A Shallow Heart

December 23, 2020

Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 13:3-9).

The wayside soil is the hardened heart, the heart that has no room nor desire for the Lord Jesus Christ or His Gospel. That a person’s heart is hardened toward God is evident for he/she cares not for the things of God. This person is doomed to an eternity separated from God because he/she has spent a lifetime estranged from God.

The stony soil is the shallow heart, the heart that hears the Gospel, rejoices in it, but does not engage in it. In His day, there were many people who responded enthusiastically to Jesus Christ, only to renounce Him once persecution came (Mark 4:5–6,16–17), the doctrines of Christ became undesirable (John 6:22-71), or commitment to Jesus Christ was beyond what they were willing to make (Mark 10:17-27).

Unlike the hard heart, these people demonstrate pseudo-belief in Jesus Christ and His Gospel, not a saving belief in the Gospel. Their faith is a false faith that never takes root in their heart and never produces spiritual fruit in the life. When they face persecution, solid commitment, or strict doctrinal teaching, their false faith and shallow spiritual roots cannot sustain their profession, and they renounce Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

What we learn from the seed sown on rocky soil is that outward fervor is no sure sign of conversion. The person who seems zealous for the Lord is no more saved than the person whose response to the Gospel is more subdued is not saved. Genuine saving faith in Jesus Christ is proven over time as people remain steadfast and immovable in Jesus Christ, even in times of trial, temptation, and suffering.

“Lord Jesus, You have given repeated warnings in Your Word that we should make sure our faith in You is a genuine faith, a saving faith, and that we should be careful to make sure our calling and election are sure. Just as a half-truth is still a lie, so a shallow faith is no saving faith at all. In our discipling others, may we press Your claims upon the hearts of others that they may demonstrate genuine saving faith in You, and not be deceived by a shallow, pseudo-faith that is typical of the world. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”


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