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Can a person change their "soil" (heart?)?

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by CreeXPL, May 14, 2021.

  1. CreeXPL

    CreeXPL Light the Way

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    In the parable Jesus told about the sower and the seeds, we see that seeds fell on different surfaces of ground, some of which were better than others. If the rocky places, soil, thorny areas, etc. represent the heart of different people and how receptive they are to God's Word, is it possible for the person to change their heart on their own in order to receive the Word?

    I'm not sure I'm asking this right, so I'll explain my reason for asking. In the end, we're judged in how we receive/reject God's Word to us and how we prosper afterwards, such as not at all, or in limited ways, or in a big and fruitful way. If our heart at the time of receiving the Word determines all this, then how do we change it to be receptive before the "seed" is sown?
     
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  2. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

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    The only soil that did not believe, was the first soil. All other soils believed, but some let the world drag them down and not be fruitful.

    But those who represent the soils that were unproductive can be productive, they just have put God first and not fall into the influence of worldly pleasures.
     
  3. friend of

    friend of Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes. If one perseveres in the faith, anyone can become the propitious soil.
     
  4. CreeXPL

    CreeXPL Light the Way

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    I can't think of where it was, but weren't the ones that were unfruitful gathered up and burned? I think that's a different parable, but relates to the same thing.
     
  5. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

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    Burning does not always mean a person is in hell. believers works will be judged with fire.

    1 Corinthians 3:13
     
  6. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    We can't, but God can.

    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -1Jn 1:9​

    God's promise there is twofold - to forgive and to cleanse. So our task in to go to Him in faith and confess the condition of our heart. He can do the rest.
     
  7. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi, Cree :) Welcome to Christian Forums! God bless you howsoever He pleases.

    I would say yes a person's character can be changed. But the person oneself can not change one's own character. We trust Jesus to change us how God desires.

    "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

    We do not change our own character to become like God > "as He is" "in this world". But God does this. We trust God to do this with us. And Hebrews 12:4-14 says we need to actively seek our Father for how He corrects our character so we share with Him in His own holiness in His love's "peaceable fruit of righteousness" which is the result of how our Father corrects His children.
     
  8. CreeXPL

    CreeXPL Light the Way

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    What if a person has been saved for decades but is still "lukewarm" or maybe even a bit chilly? Is that more of a sign that the person isn't doing something quite right?
     
  9. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It is a sign that the person isn't doing things right.

    And it is a sign that the person does not have the character to live the way we can in Jesus' love. So, if I am lukewarm, I do not only need to change what I am doing and how I am doing things. I need how God in us changes us and then has us with Him discovering and sharing with Him.

    And then we do things right because we are with God.

    "Therefore submit to God." (in James 4:7)

    "Be still, and know that I am God" (in Psalm 46:10)

    "rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (1 Peter 3:4)

    Unless God has us with Him in His love's "gentle and quiet spirit", we can not manage even our attention the right way. We can not be sensitive to Him and stay submissive to Him in His peace, unless He changes our hearts and minds so we are with Him.

    If someone is not living God's way, I would not assume the person is saved, by the way. But I don't think we need to get into a thing about what label to put on someone. Hebrews 12:4-14 guarantees how we become because of God's correction. So, I simply would expect this and seek this with God. And in case someone is not resting in Jesus > Matthew 11:28-30 > in His "rest for your souls" > whatever the person is doing might not be really right.

    I think of how Martha was so busy doing things . . . I would say, supposedly for Jesus . . . but Jesus stood up for Mary who simply stayed at Jesus' feet and listened to Him. She had chosen what really was the good part > Luke 10:38-42.

    Martha was troubled while making such great gestures toward God, I suppose. But it wasn't right, because she wasn't right.

    So, even if someone is very active and seems on fire for God . . . this can be outward and one's own emotions and congratulating one's self and one's own will which it seems is an idol for a number of people; free will can be an idol; one's own effort can be an idol, of sorts. And people are isolated and independent, so we are not with God and helping one another.

    Jesus is about family and sharing as family, while we are with our Father and Jesus.
     
  10. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

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    No that was not unfruitful believers. that was unbelievers satan sowed amongst believers.

