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Heart Checkup

Today I ask myself a very thought-provoking question. What kind of heart do I have? Yep, it is examination day!

The Passion Translation in Mark 4 describes 4 kinds of hearts. One heart is hard, another hollow, one half-hearted, and the other is a noble, healthy, and whole heart that is producing fruit. The key to a heart that is not broken in pieces or experiencing the hurt of life’s test and trials, is the reading of God’s Word, which we call seed. Your heart becomes the soil in which the seed is going to be planted and hopefully take root. For, when we read the Bible, it goes past our brain and down into our hearts. But the condition of your heart determines how your seed can be planted and how much fruit you will grow or produce in life. When I say fruit, I am talking about how much of the Word you will live. You can say it another way. How much victory or success will you achieve by applying what you’ve heard? Let’s examine these four types of hearts a little closer.

Remember, a seed will always grow and produce good fruit if it is planted in the right soil. The first heart or soil is hard because Satan controls the soil. This person’s heart is hardened because they heard the Word of God, but Satan came immediately and snatched it from their hearts. Have you ever went to church and thought you heard the best message in the world? But then, the next thing you know, you get in a fuss as soon as you get in the car. Were you left wondering what happened? It was Satan coming to snatch the message of the day straight from your heart and mind! This was an attack to make you forget what you heard, and leave you angry for the rest of the day. We must be watchful and alert.

The next heart is hollow, and it is controlled by the flesh. When I say flesh, I am talking about your five physical senses. These are the things that you can see, touch, taste, smell, or hear. It can also be called living by your feelings and emotions. This heart is hollow because it is empty of the words that came from Jesus’s lips. The seed of this heart was sown on gravel. Therefore, a person with a rocky foundation hears the Word of God and receives it joyfully. But their heart does not have a deep root in the Word. Because their root or understanding is limited, they don’t endure for long when trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word. So, this person wilts and falls away. When you have a deep root in the Word, you will fight for what you believe in whether it is popular with culture or not. If what you believe is shallow and, on the surface, you will be tossed to and fro by everyone else’s opinions and doctrine. This will constantly keep you in your feelings and emotions, which will make your life like a roller coaster. Faith never considers the five physical senses to believe something is true. It takes its stand on the Word of God as the absolute truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

The third heart is controlled by the world. It is half-hearted because the seed of God’s Word is sown among thorns. This represents a person who hears the Word, but the cares of this life, the seduction of wealth, and the desires for other things crowd out and choke the Word so that it produces nothing. How can you create more room for Jesus and the Bible with a mind and heart filled with worry, stress, fear, and the things you are longing for, but do not have? The answer is you can’t do both. Jesus taught that you can't serve to masters or God and money at the same time. God wants first place in our hearts and minds! So, let's clear out the things that don’t matter and make room for the truth. Because Christ is all that matters! God will then add all that you need as you seek Him first.

The last heart is the heart that I desire to have. This heart is controlled by the Lord. It is happy, at peace, and resting in the promises of God. We see this heart trusting in, clinging to, and relying on Jesus for everything. Jesus said that He would never leave us or forsake us. He will never let us down and He will help us to bear fruit. When you are trusting in Jesus the seed of God’s Word will be sown on good soil. This means that your heart will be open and ready to receive the Word no matter what is going on around you. You will love it when it is favorable or unfavorable and hold on to it tightly. Also, you won't fight or resist the Word, but rather you will allow it to change you into the image of Christ. If you are like this, you will bear good fruit and yield a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even one hundred times more than you sowed or put into your heart by reading. This means you will be walking in power, authority, victory, and success just like Jesus, and the enemy will be under your feet.

Happy Reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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