Heart Conditions

Pastor Jay Nicoson Life Devotions

“A sower went out to sow his seed.”
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”
Luke 8:5a, 11 NKJV

In Luke chapter 8, verses 4-15, Jesus begins to speak in a parable to a great multitude with His disciples present about a sower, seed, and soil.  He tells the entire crowd about how this sower planted seed into 4 different types of soil. He describes the conditions of each of the 4 types of soil and then He gives detailed results of sowing in those conditions.   After telling the story to the multitude, the disciples came to Him perplexed.  They wanted clarity from Jesus so that they could understand what He was saying.  The disciples were catching on that when Jesus was speaking He was saying one thing, but actually meant something deeper and something spiritual concerning the Kingdom; in this instance, they were just not getting what He was saying!

The lessons in this parable and the things we can learn about how God teaches us, how God speaks to us, how the Word of God operates in the hearts of mankind, and the conditions of our hearts, is astounding.   First, let’s recognize that anytime we don’t understand something God is saying, we can simply ask for Him to show us what it means.  The bible tells us in Proverbs 4:7 that we are to “get understanding.”  God does not want us in the dark.  He wants you and I to understand the principles of the Kingdom and will show us if we simply ask.  Mark 11:24 tells us to ask in faith believing; it is so simple.

We read that the disciples ask and Jesus is willing to share in the wealth of His knowledge.  Here is a great misunderstanding:  Jesus was not teaching in a mysterious way to the crowd because He did not want them to understand; He was teaching deep things to provoke someone to ask for more understanding.  There is a hunger in us to know God.  Sometimes God will teach us things that are just above our ability to understand to provoke us to seek Him for more!  Jesus, when approached by His “disciplined followers,” unveils the mystery.

The seed is the Word of God. The soil is the hearts of men. There are 4 types of hearts.  There is the wayside heart (v5, 12).  This heart has shallow soil.  It is trampled soil, so it is packed and hardened and will not allow the seed to go deep.  There is the rocky heart.  This heart is dry having no moisture (v6, 13) and also lacks depth.   There is the thorny heart (v7, 14) which is repressed soil. The thorny heart chokes the good seed of God out from being able to grow up.

Then the last heart type is the good heart (v8, 15).  That soil is good and noble and Jesus tells us what makes the good heart special; verse 15 says they keep their heart.  The person who has a good heart has CULTIVATED their heart-soil.    Jesus also tells them that the ones with the good heart keep the word, bear fruit, and they have a certain quality that sets them apart, patience.

“The Sower”

A Sower one day went forth to sow;
His seed was the word of life,
The field that He sowed was the world of men
Where the briars of sin grow rife.
What seed by the wayside chanced to fall
The birds of the air devoured,
And that which fell in the barren soil
In the heat of the day expired.
‘Mid thorns and tares some grew for a time,
Tho’ weakened, and warped, and lean,
But harvest time found them withered and dead
For fruitless their growing had been.
But the seed that fell in the fertile soil
Bore fruit, some an hundred fold;
And the heart of the Master sang for joy
As He garnered His sheaves of gold.
In your heart, my friend, the seed is sown;
Oh, what will the harvest be,
A blackened field at the harvest time,
Or the joys of eternity?
Oh, think, dear friend, of the harvest time—
It may be tonight for you—
Will you yield your heart to the Master’s call?
The Saviour—is speaking—to you!   (James G. Arcus, Courtesy Moody Monthly.)

Every day we want to cultivate our heart.  Our heart is like soil. We want to have good and noble hearts, as well as be able to produce fruit in our lives.  How do we keep our hearts?  We till our heart-soil with praise and prayer.  We read His word to receive the seed and then we cultivate that seed with worship, gathering with other believers, giving, serving, and walking our lives with patience knowing that God is at work in our lives!  Today my friend, let’s cultivate our hearts!  Let’s clear out the thorns, pull up the roots, and till the soil so that our hearts are ready.  Let’s stay in His presence and know that as a good farmer tends to his crops, we too should tend daily to our hearts!

Pray This…

Lord Jesus, Today, I want to learn to KEEP my heart. I ask You to cultivate in me a noble and good heart. Just like a good farmer that tends to his fields, I will tend to my heart so that my heart is clear of any thorns, well watered, not trampled, ready and willing! I determine today to praise and to pray so that the soil of my heart is tilled and turned over and ready for Your word in my life! may I bear fruit and show forth your glory!IN JESUS NAME! AMEN!

Are you keeping up with devotions?

  1. Bible Reading (Devos) (5 times / week)
  2. Private Prayer (5 times / week)
  3. Private Worship (5 times / week)
  4. Journaling  (2-3 times / week)
  5. Supplemental Reading (2-3 times / week)