Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.
O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open.
But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
Children are born with open hearts. They are soft, yielding and faithful. To them, the world is full of wonder and all things are possible.
My grandson, Jack, is almost four. Recently, he watched his first real movies: Toy Story 1 and 2. When my daughter asked Jack what he learned from the movies, he answered sincerely: 'When we leave home, our toys come alive.'
God expects this same miracle-believing, logic-defying faith from us. But in maturity, our faith is directed toward Him alone. 'Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven' (Matthew 18:3).
Perhaps Jesus' most famous parable is The Parable of the Sower. Covering 42 verses among three Gospels, it's about the condition of our hearts: wayward, rocky, thorny or good.
A good heart is an open heart. An open heart receives the Word of God, and it yields a great harvest:
'But he who received Seed on the good ground is he who hears the Word and understands It, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty' (Matthew 13:23): who 'Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God' (Philippians 1:11).
Here's the payoff: hearts that are open to God are not only healthy, joyful and nourishing to their owners, but their fruit is so abundant that it flows over into the lives of countless others. That's called evangelism: the fulfillment of the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Heart Conditions series.