Amending the soil of your heart
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! – Psalms 34:8
Luke 8:5-15 (Mark 4:3-20)
5 A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it.
6 Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture.
7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants.
8 Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.
9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant.
11 This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word.
12 The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved.
13 The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation.
14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.
15 And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!
In many locations, the soil is either depleted through overuse or naturally very poor. When there are low levels of key elements like potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen, etc. it needs to be revitalized or amended. The goal is to create a rich fertile loam. This is accomplished by adding materials to the soil to improve its physical properties to provide a better environment for plant roots to grow.
The steps of action are breaking the ground, spreading a great deal of mulch, adding worms, of all things introducing chickens into small beds (the area eat the soil, keep it compacted, eat unwanted pests, and naturally fertilize it), and add more compost and manure.
With amendments added, vegetables, flowers, and other plants can thrive.
To improve soil, amendments are required. And so it is with the human heart.
REFLECT & PRAY
7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
8 The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.
10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.
Father amend the soil of my heart that it may become rich fertile loam for Your Word. May I fall deeper in love with You and Your Word?
Ask yourself, how good is the soil of your heart? Are there weeds and thorns mixed in? Am I producing what the Lord Jesus Christ intends to produce in my heart and life? If the answer to these questions and similar ones is less than stellar, the question becomes how can I amend the soil of my heart?
When our soil is right, something remarkable happens. We are freed to deeply fall in love with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word.
A common sowing practice of New Testament times was to sow seed on ground that was not prepared by plowing in advance to receive the seed. The seed was subject to the quality and receptiveness of various kinds of ground. The Lord Jesus Christ shares the parable of the four soils.
His parables resulted in two opposing outcomes. For those who are openhearted, they are means of instruction regarding principles of living for children of the King. For those who are hardhearted, the parables are a warning of judgment to come.
The seed is the Word of God. The farmer or sower is the Lord Jesus Christ. But by application, a sower is anyone who shares God’s Word. The various soils a representative of human hearts. The four soils are listed beginning with the least productive to the most productive and. The parable begins with inhospitable, hard hearts. The Word is heard but before it can take root, it is stolen away by the enemy. The second type has receptive hearts. The soil is fertile but shallow with underlying rocks. These people are receptive and receive the Word and believe. But the seed develops no deep roots and soon wilts and dies.
The third kind of soil is also fertile but it is filled with thorns. The seeds sprout and develop roots, but the tender plants were choked out by the thorns. They do not reach maturity because these people are weighed down by the cares of the world and seek riches and pleasures in life. The fourth kind of soil is fertile and receptive. The seed takes deep-rooted, tender plants come up and grow to maturity and produce much fruit. These people have honest and good hearts. They hear and accept the Word of God. Over time they patiently wait for a good harvest.
A common characteristic of people who are receptive and open to the Word of God is a deep love for the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
If your soil is depleted ask the Father why? What has depleted the soil of your heart? Some children of the King have never fallen in love with the Word of God. We are born again with initial enthusiasm and hunger for it. But somehow it seems to just fade away.
If the soil of your heart has become depleted, how can it be amended?
It all begins by getting into the Word and learning to enjoy it and being thrilled by it all over again.
Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
The Hebrew word translated as taste is taam, in Taam has the sense of sampling, testing, discerning, or partaking. In Psalms 34:8, we are encouraged to taste and take in something delightful, pleasurable, and provides great satisfaction. As we taste the goodness of the Word of God, we taste the goodness of God Himself (Ellsworth)
1 Peter 2:2-3
2 Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,
3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
The Greek word translated long for is epipotheo. Epipotheo has the sense of great affection for, yearn, crave, strong desire, long after, or pursue with love.
We are to seek to fall in love with the Word and run after it with reckless abandon to do so.
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