As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Matthew 13:20-22
Reading this, it sounds like Jesus was speaking to people today, doesn’t it? Well, actually He is. Because today’s trials and tribulations, temptations and snares are the same as they have always been.
Choose God, or choose the world. Choose self or choose servitude. Choose life or choose death.
To me there is a comfort in knowing that Jesus’ words are still relevant today. We hear so much about how our civilization is going downhill into a death spiral – how greed, unethical antics and prideful self-involvement are on the rampage. Not that things aren’t bad, they are. Not that we shouldn’t cling to the Cross in the storm – we should, and grab others to cling with us.
But knowing that Jesus knows makes the difference. There will always be rocky ground and thorny ground in which the seeds of Truth are sown. Keeping the field fertile and ready for the harvest takes constant work. Like a garden, our souls need constant attention. You have to till it (upturn the hardened clumps of of doubt and discouragement ), pull out the weeds ( of greed and pride), and chuck away the rocks (of anxiety and fear ).
The great news? Jesus is there to help. Always has been, always will be. Because He understands the heart of mankind, He has the tools to help prepare the soil and keep it free from weeds, rocks, and even bugs like anger, jealousy and hate that can eat away our tender shoots and ripening fruits.
His love is the hoe, His Truth the rake. We don’t have to do it all on our own. we just have to be willing to do our part – and that is to pray, read His word and be willing to serve in faith. Then, our soil will be ready for the seeds to be sown, our faith roots will stretch deeply down to absorb His promises and our crop will yield fruit in good (God’s) season.
Question- have you invited Jesus into your garden lately ? What rocks, weeds or bugs do you need His help getting out of your soil so His Word can richly dwell?