We’re continuing in our study of Luke’s Gospel. I’m currently posting about the different “heart soils” in the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15). Today I’ll deal with the rocky soil. This is about rocks with only a thin layer of dirt to cover them.
The seed germinates and springs up quickly. But just as quick, the sun comes out, scorches the plant because there’s no moisture, and it withers and dies. Jesus explained the spiritual application this way…
Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.
This verse literally says that these people receive the Word in the middle of joy. It sounds like camp meeting to me. There’s excitement in the air. The whole atmosphere of the meeting is charged with a heavenly joy. It’s easy to believe in a place like that.
Statistically, decisions that we make in the heat of emotion, tend to be short lived. Emotion and excitement can’t sustain us for very long. We need more than that to go the distance in the face of the problems of everyday life.
We’re not talking about people who don’t believe what they hear. Even though the decision was emotional, they believe that the Word they heard is for them. The problem is, that what has sprung up so quickly, also withers just as quick. What is it that withers?
For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
1 Peter 1:24-25
What withers is the glory of man. This type of person hears the Word and believes that it’s “all about me.” That’s why there’s all the joy and excitement.
They think that the Word is for my blessing, health, and prosperity. Forget about what God’s ultimate purpose is. It’s me that’s important.
The Lord says that in this rocky heart there is some faith exhibited for a while, but it doesn’t last long. Eventually trials and testing will come. When this happens, Jesus literally says that they will stand off or remove themselves. Why does Christ use this description?
When I go through a time of testing, I realize that it’s not all about me. I get offended that I’m not the center of all the attention. I don’t want the spotlight on Christ and what He’s trying to accomplish in me. I want the priority to be my comfort and happiness. The result is that I get offended and remove myself from the Lord and His plan for my life.
If I want my heart prepared for an abundant harvest, I must assume that the Word of God spotlights Jesus Christ. I must desire to know His heart.
I once heard a preacher say that many believers treat the Bible like a photo album. When we look at pictures, we’re always looking for the photos with us in it. We look for where we were and what we were doing.
It’s the same with some believers. There are many who read the Bible and pursue God only for what they can get from Him. The big question on their minds is, “What’s in it for me?”
Instead, we should be focusing on God’s eternal purpose – to draw all humanity into His kingdom. The blessings of God are great, but they’re not an end in and of themselves.
God has promised us prosperity, but it’s to finance the spread of the Gospel. God has promised us health and healing, but it’s so that we can minister the Good News of His love to the best of our ability.
All the promises of God should be viewed through the filter of God’s will and God’s plans. That’s what’s missing in the shallow faith of rocky soil. We need to keep our hearts clear of the rocks of self-centeredness.
Question: How is God working through you to bring about His purpose?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi