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Dear Church,
 
James 1:21 says “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” 
 
We have a rocky hill in front of our home and this year I planted some vegetables on it. It took me hours to painfully dig through the rocky ground, remove all the rocks and plant in the newly prepared soil. To my joy it is producing a rich crop. So, it’s not just the seed or sapling; it’s the soil. The soil must be prepared for the seed. If I had just thrown some seeds on that hill, nothing would have come out. The same is true for God’s word, our hearts have to be prepared for the Word. If we do not prepare our hearts, then it will be difficult to receive God’s Word   
 
That is why two people may attend the same church on a Sunday, take-part in the same worship and hear the same sermon preached. One will go home thinking God really spoke to her and the other will go home receiving nothing. James points to the truth that like the soil our hearts must be prepared to receive God’s Word. How is this possible? 
 
One, humble yourself:  Pride acts as a firewall from receiving God’s word. A heart filled with pride is the worst enemy of faith.
 
Two, seek forgiveness:  James says, get rid of all moral filth and evil. Before you meet God confess your sin to him and seek forgiveness.
 
Three, Be Still (Calm):  Frantic life repels godliness. God has invited us to His rest. The word of God says, be ‘still’ and know that I am God. God rarely approaches people who are too busy for Him.
 
Four, be quiet and listen:  You can’t hear God talking if you’re doing all the talking. Listen to Him, read a portion of the bible, and then listen. 
 
Take time to prepare our hearts before we come to God. There are tremendous blessings in this.
 
Be Encouraged,
Mathews

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