Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. ~Matthew 13:5-6
Much of the soil in the Bay Area is comprised of topsoil that is usable for gardening and bottom soil that consists of hard clay-like dirt. This bottom soil makes it difficult to grow any kind of plant. A seed that is planted in the topsoil will begin to grow, but its roots cannot spread very deep into the underlying bottom soil. A plant may show early signs of growth, but unless those roots can go deep, it will not be able to thrive for very long. Our devotion considers the stony soil that Jesus referred to. Stony soil is comparable to clay-like soil. Soil represents the heart of an individual who has heard the Word of God.
We see the condition of the soil.
Stony soil only sustains growth superficially. Seeds are able to germinate in the pliable topsoil but are unable to grow further within the underlying, hard stony soil. The stony soil must be broken up and made fertile enough to allow for deep root growth. On the surface, a seed may sprout and appear healthy, but in reality, it is just topsoil growth. This is a picture of an emotional hearer who initially reacts quickly and favorably to God's Word, but this kind of person backs out of any commitments and is unstable when temptations and peer pressure come. When there is little to no root, this kind of hearer shrivels up and lacks growth. This person initially gets excited but lacks substance for long-term sustainability. Does this kind of heart describe you? Do you get emotional when you hear the Word of God but lack lasting, long-term results?
We see the challenge of the soil.
When the sun comes up, the plant becomes scorched and ultimately withers away. The soil's condition makes it impossible for the plant to take deep root. The secret to a lasting, satisfying, and fruitful Christian life is to have the Word of God take deep root within the heart. It is the "tree planted by the rivers of water...his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Hard soil results in little depth. A hardened heart that rejects God’s Word is unable to grow down deep enough to be productive. There is immediate sprouting but no long-term sustainability. The problem is never with the seed. The problem is always with the soil. What kind of heart do you have? Do you have a heart with soil that is good for growing or a heart with clay-like soil where the seed cannot take root?
We see the correction to the soil.
How do you deal with stony soil? This fallow soil needs to be broken up. God’s Word is like a hammer. We must allow the Word of God to break our pride, stubbornness, disobedience, and resistance. Then, this hardened soil needs to be watered and mixed up with good fertile soil. We need to spend enough time in the Word to allow it to work its way deep within our heart. We need to go from having a weakened conscience to a good conscience. We must get to the place where we can discern right from wrong. We must have a repentant heart that responds to the truth of God’s Word and allows it to change us. When change occurs, that is an indication that the seed is taking deep root. When the roots go downward and deep, a healthy plant develops and fruit will be present.
The key to spiritual productivity is based on the condition of your heart. Let your heart always be ready to receive the Word, and let the Word go deep. Examine your heart today and break up any hardened clay quickly. Let the soil of your heart be good soil that brings forth much fruit!
Have a deeply rooted God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Luke 6-7