Day 22 Theme: Facing Temptation
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away - Luke 8:13
In Luke 8, Jesus relates the parable of the sower. A man goes out to sow seed on his land. The seed falls on different kinds of ground and so varies in its success.
Interestingly, the seed that falls on stony ground at first springs up and looks productive. However, because it has no real root structure, it withers in the heat of the day.
Jesus, in interpreting the parable for his disciples, observes that the seed stands for the Word of God and the various grounds represent the different ones who hear the Word. The stony-ground audience, he says, receives the Word initially with joy, but then melts in the moment of trial or temptation. In other words, they fall away when real life hits them.
What is the lesson? Jesus says, "Take heed—be careful—therefore how you hear" (18). It is not the seed, but the ground, which needs to change!
How do you receive God's Word? Is it to you just an encouraging story, or a façade you put on for others? Or do you receive it deeply, nourishingly into your soul and let it guide your every decision, emotion, and action?
Enjoying the message is not the same thing, Jesus says, as obeying the message. Those who bear much and lasting fruit are those who hear the Word and keep it and live it out with patient endurance (15).
May you face the trials and temptations of today with a deeply-rooted faith in the Word of God.
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