THE FRUITFUL HEART
The last kind of heart condition in this parable is the good ground, which I call the fruitful heart. We shall consider this from Luke’ s account:
“And others fell on good ground, and sprang up and bare fruit an hundredfold … But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15 Amp).
Here, we shall look at the various ingredients that make this particular heart fruitful. Let me say from this point, that looking at the good ground, we discover that nothing about it is automatic. No heart was born good. Every fruitful soil was made so by the conscious labour of the farmer. Leave any ground uncultivated, it will grow all manners of thorns. So as we study, there are specific instructions to follow, if your life will be fruitful for God. Take definite action today and it will be well with your soul.
“These are people who hearing the word, hold it fast in a just, noble, virtuous, and worthy heart, and steadily bring forth fruit with patience”
The heart is honest, just, noble, virtuous and good. This is the first crucial condition of heart we must have in order to profit in the kingdom of God. We must maintain an honest and sincere heart. Of course the bible says,
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure Who can understand it, I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jer.17:9-10 NIV)
The heart in its uncultivated state is deceitful above all things. Do you believe the testimony of scriptures concerning the heart? It is deceitful above all things. Nothing else is as deceitful, tricky and unpredictable as the heart. It is beyond cure. Do not take it for granted. Have you brought your heart to God for ploughing? Except God makes it honest, noble and good it will deceive you. It hides from honest scrutiny. It is ever defensive. It curls and curdles around tiny things that will prevent God’s word from penetrating. Except the heart is circumcised, it will make God’s word unfruitful.
A lot of time, you hear and read the word of God without a sincere heart. Several things are going on within that the word ought to deal with. Instead of you to own up and be sincere with God that your heart is not as excited as your mouth is pretending to be, you smile, shout, as if you are enjoying the word of Cod. All these are mere facades, just to hide the reality of the condition of your heart. You cannot progress with the word of God in this way. If the word of God came and indeed you did not like it or did not intend to obey it, why did you need to say, “Yes, praise the Lord, I am blessed”. Sometimes in your heart you already know what you want to do yet you stand up with your mouth saying “Father, thank you for sending this word to my life. It is a good and important word. It is very interesting” You are not sincere and God will not know where to begin with an insincere man. Hypocrites cannot obtain favour from God.
You know that you are a fornicator and that this is the great problem of your life. Almost any girl or man you come across brings lust in your heart and you are unable to rest or concentrate. Instead of coming to God and saying, “Lord Jesus, this is my problem, what do I do right now? Lord, be merciful to me” You go around singing, giving special number, preaching and shouting on people as if that is your true condition of heart. You are a liar, you are not sincere.
The heart that produces fruit for God is not necessarily perfect or correct heart from the beginning. I want to say to you that no one was born perfect; no one was born a Christian. All our hearts, the bible says were stony hearts which must be changed by the ministration of God ‘s word and by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, there is no need to pretend to be what you are not; no need to say what you do not mean in your heart. Most people say things that are not in their hearts and that is why the word of God cannot minister to them, nor can it produce any fruit in their lives.
It, therefore, means that if the word of God must prosper in us, we must be sincere. Many people come to pray and sing telling Jesus how they love him while in their heart they are feeling bad that God has disappointed them. They are feeling that If He is truly the Lord Jesus whom the bible portrays, why did He allow certain things to happen to them. That is the real condition of their heart. At this point all that such people need do is to be sincere. And I am so sure that if you come sincerely, God by the ministry of the word will deal with your heart. He will help you see how much He loves, sees and cares for you and then you will have a proper beginning. To make progress in the Christian life, you must be sincere with yourself. Forget people around you and check what you are inside of yourself: right inside your bedroom where you believe no one is seeing you. You cannot pretend to yourself at that time. What you really are is the right way you ought to come to God. Let it be in sincerity and brokenness of heart. Let it be without a covering. If outside your church premises, you are a man filled with rage or anger. You know that when that thing comes upon you, you can go to any extent. Yet in church, you come with smiles if anybody steps on your toes. You are even the one to say sorry. You are a pretender. That is not your life. You are not a sincere man. That is why the word of God has not been able to address your real situation. Are you really what you are claiming to be? God that tries peoples’ heart cannot be deceived. Every motive of your heart is very plain before him. So if the word of God is going to affect you at all, and if you are going to be a candidate for heaven, you must be sincere.
