This week is a series of the Sunday sermon, “The Parable of the Scattering Seed.” Yesterday I wrote about the beaten path titled, “Shattered Places” and today’s writing is on the second type –the gravel ground.
Oh how important it is for us to get ourselves deeply rooted in the Word of God. It is not just flash prayers, not just weekly…monthly or annual church attendance. It is not just giving an offering. It is investing in you –deep roots of the infallible Word of the Living God Almighty. So that when the rain comes, we are able to stand strong. When the storm comes, we are going to survive it. When the clouds of darkness try to hover over us, we shine right through.
Other seeds fell onto gravel with no topsoil and the seeds quickly sprouted since the soil had no depth. But when the days grew hot, the sprouts were scorched and withered because they had insufficient roots.
Mark 4:5-6 [The Passion Translation]
By the time we get to verses 16-17 it explains, “The seed grown on gravel represents those who hear the word and receive it joyfully but because their hearts failed to sync a deep root in the Word, they don’t endure for long. For when trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word, they immediately wilt and fall away.”
The bible explains to us repeatedly the ways in which we stand strong and how we grow weak. This happens to us all. Times vary from moment to moment. This gravel ground that the word speaks about is for those that do receive that one time Word. They are fired up for that moment. They got their bible booster shot. They came from the 3 day mountain retreat…yet they return to their same way of living.
The time for God is not as pressing as the 3 day journey. The time for reading dwindles and prayer becomes obsolete. Now the effect of the retreat is wearing off. By the end of that first week, the heavy trials that hit them hard are starting to sink right in.
It won’t be long before we wither and wilt away. This happens when there are insufficient roots. This happens when there is no depth. This happens when the days grow hot and fiery. This happens when we don’t invest the time to read often. We need deep, deep roots in Christ!
If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength.
Proverbs 24:10 [The Passion Translation]
For the Lovers of God may suffer adversity and stumble seven times, but they will continue to rise over and over again. But the unrighteous are brought down by just one calamity and will never be able to rise again.
Proverbs 24:16 [The Passion Translation]
What can we do?
Water the seed. Feed the seed. Build on that seed. Cultivate that seed. We cannot neglect this vital daily and hourly activity. A lot of times we think we are good. That what we do on the average is enough, but the truth is that is not enough. We need to do more.
We build our house on the rock and not in the sand, not in the gravel and not in anything that will wither. We need a firm foundation. Just like the Word of God declares. So that when the rain and stormy days approach us, we are fully equipped to take those on full force. Let us be like the wise person and put these words of life into practice.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Matthew 7:24-27 [New International Version]
I don’t want another great crash in my life. And I am sure you don’t want that either. So let’s not be the type of people who travel on the gravel ground. It is time to unravel the gravel ground!