Four Soils of the Human Heart

The Seed
The Word of God
Sown into the sinful human heart

The sower proclaims the Word of God
Christ as Lord
Shares the Gospel message

The hard heart
Unreceptive to the Word
The seed cannot penetrate
The soil of the hardened human heart
Ears hear, but the words are not understood
Soon the evil one will snatch away what was sown

Dare I say
We all were born with a hard heart
Alive to sin and dead to God

The superficial heart
Soil that looks good at first glance
But lying beneath is a bedrock of stone
Seed is sown and springs up ever so quickly
Soon it will wither and die under the sun’s scorching heat
Roots cannot grow deep nor penetrate a heart of stone

A heart preoccupied
Good soil, polluted with weeds and thorns
Rob good seed of nutrients and light needed to grow
Soon the seed will be choked out, slowly over time it dies
Just like the cares, worries and riches of this world
Leave behind an empty shell, with no life, nor fruit of faith

Lastly, we see the good soil
A heart prepared by God through His Word
The seed of the Gospel is heard and understood
A repentant heart responds
Bearing the fruit of the Spirit
Obedience and faithfully persevering

What is necessary for bad soil?
Nothing, do absolutely nothing!
What about good soil?
God uses His Word to prepare a sinner’s heart
Enables one to hear the Word
Understand it and bear fruit

So, which is it?
The Sovereignty of God?
The responsibility of man?
Yes!

By Susan Wachtel
March 10, 2019

This poem was inspired by a sermon from our Pastor, Tom Pennington on Matthew 13:1-23 – The Parable of the Sower, and  from the notes that I took.

I would like to encourage you to listen to this message, Four Soils Part 2. Perhaps you are concerned about the salvation of a loved one…someone you’ve prayed for. Maybe you are wondering if you are truly saved? Was there a profession of faith? When you look back do you see fruit? Fruit of repentance? Fruit of the Spirit?

There is absolutely nothing more important than knowing with absolute assurance that you are saved, forgiven of your sin, all because of Jesus Christ and His perfect and complete atoning death on the cross.

This last week, we saw news about celebrities who died unexpectedly. One was pretty young. The thing is, none of us knows the day and hour when we will die. Once we die, there are no second chances. There will be no changing our minds. It’s important that we get it right today. For today is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2

That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:1-9

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Desperate Faith

He was a man of desperate faith
Jairus was willing to risk it all
As he fell at the feet of Jesus

Reputation, respect and honor
What did that mean to him now
As his little girl lay dying

He went to the One
The only One who had the power
Over sickness and disease, even life and death

In desperation he begged
My daughter, she is going to die, unless
Please…come…touch and heal her. So, Jesus went.

She was desperate, when would she ever have another chance
The crowds said Jesus was coming
He alone had the power to heal her

For twelve long years, she was considered unclean
An outcast, no one would even touch her
Everything had been wasted on doctors who couldn’t help her

In faith, with a trembling hand
She reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’ cloak
Immediately, after twelve long years, she was healed

Instead of going on His way
Jesus stopped
“Who touched Me?”

He looked around and saw her
He cared for her, for she was someone’s beloved daughter too
She confessed, He proclaimed, “Your faith has made you well.”

Waiting, the father’s desperation grew
Every moment, with every delay
He wondered, was his daughter still alive

The synagogue officials came with grim news
Don’t bother, she’s dead
Then Jesus said, “Do not fear…only believe.”

When they arrived, they were greeted with weeping and wailing
Mourners laughed when Jesus said, “She’s asleep.”
But the place emptied when He said leave

Surrounded by those who loved this girl
Parents with desperate faith
Jesus commanded, “Talitha, arise!” And she arose.

Astounded with joy
Her parents took her by the hand
“Tell no one!” And Jesus departed

Susan Wachtel
January 7, 2019

A Defiant Faith

She has a defiant faith
One that rests
Not in her circumstances
But in God alone

When her prayers seem to be unanswered
And God is silent
She strengthens her heart mind soul and spirit
In God’s perfect and inerrant Word

When others give way to doubt or fear
She instead sets her mind on Christ
And remembers His benefits
Her soul bursts forth in worship and praise

She knows of her heavenly Father’s great love
Before the foundation of the world was laid
He called her to salvation through His Beloved Son’s sacrifice
He has sealed her with the Holy Spirit

If He has met her greatest needs
Surely, He will care for her needs today
She chooses to trust God as He has revealed Himself to be
Her confidence rests in His unchanging, merciful lovingkindness

She has a defiant faith, a confident faith
One that does not waver
Like a light that does not dim
She rests secure in the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ

By Susan Wachtel
December 19, 2018

To a strong woman of God who is trusting God in her time of waiting upon the Lord.

 

Five Minute Friday – Handpicked Burdens

I’m so grateful to be participating in today’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge. If you like to write or need some inspiration and encouragement from others be sure to check it out.

