In Mark 4:3-6, Jesus said:
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.”
In Mark 4:13-17, he clarifies:
“Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.”
Vast numbers of people resolved at the dawn of this new year to grow in their walk with God. They will fail because “they have no root in themselves.” Their spiritual vitality is comparable to seed on rocky ground. They’ve “sprung up” with the change in our calendar, but they are unwilling to apply themselves to the difficult work of deepening the soil of their hearts.
If 2014 is not the year of our Lord’s coming, difficult days lie ahead. There will be sorrow, tribulation, persecution, disappointment, betrayal, sickness, and death. If you allow the seed of God’s word to superficially rest on a rocky heart that is already too full of other things, a harsh sun will eventually rise. God’s life-giving seed will scorch because it has no root. In fact, millions of January 1 resolutions have already begun to wither away.
What will you do today to deepen and enrich the soil of your heart? Will you read God’s word? Will you pray? Will you selflessly serve? Will you assemble with God’s people this weekend?
“Do you not understand this parable?” How then will you survive 2014?