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.
This is from the Parable of the Sower, where the farmer sows the Word…the Logos…the Word of God, onto a hard-packed path. The seed just sits on top of the surface, unable to germinate and grow because of the hardpan – the unbroken subsoil beneath. To have a hardened heart towards the Gospel is to have an indifference towards the things of God…or to have an unfeeling conscience. So how can we pray for that person? We can ask the Lord to plow up that hard soil of rebellion in their life… that the Word of God may germinate and flourish there.
We’ve all been very thirsty. An interesting note about the human body…hunger pangs will eventually subside, but thirst will never go away, for our bodies need water to operation and maintain homeostasis, (a stable and normal condition of all systems within the body.) In this Scripture, Jesus is offering the Samaritan woman the kind of water that will not only satisfy immediately, but will become an Artesian well within her. Like a spring rising up with a new and constant supply of fresh water, this living water fills and quenches our thirst unlike anything the world can offer.
Proverbs 12:10 says, “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animals…” Taking responsibility for the family pets is one job most children get. It’s an excellent way to show them how to be kind towards animals and dependable in their care. Years later, that well-meaning consideration towards animals will translate into generous, thoughtful adults.
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.
We all need spiritual sustenance, because we all have a God-shaped hole inside that needs to be filled. This inner hunger and thirst for God propels us forward in His Way and supports us in times of trials. Life is sustained by food…but our spiritual life is nourished and maintained by the word of God.