I picked up a gardening book the other day and got some good advice: Take care of the soil, and don’t worry about the plants. If the soil is good, the seed will take root and grow.”
In the parable of the sower in Mark 4, Jesus spoke of the importance of “good ground” (or good soil). He defined good soil as referring to those who “hear” God’s Word, “accept it,” and “bear fruit” (v.20). If we keep our heart soft and receptive, God’s Word will take root, grow, and produce fruit.
In gardening, life is in the seed. Under the right conditions, it will grow until it reaches maturity and produces fruit. Similarly, if the seed of the Word is planted in the good soil of a receptive heart, it will grow until the character of Jesus is seen.
For the Christian, the power of the spiritual life comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit. As we open our heart to the Word with an eagerness to obey it, the Spirit causes us to grow and bear fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).
We can’t make ourselves grow, any more than we can force growth from the seeds in our gardens. But we can tend the soil, keeping our hearts soft, receptive, and obedient to God’s Word. Then we will yield the fruit of righteousness.
What kind of soil are you?
Lord, I would be soil in which You can plant
Your Word with its promise of fruit;
I want to be open to You every day,
So what You have planted takes root. —Hess
A heart open to God is soil in which the seed of His Word can flourish.