If you have had any experience with growing plants, you know they grow differently depending on conditions. This is often determined by the type of soil and the way the soil is prepared.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus explains that there were several types of soil in which to plant seeds; the path, the rocky ground, among the thorns, and the good soil (Matthew 13:1-10). If we do not see results of sowing the “good seed,” is it the fault of the sower? He is doing what he was hired to do; broadcasting the seed.
Notice how God deals with Israel through the prophet Hosea. “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12). It was time for people to start doing what was right and “break up” the ground that had become hard.
Jesus was “grieved at their hardness of heart” when the Pharisees tried to push their legalism on Him and His work of healing (Mark 3:5). On a totally different issue, divorce, Jesus answers the Pharisees when they point out that “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce.” Jesus says, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment” (10:2-5).
What is the point of this blog? I am very concerned about those in the church who fail to grow or change because of hardness of heart. It is only the chisel of repentance that will break up the hard soil and allow the water of the Holy Spirit to change the condition of the heart and make it fruitful. We only get different results by changing the soil in the heart through genuine repentance.
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