Friday, July 4, 2014

The Good Soil: Part Three (Luke 8:8,15)

And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:8, 15 KJV

There is an interesting point in the translation of this verse from the original. The word translated as "good" when used to describe the ground is kalos, the same word used to describe the "honest" heart. The word translated as "good" when describing the heart is agathos. It indicates the goodness of God but it is also translated as "kind" and indicates a heart that is not just morally correct, but unfailingly kind. 

This does not mean one who exhibits kindness toward family and fellow believers only. This kindness is displayed toward everyone.  This good heart demonstrates kindness toward its worst enemy and towards the one who is enmeshed in the worst sin imaginable. 

This little word, agathos, is also used sometimes in another way. It can be used to mean "happy" or "joyful". Can you see that this is one of those pivotal phrases that is so often neglected in the church today?

Fruitfulness is a product of seed that lands in good soil. For the disciple of Christ, that "good" soil of the heart is not only beautifully pure of heart and life, but unfailingly kind to everyone. This incredibly kind heart will be blessed with overwhelming joy as well! 

To be sure we understand this, let's take a look at unfailing kindness once more. This is kindness when we don't want to be kind, kindness to those society has cast away, and kindness to those organized religion might shun. 

The question of either/or is completely eliminated by the little word kai, translated "and". It means "and" or "also".  That beautiful purity of heart does not exist alone. For it to be a part of the "good soil" of the heart, purity always co-exists with unfailing kindness and joy. 

As we examine our own hearts today, consider whether we have the "good soil" in our hearts. Are we both pure of heart and unfailingly kind? The two traits together are not optional for disciples. 

Pray today for a heart that is so beautifully pure that it is manifested as unfailing kindness to all and accompanied by overwhelming joy. 
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