I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
What is the significance of Jesus’ parable of the four soils for us? First, we are to share God’s Word with others. Remember, our job is not to manufacture the message; our job is simply to spread the message.
Sometimes people ask me, “Pastor, how do you feel when you give an invitation at the end of church service and nobody comes forward? You must just feel awful.” Not really. Of course I’m always sorry when people don’t respond to the truth of God’s Word. But I am not responsible for their response. My job is simply to spread the message. The response is between the listener and God. And that is true for you as well. You may know someone who is not yet a Christian. You know you need to share the gospel with them, but perhaps you’re hesitant to do so because you are not sure how they will respond. Whether they accept it or reject the gospel is not your responsibility. Your responsibility is simply to share the truth. The condition of their heart will determine the response. Maybe you know a fellow Christian who is living apart from God. There is a word of correction you need to share with them from God’s Word. But you are hesitant because you do not know how they will respond. You are not responsible for the response; you are only responsible to share the truth.
The second application of this parable is for us to listen to the Word of God. Some of you reading these words have heard the message of salvation over and over again. Yet you have not responded. Remember, it is possible to harden your heart against God so that you cannot receive the truth of His Word. Or perhaps there was a time years ago when you received the message and were excited about your relationship with God. But your lack of spiritual foundation or the concerns of this world have strangled out the love you once had for God. You are totally focused on this world instead of on the next one.
What can you do to change the condition of your heart? Absolutely nothing. You cannot change the condition of your heart. But God can. And He promises to do so if you will ask Him. Listen to His words through the prophet Ezekiel: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances” (Ezekiel 36:26–27).
Whether your heart is hard or shallow or infested by the worries of this world, God can change your heart today. He’ll change your heart if you’ll ask Him to.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Matters of the Heart,” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.