Luke 8:11-15 - Four Basic Conditions of the Heart - part 1.

Luke 8:11-15 - The Four Basic Conditions of the Heart (Parable 
Of The Sower) part 1. 

Luke 8:11-15 (NIV) "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed 
is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, 
and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, 
so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rock are 
the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they 
have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing 
they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those 
who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's 
worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on 
good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the 
word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.  

The fate of the word of God depends on the heart into which it 
is sown.  
* PATH PEOPLE - The hard path represents the shut mind, the mind 
which refuses to take it in.  
* ROCK PEOPLE - The shallow ground represents those who accept 
the word but who never think it out and never realize its 
consequences and who therefore collapse when the strain comes.  
* THORN PATCH PEOPLE - The thorny ground stands for those whose 
lives are so busy that the things of God get crowded out. We must ever 
remember that the things which crowd out the highest need not necessarily 
be bad. The worst enemy of the best is the second best.  
* GOOD SOIL PEOPLE - The good ground stands for the good heart. 
The good hearer does three things. First, he listens attentively. 
Second, he keeps what he hears in his mind and heart and thinks over it 
until he discovers its meaning for himself. Third, he acts upon it. He 
translates what he has heard into action. [Barclay Commentary mod] 

  At any time, the receptiveness of your heart will determine 
your response to God's word (Lu 8:5-18). If your heart is like the 
trampled ground, hardened by the sin of bitterness and unforgiveness, you 
will be unable to accept a message from God. Though you hear the 
words of the message, you will remain unchanged. If your heart is like 
the shallow soil on top of a rock, you will accept God's word in 
your mind, but the truth will not penetrate your heart to make a 
difference in your actions. A heart like thorny soil is a life that is 
distracted by the cares of the world; the pursuit of earthly pleasures 
prevents God's word from taking hold and producing righteousness. The 
heart that is like good soil receives a word from God, applies it, and 
brings forth fruit in due time. This is the heart that Jesus desires in 
us, for the fruit will be a Christlike life. 
  Any time you hear a word from God, whether through Bible 
reading, prayer, or worship, the way you respond will depend on how you 
have cultivated your heart (Ho 10:12). How do you develop a heart 
that is like good soil? Repent of any bitterness, anger, or 
unforgiveness that is hardening your heart. Meditate on God's word until it 
enters deep into your heart and not just your mind. When you read or 
hear a word from God, apply it to your life and let God bring His 
word into reality in your life (Ga 6:9). Protect your lifestyle. See 
that you don't devote all of your energy to worldly concerns, rather 
than to pursuing your relationship with God. The condition of your 
heart will vary, depending on how you cultivate it. If it was 
receptive to a word from God yesterday, this does not guarantee it is 
receptive today. Daily prepare your heart for the word God has for you! 
[Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Luke 8:15]