But the seed in the good ground — these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, bear fruit.
— Luke 8:15, HCSB
The “honest and good heart” of which the parable speaks, is not a heart without sin; for...Christ said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark 2:17.
He has an honest heart who yields to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. He confesses his guilt, and feels his need of the mercy and love of God. He has a sincere desire to know the truth, that he may obey it. The good heart is a believing heart, one that has faith in the word of God.
The good-ground hearer receives the word “not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13. Only he who receives the Scriptures as the voice of God speaking to himself is a true learner.
To those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance, angels of God draw near. The Holy Spirit is given to open to them the rich treasures of the truth.
Merely to hear or to read the word is not enough. He who desires to be profited by the Scriptures must meditate upon the truth that has been presented to him. By earnest attention and prayerful thought he must learn the meaning of the words of truth, and drink deep of the spirit of the holy oracles.
God bids us fill the mind with great thoughts, pure thoughts. He desires us to meditate upon His love and mercy, to study His wonderful work in the great plan of redemption. Then clearer and still clearer will be our perception of truth, higher, holier, our desire for purity of heart and clearness of thought. The soul dwelling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought will be transformed by communion with God through the study of Scriptures.
“The husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:7. So the Christian is to wait with patience for the fruition in his life of the word of God.
Our part is to receive God’s word and to hold it fast, yielding ourselves fully to its control, and its purpose in us will be accomplished.
— Christ’s Object Lessons, p.58-61
Yield to the Holy Spirit. Confess your guilt and feel the need of the mercy and love of God.
Receive the Scriptures as the voice of God speaking to you. By prayerful thought learn the meaning of His word.
Fill the mind with pure thoughts. Meditate on His love and mercy, study His wonderful work in the great plan of redemption.
Commune with God through the study of Scriptures.