"Once we clearly acknowledge the soul, we can learn to hear it's cries. - Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart."

It takes courage to pursue our dreams. It takes time and patience to unearth buried treasure. But I believe with all my heart that we must do both.


seeds and soil

journal page

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.


A'n'G Johnson said...

what a cool interpretation of a touching message

Unknown said...

Awww sis isn't it kewl when one particular Sermon stands out among many others? Thanks so much for sharing...(((hugs)))

Nikki (Sarah) said...

seeds and soil. Beautiful Mary....actually I love this.

Jennifer Richardson said...

Your painting speaks to me
in a watermelon fresh way, Mary
...seeds, soil and sweetness!
Thank you for pouring out your
dear heart.
Love and hugs,

Poetic Artist said...

I just was reading your post..Tonight at church at study was on the seed..and the dirt..I sometimes sketch when I am listening..I drew a seed and the soil..It is not so much about the seed it is the soil..Because really the seed is just dead..It is the soil that brings it back to life..To bring the beauty out..The flower or etc..Thank you for always sharing your heart.
God is working my friend.
I hope I will talk to you soon..I will try to email you soon..
Love and God directions for you life.

Vicki said...

Oh, Mary, this was so good to read and to SEE and ENJOY your painting that goes so well with your message. You nailed it when you said it was organic, this relationship with Him. It's not about the striving; it's all about the grace. Love you bunches, dear friend. I am slowly getting back to the blogging...you're my favorite read :-)

Bren Graham Thebeau said...

Such powerful imagery Mar, can't help but wonder what that soil is going to bring to life in you my friend. Great stuff!

Martha Lever said...

Oh Mar! That just about the sweetest thing I have heard in a very long time!
Thank you! :) Now I am going back up to the top of your blog and read and take a close look at your fabulous painting.

Janettessage.blogspot.com said...

Another awesome post...so right where God has me at this time, and goes with my spiritual garden growing for this year. I will be soaking this in.

Oh the falling in the creek daughter loves your work...she will love this piece also. I think that is where God has us both.

Thanks for being obedient to share.

Jo Reimer said...

there's always a rich message here at Splendid Adventure and this one hit home. The seed is the word of God and is perhaps the only see which doesn't die but keeps on seeding growth and change in each of us who believe. In this instance the seed is God's word, Jesus himself, constantly renewed within each of us.
I want to think about that today, about the seed of God and about a few little packages of seeds that my mother gave me long ago... seeds of wisdom and a few seeds from her garden. This seed alalogy could go on forever,

Mechelle said...

That is so true Mary, if we allow the holy spirit to develop our spiritual growth.