I love when I hear messages like I did last Sunday. When I see another little piece of how God works in hearts. Because that is where real change takes place. And I cannot change my heart on my own. Sometimes I read God's Word and wonder how I can accomplish what he has called me to, how do I live this life that is now his? And what I am learning is that it is at the same time, easier and harder than I thought. It's more of an organic relationship, than a striving to live rightly. It's not a checking off of the list of do's and don'ts. It a process of God changing my heart...from one that is self-ish and self-centered to one that looks and acts more like his. But he does the changing. I still struggle (greatly), working out one's salvation is not an easy journey, but we do it together.
When one hears a talk on the "Parable of the Soil" found in both Luke and Matthew, the focus is usually on the soil. What kind of soil (heart) will the seeds (The Gospel) find? Hard soil, shallow soil, a heart overgrown with distractions, or a prepared heart, one that will yield a harvest. Okay, I want a prepared soil...but what if my heart is not there yet? Can I make my heart "prepared" on my own??
Just like I can change some things in my life out of sheer grit, hard work and my own strength (for a time). Just like when I try to not do something I know I should not do, or do something I know I should do, if there is not change at the heart level there is usually not lasting change.
So how do I achieve good soil?
The message our pastor gave last Sunday was on this parable. But his focus was on the seed, not the soil. Yes, the soil is important. But the seed (The Word of God - Luke 8:11) is more so.
The Gospel is the Power that changes me. God must be working the soil of my heart as he changes me. As I spend the time with Jesus, savoring, taking in, hearing, learning, memorizing, meditating, and obeying my heart changes. My roots grow deep in Jesus. Then those seeds can sprout and grow and produce fruit.
Matthew (our pastor) said, "If our life does not reflect the Gospel our roots have not gone deep enough."
I read this on my sweet friend Katie's blog. I don't think she will mind that I am sharing this, and I would encourage you to read her full post. "So, after a good watering in the Word, I feel my roots being built in him and my faith strengthened and I am overflowing with thankfulness."
Also, if you would like to listen to the whole message Matthew gave please visit our website. Click on Teaching and Worship, then download sermons and then click on seeds message.
May our roots grow deep in Jesus, the lover of our souls, the one that desires for us and gives abundant life, the one that knows us better than we know ourselves, the one that saves and changes hearts and souls.
Grace and Peace to you.