The word of God pulls back the curtain on a dimension that we have never experienced. It exposes us to thoughts and ways that are radically different from ours (Isaiah 55:8). It both shocks and soothes. It pushes us out of the familiar and into the unknown. If that were not so, there would have been no need for it. It probes us to our very depths and reveals what is there.
The word passes from eyes and ears into our hearts and discloses what we are really made of. It takes a bit of effort to put it all together, and some will never accomplish that. It remains incomprehensible to them, and that places them in jeopardy. The devil preys on them, standing ready to pounce on the vulnerable. Quickly, he snatches the word and flees (Matt. 13:19), leaving them untouched by the hands of God.
For some it is a joyous occasion when they first hear the message. The ideas of forgiveness and fellowship thrill their soul. They immediately embrace the newness of it all, but then reality begins to crash in. They are superficial and that never makes for longevity. Times will get hard. Challenges will come. It is not all sunshine and rainbows. There are cloudy, rainy days. Ridicule and hateful words test their substance, and their inadequate root system cannot take it. A promising disciple becomes a footnote in the church’s history. As quickly as they came they are gone, unmasking just how shallow their hearts are (Matt. 13:20-21).
The world is a serious competitor for space within our hearts. Repentance is tough. We are consistently faced with the culture of our times. Jesus said not to worry, but we do. The world says we must meet their standards. The Lord says we must not. Material things entice us. We are seduced into a system at odds with God’s. Determination withers. The word becomes useless (Matt.13:22). So do we. Divided loyalties are impossible. Too much stuff chokes our souls to death.
Good hearts are rare. If the parable-of-the-sower statistics hold absolutely, they indicate that one of four will qualify. That makes them a minority. The battle rages within us all for control. From misunderstanding to superficiality to misplaced values; we each have our individual struggle. Good hearts do not happen by accident. They are the result of intention, education and application. The end result is a life that is what the Lord wants it to be, having been molded by the eternal principles that only the word of God can give us.
Call to Praise Scripture: Revelation 20:11-15
His Word on it: Revelation 20:10
Sermon: “A Heartbeat From Hell”