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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"The Rocky Soil of Shallow Faith"

August 3, 2004

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“Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil.” Matthew 13:5

God, the Sower, sows the powerful seed of His Word. Some of that seed, according to the parable, falls on rocky soil. In parts of Palestinian fields a thin skin of earth only a few inches deep lies on top of an underlying shelf of limestone rock. The seed falling on this rocky soil would quickly germinate because of the warmth of the soil but no roots would be able to penetrate the limestone shelf. The promising young plant, however, quickly withers and dies when the hot sun scorches it.

Jesus describes the rocky soil as follows: “The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the Word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word, he quickly falls away” (Matthew 13:20-21).

This description of seed on rocky soil strikes right at the heart of much modern religious life. We often grow tremendously excited over fads and new trends. We respond to religion as an emotional high. We make a faith commitment with good intentions. But then the good beginning quickly fades away; we lose our initial enthusiasm. We have experienced only a shallow and emotional faith, with no lasting roots in the promises of God.

Am I ever like seed on rocky soil, or is my soil receptive to the seed? Thank God that the powerful seed of His Word produces roots that go deep into the soil of His love. Thank God that Jesus Christ heard the Father’s Word and obeyed, lived in a world of rocky soil, yet committed Himself to death on a cross and offers forgiveness of sins also to those hearers who, at least at times, resemble rocky soil. Thank God for His gift of deep and solid faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

PRAYER: O Lord, strengthen my shallow and emotional faith by pointing me to the sure promise of salvation through Your death and resurrection. Ground me solidly in Your saving Word. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 120-122    2 Thessalonians 2

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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