Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Growing a Crop of Love: SOIL


SOIL

Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that HE may come and shower righteousness upon you. -- Hosea 10:12b, NLT



Soil is created from the weathering and erosion of hard rocks and the decomposition of organic material. 

I get this.

The soil of my heart was once impenetrable. Pride and self-sufficiency keep me distant from the saving grace of God. Born out of an internal survival mechanism, I ventured in to adulthood convinced I needed to rescue myself from abandonment and rejection. I sought solace through power, notoriety, wealth, and physical beauty. 






Like ice and wind, the continual affects of rejection and injustice broke down the hardness of my heart to allow for the grace of God to infiltrate. 

Initially, my soil was shallow unwilling to be trained in the Word of God. My tiny sprout of faith was easily uprooted by birds (deception) and drought (trials). The seed needed to be replanted continually. 

Additionally, my soil was full of weeds (sin) and rotting roots (unforgiveness). Years of bitterness, rebellion and self-sufficiency prevented me from receiving a fullness of Christ. Weeds suffocated the sprout of faith stealing valuable moisture and nutrients. I fed behaviors such as anger, criticism, and self-righteousness. 

My soil took years to become fertile ground for God to produce a harvest of love.     

We must allow the softening of the hard, compacted soil of an unresponsive, impulsive, and preoccupied heart (The Parable of the Sower). 


  • Hard Soil: a seed of faith cannot take root in hard, unresponsive soil. 
  • Thin Soil: a seed of faith is weak and easily withered in when soil is thin and unwilling to be trained in the Word of God.  
  • Weedy Soil: a seed of faith is choked by weeds with a heart preoccupied by the distractions of this world and the behaviors that choke the beauty of who God created us to be.  




And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. -- Ezekiel 36:26, NLT


Additionally, soil must submit to continual reworking and rebirth each season. Untilled and uncultivated ground remains fallow year after year. Apathy will not see the fruit of the harvest season. There is never a harvest unless the plow first breaks through the well used soil.


TAKE ACTION

Spend some time digging in the dirt. Ask God to show you the condition of your heart. 

Are you fertile soil?
Are you a hard stone?
Are you fragments of stone needing further softening?
Is your soil thin and the sprout of faith you have is easily uprooted or withered? 
Are you untilled soil needing refreshment? 
Is your soil full of weeds?


PRAY

Merciful God, cultivate a soil in my heart that produces a harvest of love. Turn up my unplowed ground of bitterness. Show me where I can soften the hard ground of my heart. 


HANDS on ACTIVITIES


  • Search for heart rocks. Learn how soil is formed from the weathering of rocks.
    Parallel this process to how our hearts are softened. 
  • Plant a bean seed in hard, clay ground. Plant a bean seed in thin soil. Water the seed and observe. Help your child to see how the soil impacts whether our seed of faith will grow in hard and thin soil. 





Grace and Peace to you, Edy







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