The Way DAY 39 - The Good Heart

DAY 39 - The Good Heart

Luke 8:11-18

Why do some people welcome the gospel while others reject it?

In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus says that the heart makes the difference. “Heart” is mentioned twice, in v.12 an v.15. Jesus says these have “a noble and good heart.” That means they’ve got an honest openness to Jesus, to hearing him and doing what he says. Just a few verses down, Jesus says his real family “are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice” (Lk 8:21). They also “retain” (v.15) this openness. They protect their hearts and the gospel planted there over the longhaul. 

We all know people closed off from listening to someone else. We know it feels like when we close up from someone. We don’t give them the benefit of the doubt, don’t listen to understand, and don’t argue in good faith. Good soil for the gospel has a genuine openness to Jesus. Such a heart bears gospel fruit, inner and outer change aligned with the Way of Jesus.

This is good information but what do we do with it? Jesus says in v.18, “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.” Remember back in v.8 he also said that everyone should listen. Our heart, not our ears, is the organ of true hearing. 

Others may miss the gospel because of spiritual attack, suffering, or success but the best thing you can do is make sure that YOU listen well. Focus on keeping your own heart healthy. Refuse to have a hard heart. Instead, protect your heart, making sure it’s open and receptive to Jesus. After all, you can’t control others. The only heart that’s yours to control is yours. You can sow the seed. You can talk about Jesus but you walking the Way of Jesus gives your words power. But to walk the Way, YOUR heart has to be open to Jesus. And that’s the only heart you control. The only heart that’s yours is yours, so how’s your heart?

How do you evaluate the condition of your heart in relation to your faith in Jesus? What practices do you employ to keep your heart open and receptive to God's Word?

Lord, your word warns against a hard heart. I want a heart open and receptive to you. Come, Holy Spirit, and fill me up again. Soften my heart. Amen.

Posted in