Show me Jesus, Father, and show others the Jesus in me.
My sister has worked for two different printing companies, handling several different magazines. One of the periodicals for which she used to manage the press plate set up was called “Progressive Farmer.” Suppose this passage in Mark’s fourth chapter had its own version of a magazine. Let’s call it “Faithful Farmer,” and this issue would include the first of three devo-prayer “articles” in a series called the Kingdom Seeds:
FAITHFUL FARMER – Issue 1 Vol. 1, Article 1
Soil Condition Brings a Heart Ripened
When You were telling this parable of the sower to Your audience back then, Lord, they had no clue what a John Deere was, let alone any kind of implement that’s pulled behind such a machine. Maybe they could picture a John Oxen 😉 or something, but a lot of the farm planting would’ve been done with a simple sack of grain hung on a shoulder and flung by hand to the soil all around. Since the farmer had no control over where it landed, he’d sow generously all around, hoping for seed to fall where it could grow best.
You described four kinds of soil. I’ve often heard this considered to be describing four different kinds of people. But, what if it’s also portraying four different kinds of areas in my heart? Perhaps in one area I have good soil, but in another area it’s pretty thorny. Then, some of Your Word that You’ve sown in my heart by various means would grow and flourish, while other bits would be growing but getting choked out. Some parts of my heart may receive the seed of Your Word quickly, but the rocky soil doesn’t let it take root and it falls away. Or, parts of my heart may be like a path, with the seed just sitting there doing nothing, nothing being done with, and along comes the enemy to snatch it away.
But I want all the soil of my heart to be good soil. To use the words of the psalmists as my own prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Ps 139:23-24 NLT). “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps 51:10 NLT) “… give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart…” (Ps 86:11-12 NIV).
You alone, my Creator and Sustainer, can change the condition of my heart. Check all the areas of soil and make them good … like You said You’d do in Your people long ago when they sought You: “And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, so they will obey My laws and regulations. Then they will truly be My people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20 NLT). “And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put My Spirit in you so you will obey My laws and do whatever I command” (Ezek 36:26-27 NLT).
Do that in me, Lord. Make it ALL good as You keep shaping me to be just like Jesus! Amen.