    Matthew 13:24-30 and 36-43
     
  11. EpicScore

    EpicScore Member

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    "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    We cannot change our hearts with our own strength, just as a soil cannot change its own state unless someone works on it.

    We can, however: 1) acknowledge our own weaknesses and lack 2) humbly ask God for His grace to change us, and 3) be willing to submit to the changes he wants us to make to our lives.

    The problem is, most people aren't willing to do that. Despite our profession to be the followers of Christ, most of us prefer to be our own authority, make our own choices and build our own achievements, and as a result the Word of God cannot properly take root in our hearts, because we've filled the soil with other priorities (i.e. the stones and the thorny weeds) that competes for our attention and strangles our faith in God, and thus we become "unfruitful" and "lukewarm".

    Actually, I think he's referring to John 15:6, which says, "If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned."

    You already answered the question in your previous post, though.
     
  12. CreeXPL

    CreeXPL Light the Way

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    What you said in your last line quickly reminded me of something I experienced when going to church. I am a single male, and almost everyone there was in a family. I didn't feel very welcome to engage in conversation with people who were in a family, but only with the other single people. I know the bible says that a man is to leave his parents and cleave to his wife, but it doesn't always work out that way for everyone. It's hasn't for me, and my time is mostly up for that sort of thing.

    But regarding what you said about changing what we're doing and how we're doing things, it sounds an awful lot like we're expected to change ourselves rather than God doing it. Paul said that he does what he doesn't want to to, and the good that he wants to do is what he doesn't do. He seemed to have accepted the idea that even after being saved, we still aren't what we (or God) wants us to be. At least that's my interpretation. Am I wrong?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  13. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Think having the fear of the Lord is key to our heart conditions.

    We decide if we're going to have the fear of the Lord, Then God teaches those who fear Him - that's what Pro 1 states. "For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:" Pro 1:29

    Having the fear of the Lord is loving Him, giving Him honor, respect, devotion, right worship, serving Him, following Him and being submitted and obeying His Word, His will.

    The fear of the Lord -
    -"...causes men to depart from evil (Pro 16:6),
    - Can be taught - teach children to have the fear of the Lord (Psa 34:11).
    - How to have the fear of the Lord: (Pro 2:1-5).
    - Having the fear of the Lord means we love Him and what He loves and hates what He hates (Psa 97:10, Pro 6:16-19).

    "...we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:" Heb 22:28 Having the fear of the Lord is the true and acceptable way of worshipping the Lord (Benson commentary).

    Having the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge, instruction, and is the fountain of life (Pro 1:7, 9:10, 14:27). "The reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it rests satisfied; he cannot be visited with [actual] evil." Pro 19:23

    -"The reverent fear and worshipful awe of the Lord [includes] the hatred of evil; pride, arrogance, the evil way, and perverted and twisted speech I hate." (Pro 8:13).
    -It "...prolongs one’s days..." (Pro 10:27) and is continuous (Pro 23:17).
    -"In the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children shall always have a place of refuge." (Pro 14:26)
    -"By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life." (Pro 22:4)
    "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant" (Psa 25).
    -It's a treasure (Isa 33:6l), and
    -churches walked in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31).

    Plus "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him,, and make our abode with him." John 14:23
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2021
  14. myst33

    myst33 Well-Known Member

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    Yes - its called "neuroplasticity" in the modern terms.

    We can change ourselves, if we keep trying.

    Actually, our brain is constantly rewiring itself by anything we think about or do. So if we wilfully direct our thoughts and behaviour, we are changing "our soil", i.e. heart, i.e. brain.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  15. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Yes that's the reason we have Scripture such as:
    "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phillippians 4:8

    A neurosugeon, Dr Avery Jackson, has written "God's Prescription Book" and includes how our bodies benefit when we follow Scripture such as Phillippians 4:8 and "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine...." Pro 17:22
     
  16. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, it is possible that family church people might not know how to relate as Jesus' family. So, I would say share as well as you can with anyone. And be their example, if they are not quite with it.

    "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32)

    "And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved." (2 Corinthians 12:15)

    And this comes with how God changes our character. Yes, our soil can change . . . thanks to God :)
     
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