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Midweek Devotionals

Published weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Midweek Devotional 5/3/2016

Robert Chen

Dear Church:

MATTHEW 13:18-23

18"Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."

I don't want to go through every aspect of this well known parable. I do, however, want to consider one aspect: that of having no root. 


The parable is about the various ways people hear the good news of Jesus. As true in our day, it was true in Jesus' day that the majority of people who heard the gospel did not ultimately have the gospel enter their lives in such a way that it "took root" and bore fruit. Just hearing words is insufficient; just hearing words and for a time being joyful about it won't do either; and even if the words of the kingdom are cherished and believed upon initially but then other things come and choke the growth of those words -- well, then, that's also in the end sad and empty.


So many ways people lose out!


The truth is: it's not easy growing in God's kingdom. It's sometimes not easy just trying to remain faithful. Because they are things in life that challenge our walk with God, that challenge our life in the Spirit, that confront our hold on the truth of the good news of Christ. 


Trouble and persecution did come at the early disciples of Jesus "on account of the word." And many fell away. And many fall away in our world. 


The issue isn't the presence or absence of trouble or persecution. We can't wish or pray away trouble or persecution. They are normal features of a fallen world afraid and hostile to the good news. 


The relevant issue is: whether one has roots or not. 


The roots we speak of is about will, commitment, intimacy, understanding, value, and purpose. There are other words to describe the roots. It's about what you really believe and what you are willing to die for. What you are willing to lose for the sake of knowing Christ. If Jesus is not our highest and deepest love, then some other love or fear will dislodge our attachment to Him.


Do you have roots? Are you cultivating your roots? Are you aware of the trouble and persecution?


Let me close with these questions and let you reflect and pray about these things.


The Lord bless you,