"And the seed that fell on the good ground is like those who hear God’s teaching with good, honest hearts and obey it and patiently produce good fruit." -Luke 8:15
It’s that time of year again. The weather is warming up, the ground has thawed and spring has sprung. This is the time many of us go out and begin to plant our flower beds or vegetable gardens. But we can’t just put the seeds in the ground or toss them over the dirt and wait for results. To have a garden we need to put in the work and then continue to spend time taking care of them, don’t we?
A garden begins with cultivating. This last weekend I started my garden up again after a couple of years without one and I hadn’t taken care of the soil since I wasn’t planting. Over time the weeds took over and not just surface weeds but deep rooted connected plants. After much digging and pulling we got those out and then had to turn the dirt and get out the surface weeds. Now with a fresh clean garden we added the seeds. However, my job won’t stop there, now I have to keep it watered and protected if the cold nights come in, along with pulling out any new weeds that will creep in. God will do His part by sending the sun and rain but in order to have a fruitful garden I still have to put in my own time.
Did you know God called David a man after His own heart? Noah is known as a man of God. Everyone who knew Daniel knew he had a relationship with God and God showed things to only him. There are so many men and women in the Bible that we look up to and respect because they had a connection with God that has been lost to generations of today. Why did they have such a connection? Because, these men and women took time to cultivate God in their hearts.
How? Well not one of them was without flaws, sins or mistakes. Yet they all had one thing in common. A love for the God they served. They knew they were called to share God’s love to others and they wanted to share. Like a garden though, they needed to pull out the weeds in their hearts. The sins, the flaws, the times they questioned God. Some weeds might have been deep, but they cleaned them out and began to cultivate a clean heart. It wasn’t a one shot and down, it was daily work in their life. At times they probably had to pull more weeds that the devil tried to plant among the growing fruits of the Spirit. But they always needed God to help them grow.
God will do His part as He promised, when we are faithful to Him, He is faithful to us but we have to do some cultivating too. Let’s look at ways we can cultivate our hearts the same way through a life of worship. Daniel prayed three times a day. He knew God would lead him and help him but that it could only be achieved through constant communication. David worshiped God through song. He praised God in music in the fields with the sheep and in songs and poems as he got older. Noah cultivated with pure trust. God said it, he believed it. Esther showed faith to save God’s people. The apostles studied scripture and then told others about Jesus. I know you could probably add more to the list too. These men and women showed a cultivated heart though a life of worship. There was not only one way to keep Jesus in their hearts but many.
We too can cultivate our hearts the same way they did and God may show us new ways as we go. The one constant they all shared was that love, faith and trust in God and what He said. They lived with one goal, to do God’s will which is salvation for all men. In believing and following they learned how to live in this world and how to keep God at the center of their lives.
We too can cultivate a heart filled with God and when we choose to keep Him in the center of our life, like David, God will say we are people after His own heart. It takes time and sometimes hard work like it does in a garden. We will have to put aside earthly pleasures and seek God’s will over our desires, but with God’s help our hearts will grow closer to Him. How do we live a life of worship? Study scripture, spend quality time in prayer, praise Jesus through songs, poems, writing, or talking with others. Put Jesus in the center and everything else will fall into place and time will be found for what we need to get done in a day. As you bring in spring around your home and the gardens you might plant, take time to also cultivate God in your heart today and every day.
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