These have no root. — Luke 8:13
My soul, examine yourself this morning by the light of this text. You have received the Word with joy; your feelings have been stirred and a lively impression has been made; but, remember, that to receive the Word in the ear is one thing and to receive Jesus into your very soul is quite another. Superficial feeling is often joined to inward hardness of heart, and a lively impression of the Word is not always a lasting one.
In the parable, the seed in one case fell upon ground having a rocky bottom, covered over with a thin layer of earth; when the seed began to take root, its downward growth was hindered by the hard stone, and therefore it spent its strength in pushing its green shoot aloft as high as it could but having no inward moisture derived from root nourishment, it withered away. Is this my case? Have I been making a fair show in the flesh, without having a corresponding inner life? Good growth takes place upwards and downwards at the same time. Am I rooted in sincere fidelity and love to Jesus? If my heart remains unsoftened and unfertilized by grace, the good seed may germinate for a season but it must ultimately wither, for it cannot flourish on a rocky, unbroken, unsanctified heart.
Let me dread a godliness as rapid in growth and as lacking in endurance as Jonah’s gourd; let me count the cost of being a follower of Jesus, above all let me feel the energy of His Holy Spirit, and then I shall possess an abiding and enduring seed in my soul. If my mind remains as obdurate as it was by nature, the sun of trial will scorch, and my hard heart will help to cast the heat the more terribly upon the ill-covered seed, and my religion will soon die, and my despair will be terrible. Therefore, O heavenly Sower, plough me first, and then cast the truth into me, and let me yield You a bounteous harvest.
I have prayed for thee. — Luke 22:32
How encouraging is the thought of the Redeemer’s never-ceasing intercession for us. When we pray—He pleads for us. And when we are not praying—He is advocating our cause, and by His supplications shielding us from unseen dangers. Notice the word of comfort addressed to Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to have you—that he may sift you as wheat; but” what? “But go and pray for yourself.” That would be good advice but it is not so written. Neither does he say, “But I will keep you watchful, and so you shall be preserved.” That would be a great blessing. No, it is, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not.”
We little know what we owe to our Savior’s prayers! When we reach the hill-tops of heaven, and look back upon all the way whereby the Lord our God has led us—how we shall praise Him who, before the eternal throne, undid the mischief which Satan was doing upon earth. How shall we thank Him because day and night, He pointed to the wounds upon His hands, and carried our names upon His breastplate!
Even before Satan had begun to tempt, Jesus had entered a plea in heaven. Mercy outruns malice. Mark, He does not say, “Satan has desired to have you.” He checks Satan even in his very desire, and nips it in the bud. He does not say, “But I have desired to pray for you.” No but “I have prayed for you—I have done it already; I have gone to court and entered a counter-plea even before an accusation is made.” O Jesus, what a comfort it is, that you have pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies; countermined their mines, and unmasked their ambushes. Here is a matter for joy, gratitude, hope, and confidence!
Morning and Evening - January 11
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.