Tending the Garden of Our Hearts

by Rob Dunne

“But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” Matthew 8:15

I believe that certain instincts exist within creation. For example, female sea turtles bury clutches of eggs on the beach. Hatchlings usually emerge from the nest at night or during a rainstorm when the temperature is cooler. Once out, the little turtles orient themselves to the brightest horizon, and then dash toward the sea. If they don’t make it to the ocean quickly, many hatchlings will die of dehydration in the sun or be caught by predators like birds and crabs.

This is a picture of life on earth for humankind. When we are born, something inside us instinctively draws us to the Light. Like the sea turtle, there are many dangers seeking to prevent us from reaching our destination. We need to be watchful of these dangers and do our part to avoid them.

In Matthew chapter 8, Jesus tells the familiar story of the sower and the seed. He presents us with four scenarios of what happens when people hear the Word of God:

  • Those who hear the Word but have it snatched away by the devil. This prevents them from believing the Word and getting saved.
  • Those who hear the Word, but don’t allow it to take root deep within their hearts. When temptation comes, they give in easily.
  • Those who hear the Word and allow the cares, riches and pleasures of life to choke it out of them. This third group is the type I think we see most often today in the United States. This nation richly blesses us with opportunity. Here, you can pursue your dreams and become wealthy. Among other things, music, television, movies, computers and sports distract us.
  • Those whose hearts are good and fertile, that upon receiving the Word, allows it to take root. 

We must tend to the garden of our hearts like a masterful gardener. We are obligated to guard our hearts from the devil so that he cannot snatch the Word from us. Feeding our hearts with the Word on a daily basis is important so that it may take root deep within us. As thorns and weeds pop up, we must quickly remove them and cast them in the fire. By doing all of these things, we allow God’s Word to bear fruit in our lives.

As you meet with the Lord today, ask Him if your heart needs fertilizing, weeding or pruning. He is anxious to give you His green thumb of approval!