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Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. Luke 8:7 & 14
Jesus’ parable of the sower moves on to the person who receives God’s word and honestly seeks to live for Christ. Like other believers, they profess faith in the Lord, join a church, and move ahead. The problem doesn’t show up immediately. According to the Lord, they are not willing to sever themselves from the world. This neglect isn’t fatal at first, but eventually the weeds choke out the God-life within them.
Jesus uses a graphic word to explain the reality of this situation. The word “choke” means “to grab by the throat and suffocate by drowning.” We may not think the world has this type of impact on our life but the Lord does. So many things are choking the Word of God out today as it did in Jesus’ day. Jesus organizes them in three categories… “life’s worries, riches and pleasures.”
Life is all about choices. If we spend most of our time and energy on worry, riches and pleasure, then we have little or no precious time to tend to our spiritual garden. The seeds of God which sprouted and were growing become choked and eventually suffocated by our own neglect.
I can’t tell you how many times the Lord has actually spoken to my wife and me about our own personal lives as being a garden. It is the single easiest way to understand spiritual growth. It is an analogy take keeps on giving. The Lord has used this illustration to talk with us personally about what He is doing or needs to do to bring real spiritual growth into our lives.
If you ever wonder what God’s goal is for your life, then read the last word of verse 14. The Lord is seeking to bring “maturity” to your life. It doesn’t happen instantly. Anyone who has worked in a garden knows this fact. But when we are faithful to God’s plan, eventually we will bear fruit and the process is repeated over and over.
Listen, I don’t know of any believer who has not battled the weeds of worry, riches and pleasure. All believers have felt these issues grip their spiritual throats. I believe it is time to not simply cut them down, but pull these nasty weeds up by the root. Weeds grow faster than plants. It is imperative we deal with them once-and-for-all.
British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once had a discussion with a man who firmly believed that children should not be given formal religious instruction, but should be free to choose their own religious faith when they reached maturity. Coleridge did not disagree, but later invited the man into his somewhat neglected garden. “Do you call this a garden?” the visitor exclaimed. “There is nothing but weeds here!”
“Well, you see,” Coleridge replied, “I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance to express itself.”