A Heart Ready to Receive

Lysa TerKeurst

Day: 12 | Plan: Luke

Today’s Reading: Luke 8

Luke 8:15 (NIV) But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

It has been God’s plan from the very beginning to reveal Himself, His activity and the reality of His presence to us. And He loves to do so in everyday ways. He delights in giving us glimpses of the divine in the midst of the mundane.

That’s exactly what we find Him doing in our passage today.

In Luke 8, Jesus is teaching the crowd pressing in around Him using a parable. Parables are stories that draw on everyday life and everyday things to reveal the mysteries of God.

At first glance, this particular parable seems like a simple story about a farmer scattering a handful of seeds. Some seeds take root. Others don’t. I can’t help but wonder how many of the people listening are confused. Why is someone known to be a miracle worker giving us lessons on agriculture?

But the disciples know there is more to Jesus’ words. They know they need to press in. To dig a little deeper.

When they ask Jesus to explain the parable’s meaning, He tells them the seed is the Word of God and the soil is the heart of man. And whether or not the truth of God’s Word can produce growth and godliness in a person’s life will always depend on the condition of the heart listening.

A heart hardened to the things of God?

Truth sown will easily be snatched away and forgotten.

A heart that hears but never lets the Word sink in deep?

Truth’s roots will be too shallow to ever produce a harvest.

A heart overly concerned with the things of this world?

Truth will be choked out and never reach maturity.

But a heart that is humble and fertile?

This is a heart where truth can flourish. A fact confirmed by our key verse: “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop” (Luke 8:15).

I love the progression we see at the end of this verse. It details exactly what I want.

I want Jesus’ message to fall on a heart that is humble and fertile enough to:

Receive God’s Word …
Retain God’s instruction and …
Reflect God’s character in both my actions and reactions.

When I stop to really think about this, I feel challenged to take a closer look at my own everyday life.

What kind of crop is God’s Word producing in me? Am I a woman who displays godly character no matter who I am interacting with? Do I handle daily frustrations in a way that reflects a heart that loves the Lord?

Jesus’ parable holds such a beautiful and needed reminder for us all. If we want it to be obvious to the world we have spent time with Jesus, we have to do more than simply sit down and read His words. We must choose to receive them. And even more importantly, we must live them—meaning we are humble enough to allow His Word to interrupt us, rearrange us and redirect us. All throughout our days.

Let’s remember when we sit down with His Word each day to pay attention—listening to what He is saying with hearts ready to receive. (Proverbs 4:20b-22) And let’s take time to savor His words to us—letting them sink in fully and take root deeply. (Proverbs 2:1-3,9)

Because we don’t want to merely be hearers of the Word. (James 1:22) We want to receive God’s Word. We want to retain His Word. And we want to be people who reflect Him in word and deed.

People who have not only spent time with Jesus but are being changed by Him through and through.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I don’t ever want to treat sitting down with You as one more thing on my checklist. I want to approach You with a heart that is humble and expectant. And I want a life that is radically changed because of Your living and active Word growing deep inside of me. May Your words and Your truth seep into every plan I make and every thought I think today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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