PREPARING OUR HEARTS FOR HARVEST
Matthew 12:35 (NKJV) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
- GOOD – Empowered by God in life, through faith.
- EVIL – Toiling alone in misery, through distrust.
- TREASURE – The thoughts we store up in our heart.
Mark 4:13-20 (TPT) [Jesus] said to them [his disciples], “If you don’t understand this parable, how will you understand any parable? Let me explain: The farmer sows the Word as seed, and what falls on the beaten path represents those who hear the Word, but immediately Satan appears and snatches it from their hearts. The seed sown on gravel represents those who hear the Word and receive it joyfully, but because their hearts fail to sink a deep root into the Word, they don’t endure for long. For when trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word, they immediately wilt and fall away. And the seed sown among thorns represents those who hear the Word, but they allow the cares of this life and the seduction of wealth and the desires for other things to crowd out and choke the Word so that it produces nothing. But the seed sown on good soil represents those who open their hearts to receive the Word and their lives bear good fruit—some yield a harvest of thirty, sixty, even one hundred times more than was sown!”
There are 4 types of ground (or heart conditions):
1. The Path
A hardened/unbelieving heart. It hears, questions, doubts, and closes. Open your heart up to new possibilities.
2 Corinthians 6:13 (NOLI) Open your hearts to me, my children, as I open my heart to you.
Hebrews 4:2 (TPT) For we have heard the good news of deliverance just as they did, yet they didn’t join their faith with the Word. Instead, what they heard didn’t affect them deeply, for they doubted.
Hebrews 3:12-13 (TPT) So search your hearts every day, my brothers and sisters, and make sure that none of you has evil or unbelief hiding within you. For it will lead you astray, and make you unresponsive to the living God. This is the time to encourage each other to never be stubborn or hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
2. The Gravel
A cluttered/unforgiving heart. It hears and receives until there is trouble. Then the clutter of their heart causes them to fall away.
1 Timothy 2:8 (GREBER) It is my wish that wherever men meet for worship, the hands that they lift in prayer shall be clean and their hearts free from the blemish of strife and contention.
Mark 4:17 (TPT) . . . their hearts fail to sink a deep root into the Word.
Ephesians 3:17-18 (NIV) I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
3. The Thorns
A preoccupied/unsurrendered heart. This kind of heart is distracted with it’s own desires. It’s not mindful of the things above, so it can’t access them.
Colossians 3:1 (Barclay) If then you have been raised to life with Christ, your heart must be set on the great realities of that heavenly sphere, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
4. The Good Ground
- It’s not hardened. It’s open and believes!
- It’s not cluttered. It repents and forgives!
- It’s not preoccupied. It’s focused and surrendered!
1 Corinthians 11:28 (AMP) Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
If we cultivate a heart of love, faith, and forgiveness, and if we guard our heart will all diligence, we become the Good Ground. God’s Word will produce harvests in our life. Some harvests will give us thirty, some sixty, and some one hundred fold returns.