Have you ever become really excited about a hobby, activity, or something else that you thought would give you joy the rest of your life? A little known fact is that I was a bass player in a friend’s band. I had talked my parents into buying me a guitar, and after two lessons and minimal practice, I thought I was ready for stardom. Apparently there really aren’t many famous bass players so my plan had some holes. Here is the point: As quickly as the excitement, fun and happiness came, it left just as quickly. People booing can have that effect on you.

In the story of the sower (Matthew 13), Jesus tells about how people’s excitement in faith can grow and wither quickly just like a plant in real life. They experience something totally different than they are used to, maybe it’s a loving community for the first time, new friends who act differently, a camp high at Hume Lake, serving others, or something along those lines. Quickly they want to be a part and join in many things. Then the rockiness of life reveals itself; health issues, work/school stress, distractions, dysfunction at home, and many other things distract and do not allow deep roots to grow. This is why we see people throughout the gospels leave Jesus, the excitement of the experience (a meal or a miracle) cannot sustain growth. Only with Jesus continuing to cultivate our hearts will that allow us to grow deep roots in faith.

We need him to prepare the soil of our hearts so faith becomes everything and not just a shallow, but fun experience (kind of of like me in a band). We need to listen and let Jesus speak to our hearts, minds, and souls so roots of faith can grow deeply with him.

Will you take a moment to live this out with me? Hearing is important, so either listen or read aloud John 3:1-21. Pick a translation you enjoy. Listen through the story and think about Nicodemus and how Jesus cultivates the soil of his heart. Invite Jesus to cultivate your heart today, set aside moments through the day to allow Jesus in.

By Jeremy Johnson
Pastor of Men’s Ministry

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