A Year with Jesus #20 The Four Hearts Luke 8:4-21 In this story the “seeds” are the words of Christ and the “soils” represent the hearts of men. Isaiah 6:9-10 (NIV) 9"Go and tell this people: "‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." The same word that transforms some, hardens others. Luke 8:18b (NIV) 18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him." Jesus describes 4 kinds of hearts: I. The Hard Heart Luke 8:11-12 (NIV) 11 "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. A. Some people are defiant toward Christ. B. Other people are apathetic toward Christ. II. The Superficial Heart Luke 8:13 (NIV) 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. III. The Distracted Heart Luke 8:14 (NIV) 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. IV. The Receptive Heart Luke 8:15-21 (NIV) 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. John Piper lists ten ways we should prepare our hearts to hear God’s Word on Sunday: Pray that God would give you a heart to know Him. Meditate on the Word of God. Purify your mind by turning away from worldly entertainment. Trust in the truth that you already have. Get a good night's rest on Saturday night. Forebear one another without grumbling and criticism. Come in a spirit of meek teachability. Be still as you enter the room and focus your mind's attention and heart on God. When the worship service begins, think earnestly about what is sung and prayed and preached. Desire the truth of God's Word more than you desire riches or food.