you are my one thing

The farmer is good and the seed is powerful. The variable is the soil that receives it.

Who is the farmer? What kind of seeds are we dealing with here? Why is soil a variable?

In Mark 4, Jesus tells the crowd gathered around him the parable of the sower. He explains to them that there are four types of soil upon which seed can fall: along the path, on rocky soil, among thorns, or good soil. The allusion is simple: be good soil upon which the truth of the Gospel can fall.

Jesus is good and his message is powerful. The variable is the human heart that receives it.

I am continually humbled by the realization that the solution to my problems, whether with myself, another person, or God, is always repentance for my sinful state and prayerful petition to the Lord to change my heart, to turn my thorn-filled soil into good soil. The battle for my heart is already won. Praise Jesus! But this does not mean that sin, temptation, and pride have no place in my life. They are consuming. It is an all-out daily war to desperately plead for freedom from the bondage of sin and instead desire the Lord’s hand over my life.

At Ethos a couple weeks ago, we were asked to examine our “soil”. My soil is thorn-filled. I let love for worldly things coexist with my love for Christ. When I let this happen, Christ will always be choked out. He will always be left behind on the sidewalk while I’m trying to stuff every piece of unnecessary luggage I’ve ever owned into the car too. Sick. I just left my Savior behind. Can we turn around or nah?

Over and over again for the past few weeks, I have repeated in my head, “Change my heart! Make it love your work.”

Change my heart! Make it love your work.
Change my heart! Make it love your work.
Change my heart! Make it love your work.

It is interesting to me that in my translation, Jesus just uses the word “good” to describe the soil he desires for our hearts. After more than enough English classes, I’m under the impression that “good” is a pretty bland word to use to describe the way you want every precious heart to be after you, God. Seems like a missed opportunity. What about magnificent soil? Superior? Exceptional? I would even take great.

Wrong. Not a missed opportunity. When God was creating the world, “he saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:10). Romans 8:28 uses “good” in the context of how God divinely orchestrates each precious human life on the earth. When Jesus calls the soil “good” in Mark 4:20, I believe he’s satisfied with his word choice. Good soil is exactly what he wants. It is humbling to step back from my claims of knowledge, my claims that I know which words Jesus should have used to turn more hearts to him, like more eloquent language is a deciding factor of whether a soul is saved.

This life is not about me and what I want. My life is a story about who God is and what he does in a human heart (Shauna Niequist). And when it so often becomes twisted up in the lie of self-preservation and fulfillment, may my prayer ever be: “Change my heart! Make it love your work.”

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1 thought on “you are my one thing”

  1. yes wow i loved this sermon and thought a lot about it too. so cool that god can speak to so many people through one sermon or passage or whatever.
    “change my heart! make it love your work.”

    love ya love ya love ya

    Like

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