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From those who don’t have an honest and good heart

Are you a good listener? Do you have ears to hear?

Consider Lk 8:11-15.

Lk 8:11-15 "Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the road are those 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 those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

The seed is the God’s truth. God only plants seeds; He doesn’t plant trees. You have to provide good soil, but He’ll take care of the watering and sunlight and the miracle of growth.

There is a proper way to receive God’s truth so that it bears fruit in you. That is, the truth becomes real to you and you practice it and become a light to others.

How do you receive this truth?

You see, you can hear the truth on Sunday morning and then forget all about it. In that case, it has fallen on the roadside and the devil has succeeded in taking it away from you.

Or you can receive it with joy but not really take pains to make it real in your life. When tested in the area of that truth you don’t apply that truth. In such a case, the truth has fallen on rocky soil.

Or you can receive it but it does no good to you because your life is too crowded with worries and riches and the pleasures of this life. Too much TV, too much partying, too much sports, too much work, too much worrying about keeping your house and yard spic and span – these things can trap you into not applying the word of God in your life.

Or you can receive the word with an honest and good heart. The honest heart acknowledges the need to apply the word and the good heart is diligent to apply the word repeatedly. Then, you internalize it and it bears fruit in you and you become more like Christ. And then, when God sees that you have made good use of the seed He planted in you, He gives you more seed – more knowledge of God’s truth.

Here is what Jesus said next. Now people don’t usually connect this next part with the parable of the sower and its interpretation, but it is very enlightening to do so.

Lk 8:16-18 16 "No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."

His point? When God plants His seed in you it is as if He’s lighting a lamp. He’s not doing it so that nothing can come out of it but so that people can see your light and be drawn to Him. For this reason, God is willing to really teach you His word and disclose all its secrets to you, but He must find you a willing and enthusiastic student. You must listen effectively. This is because, if you don’t you won’t get more seed, and even the seed you received will be taken away from you.

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