But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:23 (NIV)
What is the condition of your heart? That depends, I suppose. What do you mean by that? I wish that I could say that the condition of my heart is always soft and fertile, like a very well cared for garden. What is it that changes the condition of your heart? How can you continually take care of your heart so that it will be like a well cared for garden?
I know that the condition of my heart can become hard. How is that? There are any number of possibilities. Can you name one? I’ll try. When I allow myself to be filled with pride my heart can become quite hard. How so? My pride tells me that I know it all. I can become so certain of something that I am completely unteachable. That’s not good. I know. In this condition I’m not able to receive anything from you or anyone else. You don’t want that. No, I don’t. I can’t tell you how many dumb mistakes I’ve made because I failed to hear and understand what you or others have wanted to say to me.
What else would you like to say about the condition of your heart? I know that my heart can be fickle and fragile. Can you give me an example? One day I can be so excited to know that you have a purpose and plan for my life. Yes, I do. I know, that’s what your word says. But, the next day I might be completely discouraged. How is that possible? It’s easy. Why is that? Sometimes, I let difficult circumstances. delay or roadblocks cause me to forget the promise that you have a purpose and plan for my life. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve sometimes lived as if I don’t believe or haven’t heard your word. It’s as if I haven’t taken a firm grip on your word or let it take a firm grip on me. This is not good either. I would have to agree with you.
Is there one final thing that you would like to say about the condition of your heart? I know that my heart can become entangled in the things of this world. What do you have in mind? It seems like I’m constantly being bombarded with the message that I don’t have enough. I shouldn’t be content with what I have. I should want or need more. It almost doesn’t matter what the “more” is. It’s the pursuit of this “more” and my lack of contentment that causes me to chase after what I don’t need or shouldn’t have. It’s this pursuit leading me to run in the wrong direction that does damage to my heart. What direction is that? It’s any direction that leads away from you and all that you have for me. It’s any direction that replaces what you have for me with the things of this world. You don’t want that. No, I don’t.
What do you think will guard your heart so that you will be fruitful for me? Guarding and tending my heart all comes down to one thing. What’s that? When I spend time with you in your word; it is you that will guard, keep and protect my heart. Yes, I do. You will sow your word into my heart and mind. You will mold and shape my life by your word. It is you that will make me fruitful for you. Your word being lived out in my heart, mind and life will bear a rich harvest for your Kingdom and Glory. Is that what you want me to do in you, for you and through you? Yes, more than anything else. Make my heart fruitful for you. Yes, I will.
Lord, prepare my heart so that your word will take root and grow in me. Help me to hear and obey all you say to me. Transform my heart and mind by your word. Make my life abundantly fruitful for your kingdom and your glory. Amen
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