Conditions of the Heart

Jesus distinguished the state of people’s hearts in receiving God’s Word, as seed sown….in the following way. A sower goes out to plant his seed….

The seed falls sometimes onto the roadside, or onto where mostly rocks are found. At times, it falls among thorns; but, at other times, it falls on the good ground.

So those hearts considered as “the roadside,” hear the Word but the devil snatches it away. Therefore, as it’s sown, we must pray that people really “hear” what God has to say.

Some do hear it with joy, (“rocky soil”) but their grasp of the gospel isn’t of great duration….for in time of temptation or trial, their belief has no depth for either situation.

The seed that’s fallen among thorns exemplifies those who let other things…such as cares, riches, or pleasures of life choke the Word, and they lose the benefits it brings.

But when the Word falls onto good ground–these are hearts where it will endure…to bring about fruit that will last. Their hearts are earnest and pure.

So help us, Lord, daily, to attend to Your Word, thereby giving it firmer root…and then find Your opportunities to serve, with Your love, bringing forth precious fruit.

P. A. Oltrogge


…shared in best detail by Jesus in Luke 8:4-15 NASB (also in Matthew 13 and Mark 4)

Now when a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and when it came up, it withered away because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. And yet other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as much.” As He said these things, He would call out, “The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Now His disciples began asking Him what this parable meant. And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest they are told in parables, so that while seeing they may not see, and while hearing they may not understand.”

“Now this is the parable: the seed is the word of God. And those beside the road are the ones who have heard, then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and yet these do not have a firm root; they believe for a while, and in a time of temptation they fall away. And the seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked by worries, riches, and pleasures of this life, and they bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and virtuous heart, and hold it firmly, and produce fruit with perseverance.

And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. Acts 16:13-14

My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:20-23

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