ONLINE Sunday Service (M918) | Mount Zion Church | 7 June 2020 | THE STRONG ROOT | Mark 4:16-17
Jesus explained that our inner man is like a plant that can grow, and it needs a strong root! Without root, the plant will not able to stand. Without a strong root, a plant will be plucked off during the windy and stormy day. The keyword for this morning is BEING STRONG, how can we stay strong in our life, not only during this pandemic situation but also for the entire of our life, and specially to face the end times, so that we can keep growing and be ready to welcome the second coming of Jesus Christ in the clouds.
16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 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 NKJV
1: THE KINGDOM OF GOD NEVER STOP SOWING ITS SEED – GOD’S LOVE
Jesus said that a sower went out to sow. Jesus was speaking about Himself, also about the disciples who will do the same thing just like Jesus, and also about believers all around the world that will keep that legacy!
The seed was not fell accidentally in the wayside, nor the stony ground, nor the thorns. The seed was sowed there in a purpose! Even though the sower see that the ground was not ideal for the seed to grow but he still did that, and that is the heart of God! God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life Jn.3:16. Even though God knew beforehand that Jesus will be rejected, He still gave Jesus for this world because of His love.
The grand plan of God’s love must be accomplished. The Word of God must be fulfilled. And nothing can stop God to make His seed being sowed everywhere! It is unstoppable!
Jesus said: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come Mat.24:14.
Paul said: For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in Rom.11:25.
That is the grand plan of God that will be accomplished! Specially in these last days we may see how that number may increase as the church come to each house in their screen! Let’s keep that legacy and keep sowing the good seed of the Word of God.
Love of God is the foundation for us to keep growing. Whenever we may feel too tired to grow, let’s remember that we are as we are because of His grace, because of His love.
2: LET IT GROW
As the seed will grow, Jesus emphasized the importance of having strong root after we receive that seed. The root must go downward, so that the tree can bear fruit upward 2Ki.19:30. This is the unseen part, but it is very important.
Having the strong root is the prayer of Paul for believers and must be our prayer as well!
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love Ephesians 3:14-17
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7
Why having strong root is so important? Jesus said that the strong root is the key to have a victorious life during the upcoming tribulation and persecution. We are in a race against that and we must be ready for it! If believers don’t win over it, they will stumble on it.
Jesus warned His people about the tribulation or persecution that will arise for the word’s sake. Speaking about tribulation and persecution may make people feel discomfort, but that is something that will surely come. We must be ready for that because Jesus had said so!
Persecutions for God’s Word are not always happened physically. It may come as a pressure toward our faith, or another good-looking option.
Example: Demas: At first, he was called as the fellow labourers of Paul together with Luke, Mark, and Aristarchus Phlm.1:24, Col.4:14. But later he was changed totally. Paul said: “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica 2Tim.4:10.”
We may want to dedicate our life to obey the Word of God while another people who don’t obey, even they live against it, invite us to do just like what they do because everything looks okay.
The tribulation and persecution may happen individually or collectively. We will never know when it may come into our life. As now we are approaching the end times, we must get ourselves ready for the hour of trial.
10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. Revelation 3:10-11 NKJV
The Bible warned us about the hour of trial. It is only called as ‘the hour’ because it will last only for a while compared to the history of human race in this world. But it will be very big, it will come upon the whole world. Whether people will like it or not, that test will come.
Daniel saw something very terrible will happen at the end of the world, it is about the four great beasts that came up from the sea Dan.7:1-8. The first was like a lion and had eagle’s wings. The second was like a bear. The third was like a leopard. But the last one was too difficult to explain! Daniel told us that the fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
The vision of the four beasts was about the antichrists that will have dominion over all of this earth. We learn that the day of antichrist will happen for 3,5 years after the rapture, and it is about the fourth beast that is dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. So, how about the first, the second, and the third beast? It will happen before the rapture.
The end times will be very crowded with all of things so that God explain it with different ways from Genesis to Revelation so that we can have better understanding from different perspectives.
3,5 years before the rapture we will be blessed with the latter rain, while at the same time 3 different beasts will also start to rule, 4 seals and 4 trumpets in the Book of Revelation will also happen Rev.6:1-8; 8:6-13. It will be definitely a time of persecutions and tribulations for those who want to keep the Word of God.
While it may look so challenging to live at the end times, Jesus urged us to have a strong root before all of that take place. Do you have that strong root already? Without the strong root, believers will only endure for a time! It is very important to nurture a strong root for our inner man from now!
3: THE STRONG ROOT
How can we have that strong roots? The root needs lot of time to grow. The Bible told:
“For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit Jer.17:8.”
The heat will come, the year of drought will come. This fact can be found everywhere in the Bible. That’s why we must get prepared from now. But as long as we have a strong root that spread out by the river, we should NOT fear!
The strong root will throw your fear away! The strong root will make you live in the peace of God!
The root need time to grow and spread out to reach the water. What is the water for our soul?
Jesus said: “The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life Jn.4:14.”
38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:38-39
Our root must spread out and reach the rivers of living water, which is the works of Holy Spirit. The presence of Holy Spirit in our life will definitely make our root grow stronger and deeper. Our experience with the Holy Spirit will make our root reach that water. We must open our life and make a room for the Holy Spirit so that He can move within our life.
The strong root is a result of how far and how much we will let Holy Spirit to work in our life.
1. He is the Spirit of truth, He will guide you into all truth Jn.16:13
2. He will convict (re/prove, show) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment Jn.16:8
3. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption Eph.4:30. Our stubbornness will make God grieve Mrk.3:5
1. Let’s remember that we are as who we are now because of God’s love who already sow that heavenly seed “everywhere”!
2. Let’s keep growing because the clock is ticking, and we are in a race with the hour of trial that will come to the whole world.
3. Let’s reach to the rivers of living water which is the work of Holy Spirit. Let’s open our heart so that Holy Spirit can work more in our life.