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Jeremiah 4:3-4

This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts!  Do not waste your good seed among thorns. 4 O people of Judah and Jerusalem,  surrender your pride and power.  Change your hearts before the Lord, or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of all your sins.


Have you ever wondered why this scripture is using the reference of a plow? You see, the hearts of the people would not change and were hardened to God. Using a plow tilled the earth and uprooted anything hard in the soil for a farmer to plant his seeds and allow them to take root and grow healthy.  During this time King Josiah (which is known in the bible as the only King to turn his heart around so much to God and follow His commands), tried to turn the people’s hearts and mind to God, but they did not and continued to worship false gods.  Their hearts became hard because of their sins.  If these sinful people did not do something drastic like “plowing” their hard hearts, they would never let God work in their lives.  They needed a broken and soften heart to accept the seed of God’s word in their heart so they can take root.  Jeremiah knew this was something important for the people to know.  Jesus taught a parable about the same thing to the people.  


Matthew 13:13-23


That’s why I speak to them in parables, because ‘they look but don’t see, and they listen but don’t hear or understand. 14  “With them the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says ‘You will listen and listen but never understand. You will look and look but never comprehend, 15  for this people’s heart has become dull, and their ears are hard of hearing. They have shut their eyes so that they might not see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them. 16  “How blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear! 17  I tell all of you with certainty, many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see but did not see them, and to hear the things you hear but did not hear them.” “Listen, then, to the parable about the farmer. 19  When anyone hears the word about the kingdom yet doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20  As for what was sown on the stony ground, this is the person who hears the word and accepts it joyfully at once, 21  but since he doesn’t have any root in himself, he lasts for only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes along because of the word, he immediately falls away. 22  As for what was sown among the thorn bushes, this is the person who hears the word, but the worries of life and the deceitful pleasures of wealth choke the word so that it can’t produce a crop. 23  But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the person who hears the word, understands it, and produces a crop that yields 100, 60, or 30 times what was sown.”


Jesus was enhancing Jeremiah’s message to the people of His time that were having the same hardened hearts as Jeremiah’s people did. We need to remove the hardness of our hearts to accept Jesus and let God’s word take root and grow in our hearts.  Jesus was trying to encourage “spiritual farmers.”  Those who would teach the gospel, preach to others about the good news of Jesus, and work hard to seek people and help them want to seek the Lord again.


The problem that many of us have today is that there are so many hardened hearts in our world .        It is crazy how much history repeats itself.  When you try to teach people the word of God, they just do not want to listen or they have no faith in Him.  It can be very discouraging at times to be honest.  However, if Jeremiah and Jesus did not give up then we shouldn’t give up either.  We need to continue to teach the world that their lives need to change to receive salvation.  Faith cannot be forced on people, the only thing that can be done is letting the Holy Spirit work on the people’s hearts that you are trying to plant a seed in them.  Everyone lives in sin and it has almost become the “normal.”  The same happened back then and there must be a drastic change in our lives and hearts to let God work in our lives.


Jesus describes that their are different stages of a person’s heart.  The first type of heart is a hardened one.  They are content in sinning and want to continue doing what they do without being held accountable for their actions. The second stage of a heart is it being shallow.  These people say they want to follow Jesus and simply do not.  Then there is the distracted heart.  These are people who know the word of God, but listen to the world instead of God and this affects their hearts because of it.  Lastly, Jesus teaches about receptive people.  These types of people seek God and do not let any worldly experiences influence their love for God.  This allows God to take root in their lives and will have peace everlasting.  


We have all been in these different stages in our hearts and needed to make a change for the better.  If you are up against the wall with your faith, get a plow and breakup your hardened heart.  Sometimes it takes a drastic change in our lives to let our Heavenly Father to work in it.  If you do not have a soften heart to accept God’s word completely, you cannot expect God to work in your life completely either.  God wants 100% of you, and you should want 100% of God working in our life.  If you are not giving Him 100%, take a step back and figure out why His love is not taking root in your heart.  Many times the only thing keeping us from God is ourselves. So please take some time to and figure out which stage is your heart in.  A honest reflection can provide you with the understanding you need to get closer to Him.  I have had times like this where I wondered why God was not working in my life.  Then I took a step back and looked in the mirror.  I was not doing what God expected of me and yet I was expecting Him to work for me in my life.  It was not until figuring this out did my heart get softened. Then I realized the blessing I already had and was humbled. I pray this message helps someone today.  God bless you all.