In the last post we learned about the wayside soil and what happens when we lack understanding. Now we will look at the second type of ground, the stony ground and the importance of becoming people of substance.
These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. (Mark 4:16,17)
Jesus said these type of people receive the word with gladness but they are shallow people. They are not the marathon runners, they are sprinters. They get all fired up about Jesus for a while but the their lack of depth is their downfall. Something we can learn from this type of ground is the importance of becoming people of substance.
After I had been saved for a year I had the blessing of being discipled by my friend’s parents. One of the first things they taught me was the importance of being a person of substance. In a nutshell a person of substance means that you have moved beyond being a shallow person and are a someone who has begun to mature spiritually, emotionally and intellectually. These are people who have a capacity for deep things – for the meat of the word.
In the stony ground syndrome the person hears the word, gets really excited but because they have no substance or root in themselves, they fade away. You have probably witnessed this before, they are the sad stories we hear. It goes like this, someone we know was a new Christian and right away they were witnessing, preaching, involved in every ministry at church and really excited about Jesus. But then one day we hear they had an affair, or they went back to the party scene or they became an atheist. People who knew them are surprised because they thought they were so on fire for the Lord and can’t believe this would ever happen. The sad thing is that this happens all to often, especially among the youth.
One way we can move beyond shallow living is to understand the difference between our soul and our spirit. When we understand this we will see how important it is to get the word in our spirits and into the spirits of those around us. The soul consists of our mind, emotions and will. Our spirit is the part of us that has been born again and has roots in God.
When the word is only received in our soul and not in our spirit we are like the stony ground. In order for the seed to be planted deep within us we need to meditate on the word until it becomes part of us. Remember that Jesus said His words are spirit and life (John 6:63); and we should treat them as such. Because the very fiber of His words are spirit they can be received and understood by our spirit man and when that happens we come alive!