I had expected a bountiful garden — but it wasn’t looking too healthy. The rain had come, that wasn’t the problem. It was the soil. The sandy earth needed enriching, and I hadn’t put anything into it. The spruce trees surrounding the garden had pulled much of the moisture to their roots, and their acidic needles created an environment that stunted growth. The seeds I planted had been good, but the soil lacked nutrients.

As I looked on my garden, I couldn’t help but see a spiritual parallel. God’s Word is the seed that comes into our lives. We know that He says He loves us unconditionally, that He will be our strength when we are weak. We know His grace and wisdom will be there to draw on when we need it.

The seed is good, but we still can find ourselves reacting throughout our day in ways that don’t reflect its goodness.

That’s why God tells us to tend the soil of our hearts. If we aren’t careful, the cares and worries of this world can create an acidic environment that stunts the seeds of God’s Word.

A closed mind allows the enemy of our souls to steal the seeds that bounce off the hard ground we allow in our hearts.

Then there are seeds that sprout but don’t take root and wither away. The appeal of God’s help and activity in our lives is attractive, but when trusting becomes hard, the seed withers.

Some seeds are simply choked out by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures; we don’t let God’s truths become part of who we are. It’s easy to read God’s Word or listen to a sermon and think, “That’s really good,” but forget to apply it as soon as we walk away.

Let’s allow God’s Word to take root in our lives and change us so that we produce a bountiful crop of love and peace and joy — that feeds others, too.

Dear God, sometimes I don’t pay attention to the soil of my heart. I let the seeds of Your Word bounce away. Today I ask that You would help me to keep my heart soft and not let it get hardened by events and people in my life. Keep me from a shallowness that lets go of what You say when the moment is tough. Help me to be careful not to let the worries of the world choke out Your Word and Your work in my life. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, help me think on Your Word, apply it to my life, and keep my heart soft. I know it is only Your crop in my life that truly brings peace and satisfaction. Thank You Jesus. I pray in Your name, amen.

Throughout This Day: Consider the soil of your heart for a moment right now.

Is it hard? Have you allowed a crusty barrier to exist between you and God? Is it shallow? Do hard circumstances cause your faith to falter easily? Is it choked out by the cares of this world? Does busyness keep God’s Word from taking root in your life? Determine today to give His Word a greater priority in your life. Let it become part of who you are by letting it seep into your very nature by His power.

Tags: Luke 8 spiritual growth