Wednesday, November 30, 2016
In the parable of the Sower in the 13th Chapter of Matthew, Jesus was referring to the scattering of the seed, God’s word. As it is dispersed everywhere throughout the world, it also falls in places where it has little or no effect at all. The seed that fell among the thorns is the one place which I believe mostly concerns God’s children. Jesus explained it this way: “The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.”(vs 22) The King James Version says it this way: “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” The first (NIV) implies that God’s Word becomes unfruitful and the latter (KJV) says that the person becomes unfruitful.
Whether it is the effect of God’s Word which becomes unfruitful or we ourselves, this message should be clear: The cares of this life can cause us to either stray from God or else lose the joy of our salvation. Jesus did not suggest that we should completely ignore life’s issues. We should all attend to our needs and obligations. Without a doubt, a lot of our time has to be devoted to our jobs, careers, family, health issues, or other things. What we cannot do, however, is to let them become bigger or more important than our relationship with God. All pastors have seen this in the lives of their members. They know many who stopped attending church and then serving God altogether to attend to “more important” matters.
We have arrived at the time of year, which to me is the one where many of God’s children slip up, namely the Christmas season, or as the world calls it, the holiday season. Many of us can get too busy and focus more than we should on things such as shopping for the right gifts, planning or making preparations for parties, special meals, Christmas events, even sending out Christmas cards. Then , of course, we, tend to worry more than we should about the weight we will gain or the financial mess we’ll get into. When all is said and done, Christmas will come and go and some of us may realize that the “most wonderful time of the year” was not all that wonderful. Because we are human, we must ask God to help us not to fall into this end-of-the-year trap, to really capture the joy God intended for all people everywhere to have when He announced that His Son had come into the world. It is wonderful that Jesus was born for us, but more wonderful still that He lives today.
God’s word for today: (Psalm 5:11) “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.”