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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The Broad Road Church

1 John 2-19 B-W

My spirit is sobered
When I read Your Word
Only to find the prophesies
That some will abandon the faith

Even now I see signs of heresy
Apostasy
Blasphemy uttered from lips
Of those who call themselves Christian

It’s visible in the pulpit
Pastors and teachers
Even worship leaders are not immune
Leading astray the unwise sheep who sit in the pew

Seminaries once strong
No longer bastions of truth
Heretical teaching is commonplace
Unbelieving professors are wolves in sheep’s clothing

The full counsel of God’s Word is not taught
It’s been replaced with feel good “sermons”
God’s clear condemnation of sin is ignored
Immorality and unrepentant sinners embraced

Men are given the title of pastor
The truth be told
Some are nothing more than motivation speakers
Catering to the audience and tickling their ears

Pastors, there’s no need to study hard
Or accurately divide the Word of truth
Instead, find a readymade sermon online
Buy it today, preach it tomorrow

Even pastors who once seem solid
Elevate themselves; not God
Read their own books from the pulpit
Set aside the inerrant Word of God

There’s another book to hock
CD albums are ready to sell
Is the Word of God free and unfettered
No, but it’s available for a small fee

Preachers who should know better
Align themselves with false teachers
Come alongside those whose motivation is tainted
Fueled by pride, applause and the love of money

Sin is seldom mentioned
Truth, no longer spoken
For fear of causing offense
Or driving away those with deep pockets

Salvation found through Christ alone
Is so very narrow minded
The narrow road that leads to life is not mentioned
By those on the broad road leading to destruction

Father, You have forewarned us
Of the deception that will take place
The falling away of those who were with us, but not of us
Evidenced in fact that they did not remain

Father, may we abide and remain in Christ
Keep us in Your Word daily
Holy Spirit, give us wisdom and discernment
Raise up men who will unashamedly preach the Word

by Susan Wachtel
November 6, 2015

Living and Powerful Word of God

Heb 4-12.jp_Resize

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

This week I was reminded of the truth of Hebrews 4:12 when God used scripture to expose my sinful tendencies to be critical and judgmental.

In Community Bible Study this year we are studying the Servants of God which includes the books of 1 & 2 Samuel.  I had done this study a couple of years ago and was familiar with the people in the scripture, not only with how they started, but how they finished.

Though the Israelites have rejected God as their King and desire an earthly king, so they can be like the other nations, God answers their request.  He gives them Saul as their first king, but not without ample warnings about the consequences of being governed by an earthly king instead of God.  Saul started out with promise, but his life took a left turn and he did not finish well.

As I completed this lesson, listened to the lecture and read this week’s notes the Holy Spirit has convicted me and revealed my sinful tendency to be critical and judgmental.  When I read about Saul’s beginnings, I found myself doubting his good intentions and didn’t want to acknowledge some of the good things that he had done.  He demonstrated humility after Samuel had first anointed him as king.  He chose not to take revenge against naysayers who were against him.  He rose up to defend people who were being threatened by an enemy.  I didn’t want to see the good because I know what’s coming down the line and the left turn that Saul will take.

To reinforce that conviction, early on in the lecture our teaching director Dave said, “Don’t dismiss or think you can’t learn something from someone who turns out to be a bad person.”  He also reminded us that this story isn’t about Samuel or Saul…its God’s story.

When reading this week’s notes I encountered the same thing when it talked about some of the things that Saul did that were good and right.

So how come I want to dismiss that or cast aspersions on his motives and think he wasn’t sincere?  The bottom line is that I don’t know the genuineness of Saul’s heart, only the Lord knows that.  He alone is the One who knows the thoughts and intentions of a person’s heart.  Unless God reveals someone’s motives in scripture then I am imposing my thoughts and interpretation on the text…eisegesis verses exegesis.

Lord…thank You for revealing where my heart and attitude was not right before You.  Thank You for the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God which is true and unchanging.  Please forgive me for my arrogance in presuming that I could be the judge and jury against someone.  Help me to recognize and repent of a critical, negative and judgmental spirit.  Help me have a heart like Yours.  Thank You that You have given me a heart of flesh and have removed my heart of stone.  Keep doing Your mighty life-changing work in my life.  It’s in Jesus powerful and transforming name I pray…Amen!

Five Minute Friday – Reflections on Grace

Grace

Grace is one of my favorite words.  First and foremost it makes me think about God and His all-encompassing grace for all areas of my life.  Most importantly in saving me and covering my sin…no removing my sin as far as the east is from the west!

Below are some of my reflections of God’s grace…

A – Amazing Grace, Abundant Grace
B – Bountiful Grace
C – Continuous Grace, Compassionate Grace, Covering Grace
D – Daily Grace, Dying Grace
E – Effective Grace
F – Forgiving Grace, Faithful Grace
G – God’s Grace, Greater Grace, Gentle Grace
H – Healing Grace
I – Infinite Grace
J – Justifying Grace, Joyful Grace
K – Kind-hearted Grace
L – Limitless Grace, Loving Grace, Living Grace
M – Matchless Grace
N – Necessary Grace, Need Grace
O – Overwhelming Grace, Obedient Grace…the grace to obey
P – Powerful Grace, Pursing Grace, Perfect Grace, Patient Grace
Q – Quintessential Grace
R – Redeeming Grace, Reconciling Grace
S – Saving Grace, Sustaining Grace
T – Triumphant Grace
U –Undeserved Grace
V – Victorious Grace
W – Wonderful Grace, Wooing Grace
X – …
Y – Yonder Grace
Z – Zealous Grace

Five Minute Friday – Dive In
It’s another Saturday morn and I wanted to participate in Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  Head over to her website “Lisa Jo Baker Tales from a Gypsy Mama”.  Be sure to read some of the entries from other writers.  I can promise you that you will be blessed.

The WORD 8/11/13

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

 

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s
Psalm 103:1-5

Jim Allis – A Heart for God – The Friday Five

Bible Heart Sepia- Heb 4-12

It’s been over 2 ½ years since I first started corresponding with Jim Allis.

One of the best things about the internet is the friendships that you make with people, some who are far away, with whose hearts you are knit together and who share a love for the Lord.

In those ensuing years since we started corresponding, we have prayed for one another as we go through various trials and tribulations.  Over the last year, the genuineness of Jim and Joy’s faith has been proven true through trials they’ve faced.  Their love for the Lord did not fail them.  Instead they continued to be God’s faithful witnesses wherever God led them.

Jim Allis has been a pastor and evangelist for over 40 years in England.  He and his wife Joy love the Lord, His Word, the lost and fellow believers.  The Allis’ know the power of God’s Word to save us and keep us.  They know firsthand the power of God’s Word to convict, convince, rebuke, encourage and strengthen us.

Out of his passion for evangelism and a desire to equip believers Jim’s has been writing weekly articles called “Think Spot”.  He also records them and Joy closes with a prayer.

Just recently, with the help of Joy’s son Mark, Jim has started a website JimAllis.co.uk where he has made the materials he has worked on over the years available to readers.  If you prefer podcasts as opposed to reading, there are many resources available for the listener.  More materials are being posted every day.

I encourage you to head on over to Jim Allis’ website and bookmark it as a favorite and visit weekly.  Be sure to leave a word of encouragement to this man who is faithful and uncompromising when it comes to handling the Word of God.

A special thank you to Wanda at The Watered Soul for inviting me to participate in her weekly Five for Friday article.  (I’m a wee bit late being that it’s Sunday.) Wanda’s is another website you should check out.  She shares from her heart and highlights many Christian websites and resources.