The Sower, Part 2—If the Word Isn’t Rooted in You | Mark 4:5–6, 16–17

Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

Why do people excited about God and the Bible walk away without warning? 

We’re continuing to study the parable of the sower, and today we’re considering the seed that fell on rocky ground.  A farmer may see soil, but the rocks lying just beneath the surface will block roots from reaching the water table.  As he broadcasts out the seed in that direction, those plants may seem to spring up faster.  Unfortunately, because the roots don’t go as deep, they cannot withstand the normal heat of the day.  Similarly, those in whom the Word of God lacks deep rooting will have a superficial and ineffectual faith.

If the Word isn’t rooted in Your heart, tribulation will make you fall away.  Life’s short and full of trouble (Job 14:1), “but the Word of the Lord remains forever” (1 Pt 2:5).  Jesus warns in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation,” but continues “take heart; I have overcome the world.”  Sadly, those who don’t allow the Word to penetrate deep into their hearts lack a faith capable of enduring life’s sorrows—regardless of how involved in Bible studies and church fellowship they may be.

If the Word isn’t rooted in Your heart, persecution will also make you fall away.  The early church experienced persecution (a few examples would be Acts 4; 5:17–42; 21:27–36).  This was no surprise, because Jesus not only predicts persecution here and in other places, but He promises blessing because of it (Mt 5:10–12).  Be warned that those perceived to live by the Word draw the ire of those living in the world, and sadly, those who don’t have the Lord’s enduring strength will watch their faith shrivel under the heat of ridicule and persecution.

How deep do you allow the Bible to go?  Are you learning Scripture for prideful reasons, or do you respond to the conviction of Holy Spirit by repenting?  Seek the Lord in prayer so that your faith can endure tribulation and persecution, and allow “the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:16).  

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