In Luke 8 Jesus says our heart’s ability to receive Him and His Word is like different kinds of soil.
- Soil that’s packed down like a well-worn path…or a hardened heart; Satan comes and steals the seed from this soil. When my heart is hardened or bitter I find it nearly impossible to receive truth from God.
- Soil that’s nestled among rocks; the seed is received in joy, but no root develops; when the soil of my heart is overcome by temptations and trials the Word of God gets crowded out.
- Soil that’s among a thicket of thorns; here my heart may hear the message of Christ, but the seeds are choked off because I allow the anxieties, cares, riches and pleasures of life to dominate my heart.
- Soil that’s good; this is the soil of people who hear the Word of God and “hold it fast” with a good, just heart and then it steadily brings forth fruit.
Suppose you lived on a nice 5 acre lot in the country where wolves are known to threaten local livestock and pets. A lovely little Labrador Retriever puppy, with no owner or tags, strolls into your yard one day.
Knowing that wolves are nearby, what would you do?
- Pet the dog and tell it to be careful? Give her some food and push her along?….or
- Would you take the dog in your home?…build a fence around your yard; nurture, protect and feed her…let her sit in your lap?
The Word of God is like this beautiful little Lab.
The wolf is like satan.
Your heart is like the house.
Satan comes to steal what has come to your heart. If you just casually deal with the cute puppy and tell him “good luck out there”, the wolf will quickly kill the pup.
But if you bring the puppy in…if you bring the Word of God into your heart….if you cherish it and nurture it; let it sit in your lap….if you protect it from the adversary…if you focus on the puppy and not your “to-do” list….if you walk with the puppy (Jesus and the Word) closely each day…if you do all these things…His Word will fall on good soil and will thrive.
Oh Lord, may Your beautiful Word come forth in my life into soil that is good; may I have a good, noble & receptive heart in which to bring in Your Word. May I care for Your Word, may I nurture it, may I protect it, may I not allow the cares and anxieties of this world to snuff out You, Your Word and Your truth. May I not allow the temptations and trials of this life to separate me from Your Word. Oh, Lord, let me protect and care for Your Word, just as I would a beautiful little Lab that wanders into my backyard, into my heart. Thank you for Your beautiful Word, that bears fruit in my life as I “hold it fast” in my heart. In Jesus name, Amen.
“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved…..“But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. – Luke 8: 12, 15 (NASB)
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Photo courtesy of Lisa L Wiedmeier under Creative Commons License.