The Four Conditions Of The Heart
"Why do the wicked renounce God?" Psalm 10:13 When you think about it, it doesn't make a lot of sense. Everyone has been to a funeral; everyone is reminded that his day will come also. So it follows, wouldn't seeing death make one start thinking about his own destiny? How can it be that confronted with death, a person comes away with nary a thought of his own fate? Well, there are several reasons. Jesus likened man's response to his Word with a picture of the sower and his seed, representing four conditions of man's heart. He presented four scenarios played out when people hear the Word of God. THE FIRST: "When anyone hears the Word of the Kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart." Matthew 13:19 Some think the Bible is too hard to understand, so they ignore it. They have a wall built up and whenever they hear the Word they pay no attention, so Satan easily snatches that Word. Therefore, having heard it, it was of no avail to them: THE SECOND: "...he who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, immediately he stumbles." vs 20-21 Some have enough reverence for God that they gladly hear his Word - UNTIL - they are overtaken by some kind of trouble; in a trial, they can't stand because they only heard it superficially, and that's not enough to support them when trouble comes. THE THIRD: "...he who hears the Word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful." vs 22 People are too busy. Their minds and hearts are busy looking after the cares in their world, consumed with activities, consumed with how to increase in wealth and acquire yet more. When they hear the Word they only give it a nod, because their hearts are set on their daily concerns and that's where all their interest lies. BUT THE FOURTH: "..."he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces; some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” vs 23 This is the person who sets his heart FIRST on the Word of God. His heart is filled with the desire to know God and to follow his Word no matter what trials or difficulties may come. He knows they surely WILL come, but he has a depth of faith inside that points his heart to the Word of God in all and every situation he encounters in life. Oh that a man would realize that his time on this earth is so short. Picture a yardstick; 1/16th of an inch is lived here, and the rest of it is lived in eternity. Seeing death should awaken understanding. Many do achieve their goals - and enjoy them - for the 1/16th inch of their lives. Then comes the end. And then ...what? Oh that all would realize that you can't live for yourself and for the devil, and then expect to go with Jesus when you die.