Faith & Insight: Keep the soil of your heart healthy
For the Nevada Appeal
“By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples,” Jesus said in John 15:8 (English Standard Version).
Good soil always bears fruit. If the seed of the gospel is sown into a person’s heart and it falls on good soil, it will always bear fruit. When the gospel is planted in the heart of a good soil person, it cannot help but to do anything other than bear more seed.
If you are good soil, how can you keep the soil of your heart healthy? What keeps rocks and weeds out of the heart of a good-soil believer?
Spend time working the soil of your heart. If you are going to grow and produce abundant fruit as a believer, you have to make sure that your heart is healthy. You have to feed your soul. You have to keep the soil of your heart healthy with the Word of God. Your heart has got to be saturated in God’s Word. You have to make the Word of God your delight – you have to meditate on it and when you do – the Bible promises that “you will be like a tree planted by streams of water that yields it fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither.”
Besides not reading the Word of God and obeying it, I believe the second reason why good-soil believers become weak is that they allow rocks and weeds to get into their hearts through unforgiveness and bitterness. There are some believers who do not even know they are bitter. If you were to challenge them about their bitterness they would become offended.
They even take communion with no thought at all. Some believers have convinced themselves that they are even spiritually superior and righteously exclude themselves from believers. There is an arrogance that sets in over them because of the weeds and rocks of bitterness that exists hidden in the soil of their heart.
Hebrews 12:15 (ESV), “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”
Is there a hint of bitterness in your life? Are you willing to receive the rebuke of someone else who lovingly confronts you and points such out to you? When there is good soil in your heart, it cannot help but to produce an abundant crop and it cannot help but to bless others.
Let us remember the words of the great Puritan Pastor Jonathan Edwards “As one matures, one’s love for God and His creation spills over into the lives of others, just as a maturing plant or tree stretches across an ever widening distance and shelters it. The believer who seeks to live for God cannot ultimately avoid blessing others.”
• Ben Fleming is the pastor of Silver Hills Community Church.