The Soil of my Heart

I have been studying the parable  in Matthew 13 that Jesus told about the sower and the different ground in which he planted. Many times in the past I have studied this parable and discussed which of the different soil samples represent true believers, and which ones represent the lost. This time my study of Jesus’s story has taken a different turn.

What if the soil is all of the same field? What if the same heart sometimes responds to the Word in different ways? As a believer I can certainly say this is and has been true for me. At times God’s Word has seemed so delicious I drink it in with enthusiasm, only to find myself withered by the sun’s sharp rays of discouragement a short time later. And there have certainly been times when God’s Word has been offered to me, and I have allowed the birds of distraction, and self-preservation to steal His truth away before it can take root in my heart.

The one that struck me today as I read was the heart that receives the Word but produces no fruit because the message of God is crowded out by the thorns of desire for comfort in this life. One of my favorite old hymns, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, came to mind as I pondered this predicament. Verse three says,  “All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.” So many “vain things” charm me into distraction. I am drawn away from allowing God’s Word to take root and produce fruit by such temporal things: new stuff, time out for coffee, a comfortable home, even good things like family,  and a million other glitzy, glittery pieces of fool’s gold.  This precious hymn gives me the solution–sacrifice those temporal things to His blood, the eternal gift that washes my heart clean of such distractions, and allows the soil of my heart to receive His Word, meditate in it, and allow it to produce fruit for His glory.

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