Thursday, December 14, 2017

Plough Me First

Plough me first, And then cast the truth into me,
And let me yield thee a bounteous harvest.

Today is a perfect day for examining our own hearts. I would ask whether we have received the Word with joy, have our hearts been stirred by God’s Word, has a lively impression been made? Most likely, you’ll agree that hearing or reading God’s Word stirs us greatly. Yet, there is a warning that is part and parcel to this exercise of examining our own hearts. While our hearts are stirred and impressed with God’s Word, have we received it only with our ears or have we received Jesus — the Living Word — into our very soul. These are two distinct responses to hearing the Word of God.

In His parable, Jesus taught that the seed that fell on the rock was received with joy; it had made a “lively impression” on the hearer. Yet, read His words:  “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).

So often we hear the spoken Word and our hearts are truly stirred to respond, to accept the challenge to change and to allow that transformation to take root and grow. Yet, if there is no depth in our relationship with Christ, if there are “rocks” under the surface of our outward appearance — an inward hardness of heart — the seed (God’s Word) will seem to take root for a few days, only soon to die because it has no soil from which to draw nourishment. The seed needs moisture derived from root nourishment in order to grow. If there is no place for the root to draw it’s life-giving nourishment, the seed will die.

Sadly, we see this happen all too often. People become stirred by powerful preaching and teaching, and seem to be committed to allow the transformation brought about by the Word to take place in their lives. Yet, within a few days or weeks — sometimes even within a few hours — they find themselves back in the same rut, not having any indication of true soul-transforming nourishment as the planted Seed seeks to establish roots in their lives.

Good growth takes place in both upward and downward direction. If the ground is too rocky, the seed will appear to be healthy for a short time, then wither and die. However, if the ground has been properly prepared, ploughed and cultivated, the seed will easily take root and flourish, yielding a plentiful harvest.

As we examine our own hearts today, let’s make sure when we receive the Word that it is received into a heart that has been prepared, ploughed and cultivated. It’s important we surrender our hearts to the Master so, as His Word is planted, it will yield a harvest that glorifies Him in greatest measure.

Are we rooted in sincere fidelity and love to Jesus? Are our hearts softened and fertilized by grace? Do we reject a quick feel-good experience in exchange for an abiding and enduring relationship with Jesus?

Without a change of heart, any seed cast will succumb to the heat of trial and persecution. On the other hand, the surrendered heart will bear up under even the most scorching heat and yeild a most bounteous harvest because the roots of the Word have grown deep and are properly nourished.

O heavenly Sower, plough me first, and then cast the truth into me.

______
(c) 2015 Jan Ross
All Rights Reserved

NOTE:  Based on C. H. Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening: Daily Readings for January 11

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