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Each week I give a devotion in each of the 8 dining areas of the Shalom Centre and Margaret (not her real name) is there, with ears which will not hear. Her heart is a fortress, cold, hard, defensive. The gates are huge, old and impenetrable, bolted with fear and pride that slide across into their iron brackets at the mention of Christ. She sits in a dungeon of her own making, alone, critical of the world, of God, of life. This morning as I approach her to say "Good morning", she waved me off, saying "Go away! I don't want anything to do with you! I don't believe in that religious nonsense! Go away! I don't want to talk to you!" I retreat from her and give her the distance she demands. So does God.

Why is it that Margaret does not want to listen or believe in the possibility that what the Bible says is true?

Jesus speaks of Margaret when He tells the parable of the Sower and the Soils in Matthew 13. He speaks of HARD soil, defensive, closed and bitter towards God. He speaks of others with SHALLOW hearts, and superficial faith, and of those so PREOCCUPIED and busy that they miss their opportunity to discover what life is about.

Then there are those who have RECEPTIVE hearts to the message He gives. They are like fertile soil, producing a crop worth harvesting. Yet even some of them produce in a LIMITED way, giving only 30% and 60% returns.

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