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A Heart Test

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My dad was experiencing health struggles. As a result, the doctor gave him a heart monitor to wear for almost two weeks. It wasn’t comfortable or convenient, but he was willing to wear it so the doctors could determine the state of his heart.

Jesus gave his listeners a heart test in Mark 4. He tells the story of a farmer going out to sow seeds and that the seeds landed on different soil types. The seeds Jesus refers to in the story are his teaching. Will it sink into their hearts and minds and change them, or will they go away and forget what they’ve learned? What would our response be?   

The first soil or heart is a well-worn path with no soil. The second was rocky with very little soil, the third was full of thorn bushes, and the fourth was good. Here’s a little test for you to pause and reflect on. How is the condition of your heart?

When you hear or read God’s Word, what is your response? 

  1. Hear it, but it does not affect you.
  2. Hear it and initially receive it, but when trouble comes, you don’t believe it anymore.
  3. Hear it, but the worries of this life and desire for other things are more important.  
  4. Hear it and receive it as God’s truth, letting it sink deeply into your mind and heart and change you.

What would your test results show? Be honest. Which number represents your heart?  I hope you picked number four because Jesus tells us that there are significant results when our hearts are open. Here’s what He says in Mark 4, verse 20.

“But what is sown on good soil represents those who open their hearts to receive the message and their lives bear good fruit—some yield a harvest of thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold” (TPT)!

A heart that is open, teachable, and obedient to the Word of God is key to living a life where you continually bear good fruit. Galatians 5:22-23a tells us what that fruit is.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (NIV).

This fruit isn’t just for you to enjoy, but it multiplies itself in the life of others! This amazing kingdom principle is only possible if we have hearts like good soil—open, teachable, and willing to receive Jesus’ teaching in our life.

So how’s your heart?

Perhaps life has caused you to have a hard heart. The troubles and cares of this life have taken away your ability to be open to what Jesus wants to say to you. Perhaps it is simply busyness that has kept you from hearing God speak to you, and you have not spent time hearing or reading the Word of God. Jesus asks you to surrender your hurts, disappointments, and troubles to Him. He wants permission to make your heart soft and receptive so that He can produce His good fruit in you. Are you willing?

Pray: Lord Jesus, I open my heart to receive the Word of truth and welcome You to grow lots of fruit in me. Reveal to me the things that have hardened my heart. I confess my worry and focus on the world around me. I welcome You to teach me and change me. Help me to obey Your Word. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Scripture quotations, as noted, are taken from The Passion Translation®, a registered trademark of Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Copyright © 2020 Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc.

Scripture quotations, as noted, are quoted from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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About The Author

Lorie Hartshorn

Lorie Hartshorn is an international Christian speaker and Finding Freedom Bible study author. She inspires, encourages, and challenges, as her primary passion is to make Jesus known. She has spent over 25 years educating, training, and developing leaders, as she's passionate about seeing people grow in faith and experience spiritual freedom.

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