Productive Faith

Luke 8:15 “But the seed on the good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

God’s word is a seed with the power to give me a new and noble heart. God once promised his people through the prophet Ezekiel, “I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Through his contemporary Jeremiah he said, “Is not my word like a fire, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”

But the process through which the Lord goes to work transplanting a good and noble heart into our chests involves the gentle message of his grace. On my concrete driveway there is a crack into which the grass keeps creeping. The grass is relatively soft and pliable. I can tear it with my hands. But it has the power to keep extending and widening that crack in the concrete.

In the gospel our Lord professes a love for us that far exceeds any other love we have known. He sacrificed his Son to save us. He forgives us all day every day. No matter how repulsive we might have made ourselves with our sin, his only desire is to have us back for himself, and there is no price he would not pay, he did not pay, to make it happen.

This soft and gentle message creeps into our hearts, breaks up the stony unbelief, and replaces it with a beating heart of faith. This is the heart that holds onto the word for dear life, because it is life. This is the heart that overflows with acts of Christian love, and words of Christian witness, because “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” This is the heart that is fruitful in the faithful, but God’s word is still the seed whose power makes it happen.            

So plant a seed. Hear God’s word and plant it in your own heart. Share God’s word and plant it someone else. Then let the seed do what seeds do, and watch it grow.

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