Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Choking Thorns

If you read yesterday's post, you were encouraged to sort through those mounds of paper in your home, specifically mail catalogues, bills, advertising flyers, notes, "to do" lists, your children's drawings, magazines...all of that paper stuff.  All of us have been overwhelmed at times from these mounds as they leave their piles of disarray across our counters, desks, or floors.  Left untamed they turn into what I call the "Paper Beast" continuing to grow in size causing distractions both visually and mentally.

Today I want to  talk with you about those cares of life that choke out the good within.  Jesus tells us in the parable about the sower of the seed (or His word) that, "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.  But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." -Luke 8:14 

Is God's word and work is your life producing fruit or is it being choked out by life's worries?

In our homes, thorns like Paper Beasts, can hide the order and beauty of our space.  In our hearts, life's concerns can hide the beauty of the fruit of the Spirit.  Not only hide, Jesus says, but choke it out.  We must be vigilant in our homes and vigilant in our hearts.

How does scripture exhort us to not worry? Simply- DO NOT DO IT.  (See Psalm 37:1)  Whatever your concern today- unpaid bills, the sickness of a child, a conflict with your spouse, the never-ending "to do" list- give it all to Him for He cares for you. (1Peter 5:7)

Jesus reveals to us as well qthat not only worries but riches and pleasures can choke out the word in us.  As I write this I am getting ready to embark on a trip of pleasure; we are heading out the door on our way to the beach.  I cannot wait; I love the beach!  But as I type, I am reminded not to get so distracted with the pleasures that He gives me, that I forget the Giver.  I think that is the remedy to choke out the thorns themselves. 

In  Deuteronomy 8 the Lord speaks to His people, "Do not forget the Lord thy God by not keeping His precepts...Lest when you have eaten (I cannot wait to eat Maryland crab cakes, yum!) and are full (I will be very full.), and have built goodly houses to live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied, then your minds and hearts be lifted up and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the house of bondage...and beware lest you say in your heart and mind , 'my power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth  But you shall earnestly remember the Lord you God..." (See Deut. 8:11-18)

Wealth and pleasures are not sin; but forgetting who bestowed them upon us is.

Be vigilant today, so that through perseverance the fruit in your heart will grow to glorify Him.  And as you read this I will be taking in the splendor of the ocean and thanking my Father who made it.

Today I am linking with


Alyssa said...

I love the idea of just not worrying! Don't Do It! Maybe we worry because we think it's accomplishing something? I'm encouraged to go on a worry diet -- not even a nibble. Great, well-thought out post - thank you!

Craig said...

not to worry – and not get distracted. If I really believe what I say I believe then I shouldn't worry as much as I do. Worry has always been a part of me – it is less so knowing Our Lord. But it still nips at my heels. More trust – more trust – more trust – more trust! And distractions – I found if you have much the distractions are bigger and a lot more expensive – maybe more extravagant – and if you have little the distractions are just as distracting - if not as shiny. Either way. Peace through my God – amen for that. And watch the distractions. Amen. Thank you for this message. And I heart this new site design - it is new right? It's 17,000 shades of awesome. God bless you Nicol.