“HOW IS YOUR HEART?” By Pastor Yau
Matthew 13:18-23, 1-9. November 2, 2003
The well being of the heart of man is a big concern in today’s society. Books were written, exercise programs were developed, medications were produced and hundred of millions of dollars were spent in study, research, prevention and cure of problems the human heart may have. We all know the importance of doing this.
But there is a different kind of heart, the spiritual heart, of man that deserves same kind of, if not more, attention and preservation. The spiritual heart is the channel which makes man different from other living creatures. Many people, including some so-called Christians, knowingly or ignorantly neglect this spiritual heart, and have become either unfruitful in their lives or useless in God’s Kingdom.
In this parable of SOWER AND THE SEEDS, Jesus pointed out that there are four kinds of spiritual hearts in men. Each, by its nature, has different ways in response to God and His word. And therefore, each reaps a different kind of rewards in its life.
THE HARDENED HEARTS: (13:4, 19)
When a seed is sown on a pathway, a place people walk and tread, no one would expect that seed to germinate, grow and bear fruit. When a seed of God’s word is sown in a hardened heart of a man, the result will be the same. These people have no capacity of absorbing spiritual things. King David called this people FOOLS. (Ps. 14:1)
We see some people are of this nature. They either purposely harden their hearts or were blinded by Satan that they have no interest or ability to understand spiritual values. To these people, God and everything about God have no value to them.
THE SHALLOW HEARTS: (13:7, 22)
Seeds of God may also be sown on shallow grounds---places with thin layer of top soil but have rocky floor under the soil. This kind of people may have emotional response to the Word of God at first, but they will not be able to continue growing because there is no deep and futile soil for them to grow deep roots. We see many people have initial response to God, but they just can continue to grow into maturity. People like this will drop out from church or even worse, from salvation.
THE WORLDLY HEARTS: (13:7, 22)
This refers to people who have good soil, but they allow thorns, worldly things, to grow side-by-side with things of spiritual nature. These people want BOTH: they want to have God and His blessings, but they also want the world and all the things the world has to offer. And often times, things of the world will grow faster, stronger, taking all the moisture and nutrition the soil has to offer, and CHOKE and kill the things of spiritual nature. We see many Christian eventually surrender to the world this way.
Jesus pointed it out very clearly that no man can serve two masters. No man can serve God and Money at the same time. John the Apostle also said: “if a man loves the world, the love of God is not in his heart.”
THE GOOD SOIL HEARTS: (13:8, 23)
Man’s spiritual quality can become good soil if he will do two things: Change the composition of the soil in his heart, and diligently prepare his heart for God to work. He must be regenerated, born again. He must also diligently cultivate his spiritual capacity, plant his life near the streams of living water, meditate on the word of God, remove any rocky ground inside out, and get rid of any thorns, worldly values and pursuance. Men of this kind will be fit for God to use to bear much fruit, be useful in God’s Kingdom and be blessed by God of His rewards, 100 folds, 60 folds or 30 folds.
The seed of God is always with life and power. It is the kind of soil where the seed is sown determines the level of fruitfulness. People need to take that spiritual EKG to see the true picture of their spiritual heart and its condition. Be honest and serious about this and take steps to improve or correct the condition of your spiritual heart. You will see that God may use you in a way you may never dream of.