Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hardness of Heart

The sin of our day and age is not external, such as drunkeness, wantoness and other forms of immorality, for these are but symptoms of a far graver transgression. Our sin is hardness of heart: a completely fallow and unproductive ground where the seed of God's Word cannot grow. And do not think that I am just referring to the world and the people who live in darkness (yes, it includes them), but this disease has found its way into the Church, where now much is barren, and most everywhere you look is dry and sterile.

The parable of the sower and the seed is not solely applicable to the saving Word in the heart of sinners. Jesus simply states, "The seed is the Word of God." (Luke 8:11) Therefore all that is sown requires good soil to grow, whether that be the simple truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ unto salvation or the numerous applications by which the Church must function. For it is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4) We cannot live without our hearts being continually good soil.

If farmers neglected their fields mankind would starve to death! Likewise, if people neglect their hearts, they will starve to death in the spirit! The Word of God falling on a hard heart will have little to no effect. So boast not in how much you read or know the Word, but examine your heart and see if you are able to receive the Word and produce a crop with what is sown.

I believe this is one of the greatest grievances of God's Spirit. We have no shortage of Bibles and no shortage of Bible preaching. We all know the verses; we've heard the same Scriptures over and over and over again. The real question is: Are we changed by them? Do we allow the seed to grow within us, or is it continually choked by the weeds, and extinguished by the hardened rocks, or eaten up by the birds? Have we the roots to endure the time consuming process of drinking in the water and feeding on the sun, until we produce a crop that demonstrates the power and glory of God in our lives?

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)

It is not the time to be deceived. The world is in such a condition that they are crying out for a true demonstration of God's love and power. The world is lost, truly lost in a fog, and there is no lighthouse for them to turn to. Come Church! Let God's Word shine in you!

To the unbelieving: "Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." (Hebrews 4:7) Believe the good news and be set free from condemnation.

To the Church: "Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD." (Hosea 10:12) Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, that we may bear fruit for a starving world.


Micah and Katie said...

Yes, good stuff Eli. Also, for any wondering how you can start to break up the ground, my Grampa has a cool 10 point article called "Hidden Treasures" that deals with the treasures in the Bible. Point 5 is really cool, he says that each day when you read the Bible, you should try to write down one thing that you can practically put into practice. As Eli said, it's not just about reading, but about doing. The Bible comes to life when we do it. God Bless Eli! Micah

kristy said...

Dear Lord, til up the soil of the Church, pour your Spirit like rain and revive us agian!
Thy Kingdom come - Amen