Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Root of the Problem

In Monday's blog entry I included an excerpt by C.H. Spurgeon that had this quote:

"Piety produced by the damps of sorrow and the heats of terror is of mushroom growth; it is rapid in its springing up—"they enquired early after God"—but it is a mere unsubstantial fungus of unabiding excitement."

It reminds me of this from Jesus:

 Luke 8:6  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

Luke 8:9  And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
Luke 8:10  And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

 Luke 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

There are a few things to notice in this passage:

!. In this soil-type (rock) Jesus first says as soon as it was sprung up it withered away "because it lacked moisture" but in His explanation He says "these have no root".

Think about this for a moment...if a plant has "no root", how can it draw up moisture into the plant? How can it draw up "living water" into the plant?

There is a depth and quality to the plant that is in healthy soil which is lacking in this plant, which only grows "on the surface". Something deep where other people do not see, but Jesus sees, is not happening in these "plants" (converts). The book of Matthew (Matthew 13:21) adds that it is as persecution arises, they are offended. They want all of the goodies with none of the bother and difficulties. When they hear about hell, or suffering, they think "A God who truly loves me wouldn't put me through all of that. This isn't for me".

2. Notice that the disciples didn't understand the parable, and Jesus says to them that others have not been given, but they are given  to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Why? Because they confessed that they didn't understand, and they ASKED HIM to explain the meaning to them. They didn't go to a secular or "secular Christian" source to understand the meaning, the sought the answer from Jesus.

3. In the parable Jesus first says the seedlings on the rocky soil "sprang up", giving the picture that they rose quickly, and in His explanation He says that they receive the word with joy, and that they believe "for a while" What a sad commentary on what we see all around us. I can turn on TBN or other televised "Christian shows" which have people jumping up and down and crying or laughing and swaying with their hands up in the air. You would think this land is in full revival, and yet....where are these people in real life? What happens to them once they exit their pews? Will such "converts" still "love the Lord" when the heavy persecution comes? I hope so, but according to Jesus words, they have no real root. It is all on the surface for show. Their is no real depth to their love.

I too confess that this was something that I sought the Lord over. I didn't want to be a false convert, who only wanted to look pious so that others would admire me for "my goodness" because that is what Jesus rejected the Pharisees over. I knew that I had to be better than that, and saw from the scriptures if I relied on myself to understand the Lord, I would be "ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth", even if I studied only the Bible every day of my life but never turned to Jesus to understand what I was reading, it would all be for nothing. He has to be the One to explain it, to give life and root to His word. Otherwise we become like the Greeks or the Pharisees and Sadducees in their vain philosophies and empty traditions. But Jesus brings true life to His word, and nourishes from the ground up in our inner being where no one but He can see our true development into members of His true kingdom.

I pray for more seed to fall on "good ground" that has deep roots into the truth of God's word, instead of shallow "Christians" that love all the vain philosophies that abound.

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