inspiration: small group last night.
we discussed the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) last night at great length at bible study last night. we went into great depth about the reason Jesus spoke in parables and why he answered the disciples when they asked him why...but i don't have the time to go into depth about that now...
but something that was on my heart when i left last night was "What kind of soil is my heart cultivating?"
Is my heart full of rocky soil, where seed springs up quickly and then is scorched by the sun because there was no root? Or is my heart full of good soil, allowing me to be fruitful and create good fruit for Christ?
I think it's all about the intention of our hearts what kinds of soil we allow our hearts to till. We can't just say "Oh, my heart must be full of rocky soil, so I can't share my faith..."
Just like gardening in a realistic sense is very much full of the gardener taking time to water, nurture, weed, aerate the soil, etc., it's important for us to be gardeners to our relationship with Christ.
Dr. Denley mentioned that this parable was very relevant for the audience at Galilee, because the soil in places was shallow and underneath was a layer of bedrock, and the seed couldn't take root and it would get scorched or eaten by birds. And this is so true for me, at times, as well. I want to nurture my relationship with Christ, but instead, I hit my "bedrock" of excuses and reasons why I can't: Don't have time; I'm not a good servant; I don't have the money to tithe; I don't have any special "gifts"; I'm not "called" to go overseas (which, btw, is untrue -- I'm planning on going on my first missions trip to Costa Rica in January!!)
But when I'm being very intentional with my relationship with Christ, I find myself being a very fruitful person, not only in a spiritual sense, but in an emotional and physical way as well. When I make the time to cultivate my relationship (reading my Bible, blogging, praying, serving others), even if it means setting down my homework for an hour or not hanging out with friends, it's a necessity for me to do because I know that my relationship with Christ MUST come first in order for me to bear good fruit for Christ. To me, bearing fruit does not necessarily mean evangelizing in front of a crowd of thousands; to me, bearing fruit means shining a bright light for Christ through my actions and words.
If I'm putting Christ first, I know that I'm shining a bright light for Him and that others may not understand why I am full of joy amongst hard and difficult times, or why I feel like God is calling me abroad, but that they may see that I'm set apart because of my heart. But I know when I turn inward and start worrying about myself and all the things that I have to do, it's easy to fade into the world and to blend in and to not live a set apart life.
So my prayer for myself is to continue to till good soil in my heart; to keep being intentional in my walk with Christ and to set Him as top priority in every aspect of my life.