Throughout the Apostle’s Paul’s missionary journeys, he learned that the right response to God’s word depended on the condition of people’s hearts, just as Jesus said in the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:4-9).

Like a seed, God’s word falls into four places—“path,” “rocky ground,” “thorns,” and “good soil.” These four places correspond to four conditions of the human heart; namely, hard, shallow, crowded, and converted.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (NIV). How? Guard your heart by guarding the places that invite the world into your being. Guard your eyes. Guard your ears. Guard your mind. Guard your heart because the right response to God’s word depends on the condition of your heart.

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“Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Romans 8:28 MSG