How is the Soil of Your Heart?

By Ryan Dawson

How is the soil of your heart?  I have been enjoying the 90 Day Gospel Reading Challenge as we encounter Jesus in our journey through the Gospels.  I was struck this week by the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8.  In Jesus’ response to the disciples who ask him to explain the meaning of this parable, he seems to give a fitting description of the modern church.  Jesus says this…

Luke 8:14 (NLT)  “The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.”  

Jesus says the seeds (message of salvation, abundant life, and the purpose for living), has been given but it quickly gets crowded out by other things.  The Gospel and the words of Jesus are crowded out by “the cares and riches and pleasures of this life.”  I think this should hit home for us as we reflect on our lives.  How often do we minimize or side-step the commands of Jesus because our hearts are distracted or consumed by other things?  Things like the pursuit of wealth, the pursuit of pleasure, the pursuit of things that ultimately serve us.  Jesus is very clear that when this is the condition of our heart we will not mature, we won’t experience the fullness of what God has for us.  Like a plant choked out by thorns we will remain spiritually thin and fragile, and susceptible to disease and draught.  

I believe we want to grow spiritually so we experience the fullness of what it means to follow Jesus, but this will not happen automatically.  We will need to lean into Jesus and pursue our relationship with God with intentionality and passion.  Jesus describes what this looks like…

Luke 8:15 (NLT)  “And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.”

When we have open, honest, and humble hearts before God recognizing our desperate need for His grace, and we cling to His word we are going to produce a huge harvest of righteousness.  This harvest will show up in Christ-like character and conduct.  Over time as we get to know Jesus through time in God’s Word, prayer, worship, and service in the life of the Church, we are going to grow to become more like Christ.  This is “a faithful obedience in the same direction” as Eugene Peterson aptly refers to the walk of discipleship.  

So how is the soil of your heart today?   There is grace today as you approach God, and the Lord wants to do something more in you and through you in the days ahead.  So, pursue Jesus, cling to His Word, walk in grace, and yield to Holy Spirit, and you will mature into the fullness of Jesus Christ.

Blessings, Ryan