The theme of our new series devotionals is an incomplete sentence, “If You Want God’s Best….” The introductory word if immediately confronts you with a choice. Do you want God’s best, or do you not? Let me share with you eight things you will need to do if you decide that you really do want God’s best.
Our personal relationship with God is never one-sided or a one-way street. There are always two sides; there are always two directions. On the one hand, there is what God makes available to us; on the other hand, there is how we respond to what God makes available. The kind of life we actually experience will be determined by the inter-play of what God makes available to us and how we respond to it.
This is very clearly illustrated by the parable of the sower. (See Matthew 13:3–9, 18–23.) This parable is about a man who went out to sow seed in a field. The seed fell on four different kinds of soil.
- First, some seed fell beside the beaten path, and, because the ground was hard and beaten down by the feet of those who passed by, the seed never even entered the soil. As a result, the birds of the air ate the seed, and it produced nothing.
- Second, some of the seed fell onto rocky ground. The seed went down a little way until its roots met rock, and it started to grow up too quickly with no depth of root. When the sun became hot, the plants withered, and this seed, too, produced nothing.
- Third, some of the seed fell onto thorny ground. The thorns grew up with the plants and eventually choked them. The plants did not get enough air and nourishment, and so this seed, too, brought forth no permanent good.
I do not want to deal with the first three kinds of soil. I want to focus on what I regard as the climax of that parable, the objective to which Jesus is working, which is the good ground. I trust that you, my readers, are people whose hearts are good ground. This is what Jesus says about the good ground and the seed that fell on it:
But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. (Matthew 13:23)
Notice, there are two key factors in the man who produces a crop: first, he hears the word; and second, he understands it. This is true of everybody who represents good soil.
Do you want to belong to the people whose heart consists of good soil? Do you want to not live for yourself in your life but carry fruit? Then decide to hear God's Word and open your mind to understand it, and to make it change your life.
Father God, thank you for giving Your Word to me. In response, I decide to hear Your Word, and I also want to learn to understand and top apply it in my life. I want to understand what you say in your Word and live on it. I want to be good ground in which Your Word roots and grows - with fruit in my life and environment. I give myself to you. Amen
This devotional is taken from