The Cultivated Heart

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Matthew 13:8, 23, “Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop … The seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”Hosea 10:12, “Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you.”

Think

Farmers have one of the most difficult jobs on the planet. From the break of day, they are hard at work repairing equipment, plowing their fields, testing soil conditions, planting, and watering to prepare their crops for harvest. The work is tedious and tiresome and often goes unnoticed. But as their crop begins to produce, all of their hard work is worth the effort!Our hearts are like a farmer’s field. No matter the soil condition, the same Sower — Jesus — plants the same seed. The only difference is us, our heart’s receptivity to God’s truth. For those whose hearts have been prepared and cultivated, the Holy Spirit yields life-change and soul transformation. And, as today’s verse tells us, for those who’ve genuinely accepted the Word of God into their hearts, the result is a bumper crop — an unusually large harvest — for Christ!As you think about the four soils of the heart we’ve unpacked this week, where do you find yourself? Do you have hardened spiritual arteries toward God? Are you operating from shallow or crowded soil conditions? Or, is there evidence of growth through Christ’s cultivation as you seek to live under the authority of God’s Word? If so, get ready to produce a bumper crop in your life!

Act

Test your heart’s soil conditions. Are there any areas hardened by rebellion or shallowed from pride? Are life’s worries and self-indulgences crowding space that rightfully belongs to Jesus? What steps can you take to cultivate your heart further to display obedience to God’s Word through your words, actions, and deeds?

Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for producing life-change and growth in my life. Reveal any poor soil conditions and help me to better cultivate my heart to yield obedience, faith, and unwavering devotion to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.