God’s word is powerful.
It has the power to stir our hearts and change our lives.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:10-11 (emphasis mine)
Yes, God has purpose for His words, and His purpose will indeed be met.
I think it no coincidence for the words that follow this declaration….
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown…” Isaiah 55:12-13
Might that be part of His purpose? Yes, my friends, I think so. In the year 2016, we know even more of God’s word than the people of Isaiah’s time–we’ve seen the Christ! We know the rest of the story. As Christians, we know that God’s word should lead us to joy, peace, and worship. We do not always receive it that way though. Jesus knew this and he gave us a great lesson in Matthew 13 to help us understand the role we play in receiving God’s word.
Hearts of Good Soil Plus Other Types
A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, the seed fell among several different situations:
- Seed fell on the path, and was eaten up by birds.
- Seed fell on rocky places without much soil. These seeds sprouted but had no room to take root with such shallow soil, and s0 were scorched and withered by the sun.
- Seed fell among thorns, which choked the plants as they grew.
- Seed fell on good soil, and produced a crop even greater than what was sown.
Jesus ended this with the moral of the story being, “He who has ears, let him hear.”
Of course, the disciples wanted more explanation. (I’m glad they did because I appreciate the further details Jesus gave them in response!)
- Seed on the path — When anyone hears God’s word but does not understand it. The evil one comes and snatches what was sown in his heart.
- Seed on the rocky places — The man who hears the word and at first receives it in joy but doesn’t have any root. Then when persecution and hard times come, he quickly falls away.
- Seed among the thorns — The man who hears God’s word, but the worries of his life and deceitfulness of wealth choke him and he is unfruitful.
- Seed on good soil — The man who hears AND understands God’s word. He is fruitful and produces a crop yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.
A Mixture of Soils
As a I look at these different spots for the seed to go, I know there have been times in my life where I’ve been in all of those places. Times when my lack of understanding drew me further away from truth, or caused my devotion to give way when temptation came upon me. There have also been times when I didn’t understand the greater picture of God’s word, and the troubles of life spoke louder than the peaceful and joyful truth. All of that comes from not truly understanding God’s word.
I can not help but think of Isaiah 52:12-13 (above) as I reflect on the seed sown on good soil. When we open our mind and heart to hearing and understanding God’s word we will be full of purpose, joy, and peace. Our lives will be productive in glorifying God, unlike the seed on the rocky places or the seed among the thorns.
The farmer sowed seed for a purpose: to produce a plentiful crop. Only the good soil was able to fulfill that purpose. In the same way, God has an intended purpose for us, but unless our hearts are like the good soil we won’t be able to fulfill it.
What type of soil are you in right now?
Are you prepared to hear and understand all God’s word has to offer you?
Hearing and understanding God’s Word will help us find joy and peace, and when our heart is in the right place, it will also compel us to be fruitful believers.
His Word gives us purpose.
Oh, how I long to be good soil. I want my life to echo Paul’s cry in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “His grace to me was not without effect.” I want to not just hear God’s word but understand it and live it out.
You are so wonderful to us. Thank you for giving us your Word! Help us to have hearts of good soil–to truly hear and understand your Word so that we might fulfill your purpose for us. Help us to find joy and peace in your Word, and may that stir us to worship and to live fruitful lives for your glory!
It’s in the name of Jesus Christ we pray,