The seed which fell among the thorns are individuals who have heard the Word, but let the worries and riches and pleasures of this life choke it out, so they produce no mature fruit. But the seed in the good soil are the ones who hear the Word with a noble and good heart, hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. Luke 8:14-15
The honest and good heart of the godly person contrasts sharply with the ignoble and reprehensible heart of the merely religious. The simply religious only have a superficial appreciation of the hope and power of Jesus’ message. So when they experience obstacles and/or pleasures that oppose his teaching, they let go of the good Jesus offers. But if we have a passionate care for, and commitment to, the joys of a covenant relationship with God, Jesus says we have a noble and good heart. This singular focus, this integrity, helps us persevere in doing good. When we are whole-hearted in our response to the good news of the kingdom, we will more readily hold fast to the hope laid up for us in heaven, and more readily obey God’s commands, especially when faced with competing claims that might divide our hearts. Integrity will make us unlike those who light candles and put them under baskets, but like those whose faith keeps them shining their lights into a dark world.
Father, I need to listen well to what Jesus has to say. Only he has the words of eternal life. Unite in me a joyful hearing and an eager doing of the Word he speaks for you. Amen.