I read Luke chapter 8 today, and it was so rich and full that it felt like 560 verses rather than 56. I was astonished. It was like I had never paid enough attention to it before. Today, I think I could expound on the chapter for hours, covering subject after subject, talking about the promises of God, the requirements of God, the amazing love of Jesus, and even a defense against an atheist argument I have heard.
On this blog, though, I just want to cover the Parable of the Sower. In fact, I only want to cover one of the four types of ground upon which the seed was sown.
That which fell among the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. (Luke 8:14, WEB)
Do you find yourself too busy to read the Scriptures? Is it hard to find any time for prayer? Then this is you.
I have had times where my time with God competed with work, financial worries, my children, my house, and various others who needed me. At those times, I was the seed being choked out by the care of this world, riches, and the pleasures of life.
I think this is a common American malady.
Jesus said it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is why.
- Pleasures of this life
For how many of you is this a scary list? These things have you in a choke hold, and you don’t see it. You think it is the normal Christian life. It is not. We have to free ourselves.
As I’m reading through Luke, I saw the way Jesus dealt with the overwhelming need around him. He withdrew to pray. Before important events, he spent entire nights in prayer.
Can we escape with less?
“Now she who is a widow indeed, and desolate, has her hope set on God, and continues in petitions and prayers night and day, but she who gives herself to pleasure is dead while she lives” (1 Tim. 5:5-6, WEB). Does that standard seem high, or even harsh? Maybe that is because we have not set a high enough standard for ourselves.
Seed that falls in good ground produces fruit, thirtyfold at a minimum. Are you producing fruit? Am I?
Those who are good ground “having heard the word, hold it tightly,” and they “produce fruit with perseverance” (Luke 8:15, WEB).
Getting out from under cares, riches, and the pleasures of life requires holding tightly to our time with God, and producing fruit requires perseverance. “For you need endurance so that, having done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Heb. 10:36, WEB).
Fight your way out of the thorns and briars, brother … sister … You have need of endurance! Hold tightly to the seed, the implanted Word of God, which is able to save your souls, so that you may receive the promise (cf. Jas. 1:21).