Thursday, September 09, 2010

Do you have a fallow heart?

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Jeremiah 4:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem:
'Break up your fallow ground
And do not sow among thorns.'" Jeremiah 4:3

In this plea through Jeremiah God calls wayward Judah and Israel back to Him. He calls their hearts "fallow ground."

I think summer fallow — the fields my father would leave unplanted each year. He cycled these so that every growing season a bit of the land got a rest. One doesn't expect a crop from fallow land. Israel and Judah have been spiritually unproductive.

But it's time to get back to planting and crops. Get the soil of your heart ready, says Jeremiah. How is that done? Another prophet prophet — Hosea — tells us. It's by seeking the Lord (Hosea 10:12).

When you plant, watch that you don't put that valuable seed among thorns, cautions Jeremiah. We think of Jesus' parable where the seed is the God's word and the thorns signify the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches which "choke the word and it becomes unfruitful."

If you and I are in a fallow, unfruitful state, we too can again become spiritually productive. We can break up our heart's barren crust by seeking the Lord — reading the Bible, asking God to show us the ways it applies to us personally, sharing our lives with Him in prayer and being open to His correction and instruction.

But in this time of noisy electronics and many distractions, we are also vulnerable to thorns — the ring-tones of cell phones, the instant information of the Internet, cares of work, family, the need to earn money. We need more than ever to watch over our hearts that they remain good, productive soil.

PRAYER: Dear God, I want my heart to be receptive and productive. Help me to see You with energy and be vigilant to guard what I find and learn. Amen.

MORE: "I Will Delight" by Fernando Ortega

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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