Encouragement for Today
“Removing the Rocks”
Angela Pisel, Graduate of She Speaks Conference
Matthew 13:3-9, “Then He told them many things in parables, saying: "Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he was sowing, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on rocky ground, where they didn't have much soil, and they sprang up quickly since they had no deep soil. But when the sun came up they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. Still others fell on good ground, and produced a crop: some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown.” (HCSB)
While lying in bed going over my mental to-do list, I began to experience a panic attack of the Christian kind. I had been listening to a “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” sermon on the radio and my “get up on the wrong side of the bed” self got rather annoyed. I thought God, not to be disrespectful, but I’d be happy for you to take my burdens. I’ll just leave the keys by the front door and you take the kids to school. While you’re at it, swing by the bank and pay the mortgage. Do a fish and loaves thing. After that, kindly take my two-year-old for her ear re-check appointment. Then, create a babysitter, lead the PTA meeting, and on the way home stop by the grocery store. I’m in desperate need of some new and exciting ideas for dinner. After dinner is over, we can all sit down and you can explain to us exactly where all our money goes.
Upon finishing this unpleasant discourse in my head and then spending a good amount of time repenting, I realized something significant about myself. I had become weary, not to mention obnoxious. Although I had been a Christian for many years, in some areas, I was like the rocky soil Jesus speaks about in His parable. I listened intently to God’s Word, but many times lost the application the minute the daily grind started to pound in on me. My overcrowded routine would carry away the “seed” before it would have a chance to take root. In this case, the concept of Jesus carrying my burdens and lightening my load was just that – a concept. A foreign idea I never quite understood.
Jesus explains to us how to apply His truths and how to be “good soil.” He tells us to really hear the Word, understand it and persevere. Then we will produce a good crop, yielding a great deal more than was originally sown.
For me, hearing meant listening with an active ear and an undistracted heart. Understanding meant taking the daily quiet time needed to permit the Holy Spirit to plant the Word deep within me. Persevering, at times, can mean waiting patiently for the seed to grow. It may also mean seeking God with your whole heart until He alone reveals His truths to you.
The Bible contains so many promises. If we take a hard look, we may recognize some of these promises have yet to be fully experienced. Could this be due to rocky soil?
God wants us all to produce a good crop. Ask Him today to help you remove the rocky places in your life that are keeping you from fully receiving everything He has to offer.
My Prayer for Today:
Father, Please help me receive all you have for me. Let my heart be open and ready to take delivery of all of your truths. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Take a few minutes before Bible study, small group, Sunday school, or personal devotion time and ask God to prepare your heart. Ask God to keep your thoughts focused and your mind undistracted. Take notes during the sermon and review them later. Place important points or Bible verses on a note card and position them where you can see them frequently throughout the day.
Are there promises are in the bible I have yet to experience?
In what areas of my life, do I need to “remove the rocks”?
How can I eliminate the “distractions” during times of worship and personal devotion?
Matthew 11:30, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)
Psalms 55:22, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” (NIV)
Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (NIV)
Exodus 33:14, “The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’" (NIV)
Running on Empty, by Arron Chambers
Becoming a Women Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes
Leading Women to the Heart of God, by Lysa TerKeurst