness, sanctification, service, love, and discipleship really mean. They are just words we use. It’s found in our consumer mentality always shopping for the church that can give us the most with the least investment. It’s found in our lack of Biblical knowledge and our lack of attention to Spiritual things.
o Determine to go deeper – Col 1:16-18 - William Law writes “if you will here stop and ask yourself why you are not as pious as the primitive Christians were, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.” In other words we are not deeper spiritually because in truth we don’t really want to be. It sounds nice but in practice our hearts are simply unwilling to give up our toys to set Christ on the throne of life. In truth we want something for nothing. Jesus says of our conflict with the world “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and yet forfeits His soul?” Keep trying to fit in you may even make it sometime but at what cost. Jesus wants you for who you are.
o Become doers of the word – James 1:21-25 Duane Rice a friend of mine said once that we as Christians are educated far beyond the level of our obedience. We know what to do we simply don’t do it. We cannot cry ignorance simply laziness.
o Grow Up – Eph 4:14-15 - Shallow Christianity is filled with fads, quick fixes, slogans, and flashes of brilliance. Shallow Christianity leaves us always feeling like a roller coaster ride spiritually. A constant series of highs and lows both spiritually and emotionally. The deeper our walk with Christ the less the winds and waves are able to upset the serenity of the spirit. Like the ocean that finds its surface constantly in motion, as you plunge beneath the surface it’s the current the deep movement that is continuous and unaffected by the winds or even storms.
Seeds that survive do so because their roots reach the nourishing waters of life.