Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35
I was thinking this morning about the parable in Mark 4 about the Sower and the Soils
and something occurred to me as I was reading the explanation that Jesus gave his disciples who wanted to know what it meant. Here's part of what Jesus said:
And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables?
14"The sower sows the word.
15"These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately (J)Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.
a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky
places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;
they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then,
when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately
they fall away.
18"And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word,
19but the worries of (K)the world, and the (L)deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
20"And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and (M)bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
What stood out to me was what I bolded - and in particular "...when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away."
This stood out to me because of writing and reading a lot about persecution, but even more so I see a connection between those who do not understand that God's LOVE will never be separated from them even when they suffer, versus those who stand firmly in God's word and His Love who are able to stand under persecution.
What this tells me is that it is important in our churches and ministries, to emphasize how great and how wide and how deep and how passionate God's love is for us. If we emphasize the passion and death of Jesus Christ and understand the LOVE of that great sacrifice, then it may bear fruit of patience and endurance during times of persecution and suffering.
When a person is not grounded in God's love, just like Jesus said, they tend to fall away when affliction or when persecution arises.
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