Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. (Luke 8:13)
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Grow Up!” more than a few times. Perhaps it was directed at us by a frustrated friend or parent; perhaps we have said it to someone else. To grow up is a good thing. To mature in character and in commitment is the way of the Christian life. But, in order to grow up, we must, at the same time, grow down. Let me explain, so that you might be encouraged today.
When God in His grace gives us the gift of eternal life, He also extends us grace to grow us up into Christ. But in order to grow up into Christ, we must be growing down and developing a solid root system that is connected to the Rock of our salvation.
In the Parable of the Sower, the seed (the Word of God) fell on four different types of ground: the path, rocky ground, among thorns, and good soil. Jesus said that seed on the rocky ground represents people who receive the Word of God with joy and begin to grow up; but at the first onset of trouble or testing, their faith withers and dies because they had a weak root system. The vast majority of biblical scholars agree that the seed on rocky ground represents an individual who is not a true believer, but the parable also provides a picture of what can happen in the life of the believer if his or her “roots” do not go down deep. When the storm winds blow, we will be tipped over if our faith is not deeply rooted in the soil of the sanctified life.
Make no mistake, godly growth happens in two directions simultaneously: upward and downward. And though it may seem counterintuitive, the key that unlocks the door to downward growth is to first raise our eyes to heaven . . . to Jesus. Jesus came down to us from heaven, but when He arrived, He was not done in His downward direction. Instead of coming as the King of kings and the Lord of lords to be served, He came to serve others. The Creator of the universe got so low that He took a towel and basin and washed the feet of His disciples. But still He was not done. He willingly hung on our cross and took our death upon Himself that we might have eternal life in Him.
We are most like our Lord when we go downward in life by serving others, washing their feet, and willingly laying down our lives for them. The more we do this, the deeper our roots go. And when the storm winds blow our way and the waves of challenge threaten to engulf us, we are not moved, because we are rooted in the Rock of our salvation.
So grow up, Christian, but don’t forget to grow down also!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!