Our Heart-Soil: Stony Soil

Have you ever thought of your heart as a bed of soil for the seed of God’s Word to grow? When better than spring—a time known for new growth—to consider the soil of our hearts? How well does it allow the word of the Lord to grow? Won’t you join me this week as we search for answers? You might be as surprised by what we discover!


Stony Soil

“A farmer went out to plant some seed … some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.” Mark 4:3-4 NLT

Monday_day_One_Pic-Heart_of_StoneOne Sunday at the end of the weekly church service, I decided to stand in line and say something substantive to the preacher. So I said, “Great sermon today, Pastor.” Feeling satisfied, I stepped forward only to have the pastor reply, “Tell me Rita, what was it about today’s sermon that made it so great for you?” Stunned, I stood there in silence as I strained to come up with something, anything, which he’d spoken that morning. Nope, I had nothing substantive to say. I weakly murmured, “You know, all the parts about Jesus!” Then, I hastily beat a retreat out of his presence. Can you even relate to my loss of dignity in that moment?

I’d sat through the entire sermon while the word of the Lord was snatched from me faster than the birds grabbed the seed in our Dose verse. Read it now.

The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. Mark 4:15

We may believe that these verses simply refer to blatant rebellion against God’s Word but that isn’t the only way to demonstrate a heart hardened to the truth. A pattern of bad habits can get us there as well.

I wasn’t operating in blatant rebellion, but the soil of my heart was not receptive to receiving the fresh seed of God’s word that Sunday morning—or many other Sundays for that matter. My discerning pastor recognized that also. How often have we heard the word but failed to absorb it? This is especially possible for those of us who’ve either grown up in the church, or as regular attendees, gotten too comfortable in our church routine. When we repeatedly have a heart that doesn’t take in the word, it’s a heart that gets harder and harder over time. The results can be just as devastating as blatant rebellion to the word because we allow the Devil to snatch the precious seed of truth from a stony bed of soil, our hardened hearts.

The wise pastor isn’t looking to see how impressed we are with him or his sermon because it’s not about him; it’s about the Lord speaking to our hearts and our willingness to truly hear and respond in humble obedience to the Holy Spirit’s calling.

Only Jesus Christ can transform the stony soil of a hard heart to one softened for the growth of His Word.

Does your heart need softening today? Ask Him, He’ll do it.

Softening the stony heart,


God is Teaching Me About…

From giving Him my all to giving up control, join me this week as I share some things God has been teaching me lately.


More than Three Letters


“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV

ALL_WEDNESDAY-300x238I’ve read today’s verse many times and thought, “Of course I should love God with all of myself. Sure, I am doing that. Check. Move on to the next verse.” While reading the verse, I sped through the little word all each time. But I’m learning that all is truly the key word here.

It’s easy to love God with part of my heart, part of my soul, and part of my strength. I’m beginning to understand the difficulty of what He is truly asking us to do. I’m beginning to see that all encompasses much more than three letters.

All means loving God when my world falls apart, when my plans are crushed, and when my dreams are shattered. When circumstances pull me deep into the dark place, where is my all? Buried in self-pity?

When I’m in the pit, do I reach my arms up to God? Or sit in the mud and feel sorry for myself? In the dark places, I usually put all my heart, soul and strength into surviving. When I take a piece of God’s all and keep it for myself, it gets ugly. I grasp onto that slice of self-sufficiency and hide in the corner trying to make myself feel better. Here’s the problem with taking part of God’s all into the corner with me—my hands are clenched tightly and my back is turned. I am not reaching up to God with open hands to accept all He is offering to me.

Jesus didn’t give just part of Himself as payment for our sins. He gave ALL of Himself.

Lord, we tend to hold back pieces of our hearts. We want to give You ALL of our hearts, souls, and strength. Teach us to let go of those pieces that we’re grasping tightly and find our ALL in You. Amen

Humbly learning these lessons,