Throwback Dec 14, 2016

Matthew 13:20-21 “The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.”

Seeds that fall onto rocky soil, what does this mean? I think most of us who are not farmers picture this passage as a ground with lots of big and small rocks that are laying on top of the surface. But the context of rocky soil is where there is top soil, but below the top soil is a bed of rocky sediments. Picture it as having three inches of top soil and below the three inches of top soil are hard stones and a bed of rocks.

With three inches of top soil, the seed will at first sprout roots and begin to grow. But as it grows bigger, the roots will hit the rocky bed and the roots will send its energy upwards.

Many Christians when they hear a word, correction, blessing, or rebuke may at first be very excited to follow such instructions accordingly. Such Christians who have rocky soil can appear very enthusiastic and in fact very spiritual. As the seed sprouts and grows, when the roots grow down and hit hard rock, its energy will go up, and the plant will appear to be growing very fast and enormous.

Spiritually, such Christians as the roots send their energy upwards, may on the surface appear very spiritual with strong spiritual gifts like a “plant appearing to be growing fast and enormous”. Such Christians may be observed as:
1. “got it together,”
2. “appear very passionate during worship or service time,
3. “appear very dedicated,”
4. “looks like they are singing and worshipping with all their heart and soul,”

And may even manifest physical symptoms of spirituality. But in reality, what they attempt to possess is not their walk on a personal level. When difficult tests or tribulations come, they instantly wither away to their fleshy ways. As scripture says, they do not last long once problems arise. Any joy or happiness is usually short-lived and only for a moment.

What does the hard rocky sediment represent that prevents roots from growing deep? The hardness is their hearts. On the surface, such Christians want to do right, but unless they address the deeper problems of their hearts first, their roots can never grow deep. They want the shortcut. They want the best of both worlds. They want to keep their unforgiveness, hate, anger, resentment, disobedience, lawlessness, and such as they try to serve God. Such carnal nature is the hard rocky soil.

Why can’t Christians get rid of such carnal hearts? I see a common denominator with many Christians that have a hard time receiving their full reward and finding victory. What is their common denominator? This is not to say all such Christians have his particular issue, but maybe they do. I see they are still MAD at God. They are mad because they continue to ask why God allowed them to be hurt, abused or received the short end of the stick to life. If not at God, then they are still mad at people from their past.

Such hard rocky soil represents their hardened hearts of blaming and being mad at God. In fact, blaming becomes a natural tool in their defense as it becomes everyone else’s fault. This is the first thing they should be addressing rather than trying to appear “spiritual” and looking as though having it “all together” when, in fact, they are empty and really have nothing.

Pastor Steve Kim