Have you ever wondered why a lot of people that you talk to are not interested in Jesus or what the Bible says about any given subject? They just seem cold and hard towards the gospel, whether their lives are falling apart or going well. Why is that?
What about those that you have seen get excited about Jesus when you introduced them to him and they immediately said yes to repeating the sinner’s prayer? They were ready to go and tell anyone who would listen about their experience. And then a short time later they were back to living like they had never responded to Jesus. What happened?
The same goes for those who seem to have made a solid decision to follow Christ. They attend church regularly, get into a small group, take on a ministry role and give their money to God’s work. And then somewhere along the line you notice that they aren’t at church as often and they have pulled back from serving and group involvement. And then you watch as some of these people just disappear and disengage from the life and ministry of any church. How can that be?
There are many people, of course, that do stay connected to Christ and his church over the long term. They seem to have a faith in God that is unshakeable, their lives appear to be full of joy and blessing and they constantly influence others to follow Jesus. What’s the difference between this group and the others? Why do they flourish spiritually while so many others flounder?
One of the major differences is the condition of the hearts of all these people. The ones who prosper spiritually and in life generally, are those who feed their hearts solid food every day. They have prepared themselves to receive God’s word and let it transform them daily. They identify the things that can hinder the word from taking root in them and eliminate those impediments from their lives. The result is that these folks see incredible returns in what is produced in them by God’s word.
Read Luke 8:4-15 (parallel passages in Matthew 13:1-23 and Mark 4:1-20 with a few extra details if you have time) over the next few days. Write down your observations about what Jesus is teaching concerning why some people grow spiritually while others don’t. Do a self-diagnosis using your insights to make sure that your heart is healthy.
This Sunday I am continuing our 5-part series on Life Transformation – The Reality of Daily Discipleship. I want you to see how important it is to take care of your heart, the inner you. A healthy spiritual heart will promote a fulfilling and productive life and positively impact the lives around it.