The Soil of Your Heart
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:15 (niv)
In the past several years, the economic recession has cut my family’s income, forced us to drastically reduce our expenses. And yet it’s been a time that has strengthened my faith, in part because there’s little else to cling to.
One of Jesus’ richest parables is about the seeds that fall on various types of soil—hard-packed, rocky, thorny and good. On any given day,any of these could describe the condition of my heart—some days are better than others. I want to have good “heart soil” every day, every minute, but that’s not something I think anyone can manufacture. It simply results from faith and perseverance. Luke’s version of the parable says that good soil results from hearing and retaining the Word. This raises some questions: Do we hear? And how do we retain the Word? Does this mean memorizing Scripture? Or is it something more?
The way to hear God’s Word is to read your Bible or hear it taught at church. Are these regular habits in your life? Do you make it a regular practice to hear God’s Word? The Greek word translated “retain” in this verse is katechō. Reading other verses with that same Greek word can shed light on its meaning. For example, Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold unswervingly [katechō] to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (niv). One way to retain the Word is to memorize it. I can improve the soil of my soul by hearing God’s Word, holding unswervingly to it, persevering in faith, even when times are difficult. Clinging to Jesus will produce a crop of spiritual fruit that my sheer effort could never produce.
FAITH STEP: Spend some time thinking about the soil of your heart. Is it soft and open to God’s Word? When you hear God’s Word, do you retain it, hold unswervingly to it? Memorize today’s verse.
Written by Keri Wyatt Kent