Mark 4:16-17 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.
I couldn't help but think of this "politically correct" world we live in when I read these verses. The more "politically correct" the world becomes the less Christians speak out. The more we get choked out. We must be prepared to stand the test of time. We must grow our roots deep into God's word so that we will be able to stand our ground... so that we can stand strong in our belief in God when times get bad...and times will get bad, the Bible tells us they will. When they do I want to stand strong.
In verse 24-25 Jesus tells us how to grow our roots strong... it says: Then he added, "Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen the more understanding you will b given __and you will receive even more. (another versions puts it this way, 'The measure you give will be the measure you get back.) To those who listen to my teaching more understanding will be given,. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them." To grow our roots we must read and study God's word. The more we read and study the more we will grow. The more we grow the more strength we will have in hard times. We have to be able to say, "I believe in God!!" in the face of death. If we are not strong enough to do it in the face of "political correctness" how can we do it in the face of death.
I am not talking about the kind of death we see in hospitals.. or in homes at the end of long illnesses where the family is all gathered around. I am talking about the kind of death where someone is asking you to denounce God, to denounce Jesus as our Lord and Savior if you want to live. We can't have roots on rocky soil and stand up to that kind of persecution!! What if we are the generation that has to stand up to that?? Would you be strong enough?... Would I?
The only way I will be strong enough is if I study God's word.. if I know God word enough that it deep into my mind and body and soul. If I want to live forever with Jesus... I have to be strong enough to die for my belief in Jesus!! Jesus loved me enough to die for me!
I know that our great-grand parents, our grand-parents and even our parents didn't have to go through such a thing. They were blessed... so far we have been blessed. But as I look at the world around me and see more and more people taking a stand against God... as I see people proud to be atheist and stumble upon articles about the atheist movement growing... as I see other countries that hate us because we believe in God... the more I feel like I must be prepared to defend God and Jesus, even to the death.
To be strong enough to do that I must know God, truly know God. I must have His word engraved in my heart so it is there for me to call on. How will I be able to call on God's word in such a desperate time if I can't call on it in my daily life? I must make sure that my roots grow deep... deep into good, fertile soil!! For my roots to grow deep I must be able to recognize the rock from the soil...and the weeds from the flowering plants...I must fertilize my soil daily with God's word. Jesus said if verse 24 if I do that He will give me even more understanding.
I pray that when I die... it is with my family gathered around me... it is at a time when I can die peacefully believing in Jesus, in God. I pray too, that I am prepared if I die at the hands of somebody telling me I can live if I denounce Jesus, if I denounce God, that I am flooded with understanding and a strength that comes straight from Jesus Himself. That I die with my head held high, shouthing to the top of my lungs, "I love my sweet Jesus!"