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)
How often we have heard the phrase, “Grow Up!” Perhaps we have said it to someone or maybe it was said to us. Growing up is a good thing, is it not? To mature in character and commitment is the way of the Christian life. But in order to grow up, we must also grow down. Let me explain what I mean so that you might be encouraged today.
When God in His grace gives us the gift of eternal life, grace is also given to grow us up into Christ. But in order to grow up into Christ, we must be “growing down” and establishing a root system that is solidly attached 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. The seed on the rocky ground received the Word with great joy and began to grow up, but at the first time of testing, it withered and died because it had a weak root system.
This parable provides a picture of what can happen in the life of the Christian if the roots do not go down deep. When the storm winds blow, we will be blown over if our roots do have not grown down deep enough into the soil of the sanctified life.
Make no mistake, godly growth happens in two directions simultaneously: upward and downward. The key to unlocking the door leading to growing downward is to first go downward ourselves. We need look no further than 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 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, a job normally reserved for the lowliest slave. But even then Jesus was not done! He willingly hung on our cross and took our death so that we might have eternal life in Him. “Greater love has no one than this,” He said, “that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
You see, we are most like our Lord when we go downward in life by serving others and willingly laying down our lives for them. “Nobody should seek his own good,” 1 Corinthians 10:24 instructs us, “but the good of others.” The more we do this, the deeper our roots go. And when storm winds start to swirl around us and the waves of challenge threaten to crash over us, we are not moved, because we are rooted on the Rock of our salvation.
So grow up, my friend! But don’t forget to grow down too.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!