In these verses from the Parable of the Sower we see the Word of God being sown over rocky ground. The plants spring up, but because they have no adequate root system, they die off quickly. In the Amplified Version of the Bible it gives us insight into this shallow faith. It states in Mark 4:17, ” And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.” So how can we pray for this person? They have to go deeper. In I Timothy 3:9 it talks about keeping ahold of the deep truths of the faith…the divine secrets, revealed truths, and revelations from God. To move from shallow faith to a vibrant and intimate relationship with the Lord, a person has to go deeper with God…allowing Him to speak to them through the Scriptures, revealing important truths to them. And with these new revelations, they are then able to send roots of trust down deep.
Over the last years, the world’s moral pendulum has swung far off-center. What was once considered wrong, is now accepted as the norm. What was once thought as unethical, is now touted as chic. We are constantly being bombarded by commercials and advertisements that tell us how to think and act if we want to be accepted…but they are usually contrary to God’s Word. Psalm 94:21 tells us that the wicked will band together against the righteous. The evil world’s way of thinking doesn’t have to seep into your life and mind… for God is greater than any evil that may come your way…offering wisdom and happiness in place of misery and suffering.
The Apostle Paul wasn’t speaking to non-Believers in this passage. Rather, he was directing the faithful to stop judging one another. You probably know someone who has been deeply wounded at Church by some hyper-critical Carnal Christian, and now because of that, has turned their back totally on Christianity and anything to do with God. For them, they can only see hypocrisy in fellow Believers that should be showing the love of Jesus…but instead are negative and critical. Such Carnal Christians are a hindrance and a barrier to the Gospel Message.
It’s your first day of work at a new job, and how do you spend most of it? Reading and signing paperwork. There are contracts, job descriptions, and policies and procedures to review and sign. But as a Believer, you also have a job description for the work the Lord wants you to be doing here on earth. This scripture shows us we are responsible to so well represent the Lord, that if someone looks at us, they will only see the love of Jesus shining forth. Our relationship with God should be such, that our faith is never doubted…our love for Him never questioned…our worship of Him, uncompromising and pure. Yes, our obligation to the Lord is great…but not in any comparison to the reward.
What are you asking the Lord for today? Are you tempering your request based on your limited vision and emotional involvement or by God’s limitless vision and His desire to fulfill your petition according to His will? Ephesians 3:20 tells us, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” When you ask the Lord for something…don’t limit Him…for we cannot start to mentally grasp all He can do and set into motion at His disposable. Instead, pray His vision into the situation…and then stand back and watch what miracles God will do.
Joshua 24:15 reads, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” Maybe you’ve heard the old saying, You’ve made your bed, now sleep in it. Unfortunately, we all live with the consequences of bad choices we’ve made in the past, for our days are filled with choices…some good, some not so good… but with the Lord’s guidance, He can help us make the best choices for us. Wise and good choices that will have eternal consequences.
The next House Rule deals with listening and then obeying. The Scripture comes from Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me.” If you examine the famous painting depicting this verse, you’ll see that there’s no doorknob on the outside. Jesus stands knocking, but can’t open the door Himself…we have to. All throughout our Spiritual journey with the Lord, He’ll knock at certain doors…doors of opportunity…doors of ministry…doors that are so foreign, scary, and frankly, so far-fetched, that we can’t put our heads around what He’s calling us to do. It’s at that point that we must make the decision to obey…to open that door and allow Him and His plan for us to come in.