The Garden of the Heart
Nehemiah 3:15
But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it…

Very often when I am going through a garden I come to some little bit marked off from the rest by a stick or a row of stones, and some lad or some little maiden comes running up; "This is my garden," they say, "my very own, to do whatever I like with." Now each of us has a garden, our very own, and yet it ought to be, and must be, the King's garden. It is the garden of the heart.

I. I should like you to remember THAT GARDENS ARE MADE OUT OF WASTE PLACES. We want our heart to be nice and kind, and like a king's garden ought to be; and we look at the brambles and the waste places, and fear sometimes that it never can be made into a garden. "I never shall be good," you say; "I never shall be like so-and-so." When I was a little boy I learnt drawing, and one day when I had tried again and again, and couldn't do it right, I flung down the pencil and said angrily, "I never shall be able to draw." The master was a very and a very wise man. He laughed pleasantly, and said, "Come — never is a long time. I couldn't draw any better than you can when I was your age." That put new life into me. He who could draw anything with his pencil, and could make it exactly right with just a touch — to think that once he could not draw any better than I could! I went at it again then, and never felt inclined to give up afterwards. And so with all good people that ever lived — their hearts were wild and waste before they became the King's garden.

II. BEFORE THE KING CAN MAKE A GARDEN HE MUST OWN THE LAND. Jesus says to us, "My son, give Me thine heart." He wants the heart, not because it is a garden, but that He may make a King's garden of it.

III. IT MUST BE CLEARED AND PLANTED. "Ah," you say, "this is hard work." The weeds will grow so fast when you've pulled them up. But suppose you could get some one to come and change the ground, so that instead of bringing forth weeds it should bring forth flowers and fruits. That is just what we can do. Jesus has come on purpose to create clean hearts.


1. We must plant it well. "The seed is the Word of God."

2. We must water it twice a day, and prayer is the watering.

3. We must watch against enemies.When I was a boy we used to set little heaps of "grains" to attract the slugs and snails, and then creep out at night with a lantern and take these mischievous creatures, that otherwise would have spoiled all the fruit and many of the flowers. Take care of these, of habits that spoil all the fruit; of little neglects and forgetfulnesses that ruin the King's garden. The peach-trees and plum-trees have a matting or net hung in front of them — in winter to keep off the frosts, or in summer to keep off the busy birds. We must be watchful against all things that hurt the King's garden. We must be on our guard against bad companions, bad books, and bad influences of all kinds, and also of hasty words, thoughtless ways, and little harmful thoughts and feelings.

V. IF IT BE THE KING'S GARDEN THE KING HIMSELF WILL COME TO IT. Cyrus used to say, "I take so much interest in my garden because I have planted every plant, and have sown every seed in it." So it is that Jesus loves His garden. He turned it from a waste into a garden, and has sown the good seed and planted the trees. I have heard of a poor man who lived in a very poor cottage far away from everybody else. One day somebody called to see him and said, "My friend, you must be very lonely here." "Lonely!" he replied, "ah, so I might be, but Jesus is such blessed company!" He had been walking in the King's garden with the King, and this made him so happy.

(Mark Guy Pearse.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But the gate of the fountain repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of part of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof, and the wall of the pool of Siloah by the king's garden, and unto the stairs that go down from the city of David.

WEB: The spring gate repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of the district of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and the wall of the pool of Shelah by the king's garden, even to the stairs that go down from the city of David.

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