The Seed Sown Among Thorns
Kingdom Principle: Seeds; Part VIII
Locate in Scripture: Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15
Both my mother and grandmother are avid gardeners. They each have beautiful gardens that bloom all summer long. When I visit, we always spend time walking through the gardens to enjoy their beauty. However, those moments do not compare to the countless hours each of them spend working in them. To have a beautiful garden constant weeding is necessary otherwise the weeds will overtake the flowers.
Thorns Choked the Plants
“Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain” (Mark 4:7).
The third type of soil is the full of thorns. As the plants grow, the thorns also grow and choke the plants, robbing them of essential nutrients so they cannot produce. Notice no attention is given to weeding or removing the thorns, they are allowed to grow alongside the plant having access to the same nutrients and water supply. The weeds flourish, grow strong, overtake the plants and make them unfruitful.
Jesus gives insight in His explanation, “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19).
This is how the Amplified Bible describes it, “And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless” (Mark 4:18-19).
This is the person who receives the Word; however the cares, worries, distractions and desires for other things are their main focus in life. Like a garden with both plants and weeds, there are only enough nutrients to sustain either the plants or the weeds, not both. In other words, where you place your focus is where growth will happen in your life.
A prime example of this parable in action is the rich young ruler. He came to Jesus asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. After a discussion, Jesus looked at him in love and said, “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21). At this the man’s face fell and he went away. He was very rich and the desire for wealth and worldly things trumped his desire to follow Jesus.
Having wealth and possessions is not wrong. And it appears that this man had a desire for God and sought out Jesus knowing life was in Him. His own words testified that He had made an effort to keep all of the commandments since he was young. Seeds had been planted; however, when it came down to it, the desire for wealth and the cares of this life, choked the seeds, making them unfruitful.
Life Reflects What You’ve Planted
In the parable of the growing seed (Mark 4:26-29), we see that the soil activates the seeds (vs. 28). The soil will not only cause good seeds to germinate, it will cause bad seeds to germinate. Whatever you focus your attention on grows. Your heart brings forth fruit of itself (Proverbs 23:7 KJV). So careful attention must be given to the seeds you want growing in your life.
Modern day life is full of distractions. Busyness is a terrible enemy! We run from here to there filling up our lives with activities. Then when we are at home, it is easy to spend most of our time in front of a TV or a computer. By comparison, the time spent reading scripture or meditating on God’s word is minimal.
By taking a look at society as a whole, we can see that we are reaping what has been planted. Everywhere you look you see violence, broken families and an entire culture that disregards authority. But look what is constantly on TV and it is no surprise these things have appeared in our society. The language and topics of today’s shows would never have been acceptable to be on the air, even only ten years ago.
This same principle applies to our individual lives as well. Our lives reflect both what has been planted and what is given preference to grow. Weed seeds can be planted unintentionally by whatever we take in. Whether it is what we watch on television, the magazines we read or the gossip we listen to. A lot of seeds are tossed our way during the day. If we do not root them up right away then they are also allowed a share of soil in which to grow.
If the Word is going to make a difference in your life then you need to weed out other things. Jesus said, “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Mark 4:19). To produce, the Word needs to dominate your thoughts, so for these seeds to grow we must get rid of the weeds.
How to Weed Your Garden
Jesus started this parable by explaining that the Word of God is the seed. He went on to describe the different soils and different reactions to the seed. It is a progression. So here is an amazing application to this dynamic truth, if you let weeds grow wild they will sap vital nutrients from any scripture you plant. However, if you continually plant the Word, then it will choke out and overtake the weeds keeping them from producing.
This is done by being singular. In the third type of soil, they got too busy living and life choked the seed making it unfruitful. So we must stay focused. The Lord will cause you to prosper more than you can imagine if you stay focused on Him.
This is done by finding out what God’s call and purpose for your life is and then giving your whole existence to that end. What is the one thing that God has called you to do? If you cannot answer that question then out what that is and give yourself wholeheartedly to seeing that purpose come to pass. To be successful in that endeavor, continually plant God’s Word in your heart and you will see it yield fruit year, after year, after year.
Paul said it is knowledge of God that demolishes strongholds and makes every thought captive and obedient to Christ (II Corinthians 10:3-5). The Word of God is our offense to uproot and tear down anything that sets itself up against that knowledge. To weed, we must set aside the worries and desires of this world and give ourselves fully to the Lord. Giving more consideration to what He says, than any other source in our lives.
Join me for Part IX; ‘The Seed Sown On Good Soil'.