Jesus used parables to show how God wanted to plant good things in our hearts, but He also showed that we need to have the right soil in our hearts as well. In Matthew 13, Jesus told a series a parables to show how God's truth works in our hearts. I would like to read the first parable and Jesus' explanation today; please read Matthew 13:1-23. Jesus explains that there are different conditions in the soil of our hearts that causes us to accept His truth in different ways. First is the person who hears the truth but does not understand it, so it is taken away. This is the person who never really accepts God's truth and forgiveness. The next is the person who does hear and accept, but because they never develop a deep faith in God, they fall away as soon as something difficult happens. The third example is the person who accepts, but the lure of other things in life chokes out their ability to grow and bear fruit. The fourth is the person who hears, accepts and believes God and grows in their faith. They produce fruit in their life and produce a crop much larger than the seed that was planted. I would even go so far as to say that this is the person who shares the truth with others because they are producing a great crop.
I will say this - no matter what type of soil is in your heart right now I believe it can change. We can have a rocky soil or weedy garden; however, God can till and plow the soil in our hearts so we can grow deep roots and produce good fruit. It takes work no matter what kind of soil is in our hearts. We have to constantly weed and take out the rocks that surface in order to continue growing. I think that is why I like this parable so much; I understand that the best gardens produce so well because of the work that is constantly being done. We invite God in our hearts to work on the soil by reading the Bible and spending time in prayer daily. This doesn't happen by attending church once a week or twice a month or by going to small group (all of which are things that God uses to grow us and are necessary) - this is a daily and private exercise that keeps the soil in our hearts rich and fresh.
What kind of soil is in your heart?
What are you doing each day to improve the conditions of the soil in your heart?
Are you asking the Master Gardener (God) to do His work in your heart?
This post is linked with On Your Heart Tuesday and Soli Deo Gloria.