It’s All About Roots!
“May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvellous love.”
Ephesians 3:17 (NLT)
As you know, many things are required for plants to thrive and grow to maturity: protection from frost, good soil, room to grow, lots of compost, the right location, either sun or shade. Then there are the roots—without a good root system all plants die; it doesn’t matter how much time you spend watering or feeding them, without strong roots they will not survive.
In Matthew 13:1- 9, Jesus told a parable from a boat to a crowd on the seashore about a farmer sowing seed, but in fact he is talking about the word of God and four different kinds of heart. (see Verses 18-23).
- The hard heart is introduced in Verse 19. In first century Palestine little footpaths ran through the fields and these of course were trodden flat and hard by many feet. The seed of the word that landed on this piece of ground just lay on the surface, totally unable to take root. Satan sees it and like a bird snatches it away. It is gone!
- The shallow heart is in Verses 20-21. The soil in that part of the world lies on a thick layer of limestone which in places is very shallow and so, although the seed takes root the soil is too shallow to be as nourishing as it should be, the plant springs up quickly but soon withers and dies! Again, without strong roots it doesn’t survive.
- The crowded heart comes in Verse 22. No gardener wants weeds but we get them anyway! Weeds grow naturally, they don’t need to be tended or watered or nourished, they just spring up overnight it seems. One thing we know is that weeds have deep roots and can survive when other plants with lesser roots die off—that should underline the importance of a strong root system. It’s very important for plants to have space to grow. Tenacious weeds just crowd them out, eating up the ground so that they are choked off, and they lack the room to put down strong roots.
- The fruitful heart we find in Verse 23. This heart has perfect conditions for the seed of God’s word to take root and grow. It is soft, deep, uncluttered and fertile. It can bring forth thirty, sixty and even a hundred times as much as has been planted! This heart understands the word (unlike the hard heart), it receives the word (unlike the shallow heart), it holds fast to the word (unlike the crowded heart), and brings forth a huge harvest of beautiful and nourishing grain!
Father, we want to glorify your name and bear a special harvest of fruits in our lives. Please let our hearts, by your Spirit, be deep, soft, uncluttered fertile and fruitful.
Study by Cliff Neill
About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
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