The Infested Heart And The Fertile Heart

The Infested Heart And The Fertile Heart

Others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
–Matthew 13:8

The third kind of soil Jesus talked about in Matthew 13 was the weed-infested soil. Verse 7 says, “Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.” Underneath the soil in many places was a vast network of weeds. When a seed fell on this weed-infested soil, the seed would implant itself and start to grow, but the weeds that had been there much longer would overtake the roots and strangle the life out of the plant.

This soil represents the infested heart. Look at verse 22: “The one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” If your heart is infested, you are going to have a hard time concentrating on the Scripture passage you are reading or the sermon you hear on Sunday. Instead, you are thinking about your to-do list, your finances, or that meeting you have the next day. You are distracted by all these things, and the Word cannot really take root because spiritual life is being strangled out by the worries of this world.

There was a fourth kind of soil, and that was the good soil, which represents the fertile heart that is ready to receive the Word of God: “Others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. . . . This is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty” (vv. 8, 23). This is the only soil that actually brings forth fruit.

In his book on parables, Warren Wiersbe made it clear that none of the first three conditions of the human heart–the impenetrable heart, the shallow heart, and the infested heart–represent someone who is genuinely saved. He wrote, “The proof of salvation is not listening to the Word, or having a quick emotional response to the Word, or even cultivating the Word so that it grows life. The proof of salvation is fruit, for as Christ said, ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’”

What kind of fruit? A love for God. A sincere desire to obey God in every part of your life. The fruit of the spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23: love, peace, patience, self-control. Not every Christian produces the same amount of fruit–as Jesus said, “some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” But where there is life, there is fruit. Where there is no fruit, there is no life.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Matters Of The Heart” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Warren W. Wiersbe, “Windows on the Parables” (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 1984), 27.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org