Thursday, June 4, 2020

The Garden of the Heart

The Garden of the Heart 

“But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15 

At any time, the receptiveness of your heart will determine your response to God's Word (Luke 8:5–18). If your heart is like the trampled ground, hardened by the sin of bitterness and unforgiveness, you will be unable to accept a message from God. Though you hear the words of the message, you will remain unchanged. If your heart is like the shallow soil on top of a rock, you will accept God's Word in your mind, but the truth will not penetrate your heart to make a difference in your actions. A heart like thorny soil is a life that is distracted by the cares of the world; the pursuit of earthly pleasures prevents God's Word from taking hold and producing righteousness. The heart that is like good soil receives a word from God, applies it, and brings forth fruit in due time. This is the heart that Jesus desires in us, for the fruit will be a Christlike life. Any time you hear a word from God, whether through Bible reading, prayer, or worship, the way you respond will depend on how you have cultivated your heart (Hos. 10:12). How do you develop a heart that is like good soil? Repent of any bitterness, anger, or unforgiveness. Meditate on God's Word until it enters deep into your heart and not just your mind. Let Him bring His word into reality in your life (Gal. 6:9). See that you don’t devote all of your energy to worldly concerns, rather than to pursuing your relationship with God. The condition of your heart will vary, depending on how you cultivate it. If it was receptive to a word from God yesterday, this does not guarantee it is receptive today. Daily prepare your heart for the word God has for you! - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

The topic of this and the title of Blackaby's book appear to come together. 

How important in your day is cultivating your heart before God?  Granted life happens and work and all that.  But what about the rest of your day?  

My grandparents on both sides used to tend their own gardens.  It takes time, energy and effort to tend them. To look after them.  Pests try to take the work of your hands.  Disease can strike that needs attention.  Weather can be cruel. 

Not much difference between that and your heart.  We live in a precarious world. So much is going on that people don't see or realize that the end result is control of your heart. 

It's about souls. It's not about rights. It's about who you really believe in.  In the Bible it's clear that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.  It's something more. It's over where you will spend eternity.  

Notice that at the time of the return in the parables that there is a destination for both the wheat and the tares.  Nothing is left in the ground.  

You are either cultivating your heart for God or not.  Nothing else.  You are either growing in Christ or not.  

Most do not get or understand that monumental efforts in play in the day in which we live to control how we think, what we think and why we think.  It's disguised as concern by the mainstream media and even governments.  It's disguised as vanity.  It's disguised as playing your heart strings due to images on television about those less fortunate. 
People are even getting convinced that because of a few who weren't arrested that it's ok to terrorize others...because that's how the world sees things. That's not how God sees things. 

Reread the end of the Gospels. Of the Last Supper. Of what Jesus says of Himself and the Father.  Look deep into it. He offers a peace the world does not know.  Look at the purported peace the world is trying to offer.  To get it means giving in to their demands and controls.  To get the peace Christ offers goes within.  To your heart.  To your soul.  The world's is external the Lord's is internal.  But you only get it from cultivating your relationship with Jesus. 

You seek peace but do not find it because you look to the things of the world to find it.  

Where is your walk with Jesus?  Is it confined to when you remember to pray over your food?  Is it confined to maybe when life gets you down?  What kind of prayer life do you have?  You are the only one who can confine your relationship.  Jesus is always there.  The Holy Spirit is always there.  Only you can tell them to be quiet or can tell them you know more than them.  Only you can ignore them. 

Only you can do more in your relationship with Jesus.  Look at His earthly life. Jesus was always talking to His Father.  It was like breathing to Him. 

If you really want a cultivated heart you need less time with the world and more time with Jesus.  On a few occasions Jesus took the Disciples away from what was going on in the world to be with them because that was what they needed to grow. 

You are no different...neither am I. 

Get out your gardening tools and spend time with Jesus today.  The world will still be the world but what you do with your heart lasts for eternity. 

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