Today word prompt: Burden

The burdens the Lord brings
Or allows into our lives
He never meant for us to carry them alone

He has a good purpose and plan
A design for each one
He knows our burdens and cares for each one of us

A burden that will cause us
To repent of our sin
Cry out to the Lord for forgiveness

A burden that will reveal
Our weakness and deep abiding need
Cause us to depend and rely upon the Lord

A burden that will grow and change us
Take us from selfish and self-focused
Develop a compassionate and caring heart

The Lord invites us to cast our burdens upon Him
He is the Lord and daily bears our burdens
We in turn are to bear one another’s burdens

Won’t you come to the One who invites you
Take Christ’s yoke upon you and learn
For His yoke is easy and His burden is light

Susan Wachtel
November 9, 2018

 

Five Minute Friday – It Only Takes a Moment

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in the Five Minute Friday writing challenge. But it feels so good to dive back in. If you like to write or need some inspiration and encouragement from others be sure to check it out.

Today word prompt: Moment

It only takes a moment
For everything in your life to change

One moment
And things will never be the same again

Sometimes those are good moments
Filled with happiness, excitement and joy

Other times, it’s a sad or desperate moment
One that you will look back on and wonder
What if
If only
I wish

The thing of it is
We don’t know when those moments are coming

We don’t know
When it will be the last time…
You’ll see that loved one alive
Or the last time you get to say I love you
The final time you will hear their voice
The last message that will come across your phone

When that moment comes
Only then you realize…
No more chances to say I’m sorry, I was wrong, please forgive me
No more opportunities to share the Gospel of Christ
No longer can you tell them what they’ve meant to you
Your words of encouragement will not be heard by the one who needs it the most

No longer will you be able to hold their hand
Look into their eyes
Laugh together so hard it makes you cry
Hug them and feel them hold you tight

So today
For a moment
Take a moment
To be with
To do or say
That which you can’t do
When the one you love has been taken away

Susan Wachtel
October 26, 2018

In light of the recent death of my brother, Michael Bunts, I’m very aware of those moments that have passed and I can’t get back or do over.

When a fellow Christian dies you miss them, are profoundly sad and grieve their loss. But it’s a grief with hope in the knowledge that their life is not over and you will see them again in heaven. They are in the presence of God, where we long to be.

But when it’s someone who doesn’t know the Lord Jesus Christ, or hasn’t repented of their sin and put their faith in the complete and finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, that’s a sadness without hope for their eternal security.

Even in that profound sadness and loss…there is always hope for the believer based on who God is. Sovereign, Righteous, Holy, Holy, Holy, Compassionate, Truth, Deliverer, Refuge, Strong Tower, Strength, All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Great High Priest, Everywhere Present, Creator, Eternal, Without Beginning and Without End, The Good Shepherd, The Way, The Truth and the Life, The Narrow Gate, Without Sin, Pure, The Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sin of the World, Resurrected Savior, Kind, Patient, the Mighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ the Son of God, Immanuel, Messiah, Wrathful, Punishes the Wicked, Merciful, Gracious, Just, Judge…and so much more.

Farewell Little Friends

Though some may tell me different
I know my hummingbird friends have departed

They arrived in the cool of springtime
Spent the long, hot summer days with us

Zipping to and fro throughout the yard
Feisty and quarreling over who will have time at the feeders

Don’t worry little friends, there’s enough for all
Another fresh batch of nectar will be made

Just this week, I couldn’t help but notice
There weren’t as many around

Oh, there was the occasional hum of wings
Little jewels getting their nourishment from flowers

Some resting on feeders
Drinking deeply without interruption from others

But the clicking and territorial fights have ceased
Now I delight to see the stranger passing through

Their fine-tuned flying skills and delicate beauty
A testimony to their Creator

I will miss you my little friends
I wish you a safe journey as you head south

Come spring, your feeders will be filled and ready
Already looking forward to your return

By Susan Wachtel
September 1, 2018

Five Minute Friday – Rush to the Lord

Today, I’m participating in this week’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  If you like to write or need some inspiration and encouragement be sure to check it out.

Today word prompt:  Rush

Start

Lord, I confess to You
So much of the time I feel rushed

I rush from morning to night
I rush to take care of the urgent

How much of what man considers urgent is truly important?
How much of it has eternal consequences?

When I read about Jesus, He didn’t rush
Though He had people coming to Him night and day

Desperate with crippling sickness and disease
A pressing needs that only the Savior could meet

Yet Jesus, the Son of God
Took time to pray to His Father in heaven

Jesus was driven to do His Father’s will, not man’s
He responded with grace, mercy and compassion

May I rush to spend time with Christ Jesus
May I focus my mind on Your life changing Word

May I rush before the Father’s throne of grace
May I bring Him my prayers and wait upon the Lord

Help me to make a priority
That which is important to You

May I rush to come before the Lord
May I be quick to listen and obey

by Susan Wachtel
August 31, 2018

End…Times Up

I’m so looking forward to fall. While I’m not in school, I will be back in Bible study classes. I desperately need the disciple and focus of in-depth Bible study. More than I know, I the community of believers.

How about you? Are you in a good Bible study? If not…now is a good time to jump in. A lot of studies begin in early September. There a are a number of in-depth, verse by verse studies available, like Community Bible Study, Bible Study Fellowship, Precepts or perhaps a study at a local church near you.

I cannot adequately explain how important it is for you know God’s Word for yourself. God will use it to grow you and change you. He will enable you to be discerning and wise and read, understand and obey His Word.