“… having heard the word, keep it … ”
Ever before the word of God can produce fruit in a man’s life it has to be kept. When you hear the word of God and it touches you, what do you do immediately? Do you go out and share it with people? It will dissipate before you come back. The way to prosper in the word of God is to allow it to settle into your heart and to deal with you. Let it get embedded into your life as to become engrafted there for permanent results.
Good hearts are people that keep the word of God. To keep the word of God means to meditate, think, ponder, consider and look it over again and again. One needs to return to all the bible passages and read and read them to oneself again and again. That is how to retain, reserve and maintain it.
Before the word of God can begin to prosper in any man there is yet another prerequisite as James 1:21-25 says
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your soul. But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving your own selves. For if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdetb himself and goeth his way and straightaway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But who so looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work this man shall be blessed in all his deed”,
In order to prosper in the word: all filthiness that occupy the heart must be laid aside. All naughtiness, all malice, all that contaminates the heart must be laid apart. One must receive the word without argument or arrogance. When the word of God says something concerning you, accept it because no matter how much you question it, the word of God will prevail. This is possible since the word of God is not a human idea, nor a philosophy. God has allowed the word to be tested, tried and tempted in the furnace of the earth seven times and it is pure. This is why Jesus said it is easier for heavens and the whole earth to roll away than for a jot, a very small jot of this word to go unfulfilled.
The word of God is God’s statute, ordinance and perfect law of liberty for anybody who wants to be free. Instead of arguing with it, twisting and finding alternative explanations to the word of God, you should receive it with meekness. Whatever the word of God says is the truth. “Every law of God is right whatever it concerns. I hate every other way” (Ps 119: 128 LE). For example when it says “Know ye not that no fornicator shall inherit the kingdom of God” Eph 5:5 that is the truth. The fact that there are many fornicators in town and even in the church does not change or reduce the truth of that scripture.
Some of you have been running up and down seeking help and looking for many ways but Jesus says in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the father but by me”. What then is the reasonable and simple thing to do ? You should simply submit to the word and receive it with meekness then you will see result. He is not a way but the way. In the same vein, He says, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”, Matt, 11:28. Did you come and He did not give you rest? Do not be a hypocrite. You claim to be coming to God but several times you are seeking other ways and means of solving your problem. Why not come to Him sincerely with all your heart? Receive the word with meekness; engraft it on your life henceforth.
“…and by persevering produce a crop”
This issue of persevering with the word we have heard and received is the next crucial feature to note in a heart that bears fruit with God’s word. The word will not produce fruit the first day it is planted. It goes through a process. There is need for patience and perseverance in obeying the word before you begin to reap a harvest of the promises. Some of you only tried applying the word of God once in your life and you gave up. Before the word could mature in its working on your life and situation, you had already turned to other things; other ideas and philosophy. You cannot prosper with God’s word that way. This is why you cannot hear God’s word once and leave it. You need to persist in looking into the perfect law of liberty.
“But he who looks carefully into the faultless law the (law) of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer (who obeys), he shall be blessed in his doing – in his life of obedience” (James 1:25 Amp).
For, God’s word to become you, and become a tree with much fruit in your life; for you to enjoy the blessings, the prosperity, the victory that God’s word imparts, you will need to consistently study It. Put it into practice, no matter how difficult it seems in the beginning. The tendency is to abandon your obedience and your commitment to the living oracles, midstream; but if you will insist and persevere; your life will bring forth fruit in thirty-fold, sixty-fold and hundred-fold,
In conclusion, here in brief is our Master’s instruction on the condition of heart which either profits from the word of God or frustrates and incapacitates it. What will you do today? “Son, give me your heart … ” is the divine instruction (in Prov, 23:26). Give Him your heart. Every true revival begins in the heart, every true victory must be the victory of the heart. Yield your heart unto Him and He will process it in the most profitable way. Will you?