But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Matthew 13:22
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
This parable of the sower reveals the place of the heart whenever God’s Word is taught. It is the heart that receives the Word; consequently, the condition of your heart will determine how much benefit you get from the Word.
As revealed in the parable, if you receive the Word casually and not meditate or mix it with faith, the enemy can easily snatch it away from your heart. Also, if you are easily moved, and distracted by things of the world, it will be impossible for your heart to retain the Word that was sown in it because there are other ‘roots’ competing with the root of the word, making growth impossible. Furthermore, if your heart is filled with carnal cares and the deceitfulness of riches, whenever the Word is sown there, these overpowering elements will choke the Word from growing and kill it before it can produce the expected harvest for you. No wonder Proverbs 4:23 admonishes us to keep our hearts with all diligence, for out the heart are the issues of life – the things that matter in life.
Therefore, to live and profit by the Word, you must guard your heart jealously from cares, distractions, and anything that corrupts; also, prayerfully resist the devil from stealing the Word which is planted in your heart. Take note of this truth in our text, only those whose hearts were good (free of clutter) were able to understand the Word, and thus could produce fruits in differing capacities. The choice is yours to make – you can make your heart good & fertile by being:
* Attentive: Give your ears and heart to the Word.
* Receptive: Receive God’s Word with meekness and hunger.
* Retentive: Commit to retain God’s Word in your heart by meditation.
* Productive: Practice the Word until it ultimately produces fruits in your life.
When your heart is attentive, receptive and retains the Word of God, it becomes productive. On the other hand, if you lose the things you have heard, you lose the privilege to profit by them. So, take heed and pay attention to the matters in your heart.
Reflect and write down practical things you can do to pay more attention to the Word, receive it hungrily, and meditate on it until it produces the right harvest for you. Then prayerfully commit your plans to God and ask Him to help you follow through with it.