Well, with Thanksgiving just one week away, I'm reflecting upon a passage I read this morning from James chapter 1.
In this chapter, James writes, "21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls."
James is sharing with us that we need to get rid, remove from our lives, be done with, all the filth and evil in our lives. I believe the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2 & 3 writes in a similar manner. He writes in chapter 3 about "putting to death" the old man.
However James (and Paul too) writes that we should humbly accept the word God has planted in our hearts. As we make our way on our spiritual journey, having received Christ Jesus as our Savior, God has planted His word in our hearts - we need to make sure that our hearts are prepared much like you would prepare the ground for planting things.
My wife and I recently planted some Canadian chrysanthemums in our front yard, along our sidewalk. Years ago we would have dug a small hole, threw them in, and called it good. However we have learned that the key is the soil preparation for these new plants. We dug our hole, put in black humous soil, followed by some manure, followed by top soil, all mixed in and added some miracle grow as we then planted each chrysanthemums.
I believe that we need to be as diligent in preparing our hearts for God's engrafted, or emplanted word. Sometimes we just live our lives on auto pilot. We don't get rid of the stuff in our life that can hinder us and lead us to a poor conditioning of my heart.
I recently helped someone with their email account. They couldn't figure out why it wasn't working properly for them. So I set out to help. I asked for the password and the person "sheepishly" replied, "it's foul." So I typed in "foul" but that didn't work. Then I was told, "know the word is foul, crass, and bad." I was told the word was XFXG!!. This person was a believer. I said, "I think it would help your Christian walk and faith if you changed your password.
Imagine, every day checking email to type in something that is of the old nature, the old man which is something we are daily to do away with. Jeremiah says we need to remove that kind of thinking from our lives and hearts. He calls for removing the "foreskin" of your heart. That's the picture of the filth that we allow into our lives.
But if we will prepare our hearts to have the right soil, and by preparing I mean reading the Word, meditating upon the Word, praying, praying for others, sharing with others, and living an obedient life, then both James and Paul tell us that the Word will have deep roots and give us stability in our lives.
When we properly prepare our hearts for God's Word, it will flourish in our life and we will truly enjoy a thankful, blessed and better life.
How's the soil preparation of your heart going today?