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"All by itself, the soil produces grain — first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head." Mark 4:28
Yet not without certain other influences upon it. If the sun does not shine upon it, and if there is no rain from Heaven — the seed will never germinate, however rich the soil. The human heart is the soil in which the seeds of truth grow; but it must have the sunshine and rain of divine grace upon it — before it will produce any spiritual fruit.
A gentleman tore down an building that had stood for many years in his yard. He smoothed over the ground, and left it. The warm spring rains fell upon it, and the sunshine flooded it; and in a few days there sprang up multitudes of little flowers, unlike any that grew in the neighborhood. Where the building had stood was once a garden, and the seeds had lain in the soil without moisture, light, or warmth all the years. So soon as the sunshine and the rain touched them — they sprang up into life and beauty.
So ofttimes the seeds of truth lie long in a human heart, not growing, because the light and warmth of the Holy Spirit are shut away from them by sin and unbelief; but after long years the heart is opened in some way to the influences of the Divine Spirit — and the seeds, living still, shoot up into beauty. The instructions of a mother may lie in a heart, fruitless, from the childhood to old age — and yet at last may save the soul.
When we have sown the heavenly seed, we should continually pray that God would pour his Spirit, like rain and sunshine, upon the heart where it lies — to quicken it into life.
Then, for ourselves, we should seek always to keep our hearts open to every invigorating influence of the grace of God. We need to pray constantly for the rain to come down — else our hearts will lie bare and sterile, though filled with the divine seeds.