Week 22 Sunday

A Noble and Good Heart

Today’s scripture selection: Luke 7-8

Key Verse: Luke 8:15

What kind of person is the type to receive God’s guidance when it comes?  According to Jesus it is the one with a “noble and good heart.”

He compared such persons to good soil in which valuable seed is planted.  The seed is God’s word or guidance.  The soil is the person who provides the necessary “environment” in which it can grow and flourish.

What gets in the way of such growth?

  • Being choked by life’s worries
  • Being already consumed by riches and pleasures
  • Being unwilling to grow and mature
  • Being “rootless” – and unable to withstand testing when it comes

In short, the world can be a place filled with all sorts of things that make it difficult, at best, to nurture God’s word to us.

But, it is possible, if we choose to make it so.

It takes time, patience, a willingness to turn off the computer or phone and a desire to spend some concentrated alone with Him.  But God will honor such a desire.

So, how about allowing God to do a little creative gardening in your soul this year?  Make yourself available.  Provide some spiritually rich soil.

God will take care of the rest.

Prayer: Lord, I open my life to you; sow the seed of your word into it that it may blossom.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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