What's Choking You? Published week of April 19, 2020
As Jesus walked upon the face of this earth and taught His followers, He often employed the use of parables. Often His disciples did not understand and He had to explain the meaning of these parables. One such parable, the parable of the seeds was explained by Jesus. In this parable, Jesus discusses three types of ground – rocky, thorny, and good soil. In our verse today (Luke 8:14), Jesus explained that the thorny soil represents people who hear the Word of God (the seed in the parable) but allow it to be choked out by life’s worries, riches and pleasures.
After reading this parable carefully, you will notice that Jesus never said that the hearts represented by the thorny soil rejected the Word of God. Rather, Jesus says it was choked out. In order to be choked out, it must have been – at least to some degree – received. In the parable, some of the seed was trampled and snatched up by birds, some was received by rocky ground and never grew roots, some was received by thorny ground and was choked out, and some was received by healthy, fertile soil and therefore took root and grew to bear fruit.
What is going on here? Well I believe this parable contains for us a very important warning, especially for affluent Christians. The riches and pleasures of this world can choke out the Word of God in our hearts if we aren’t careful. We must take heed and remember that all we have belongs to God, and has been entrusted to us for His glory and for the good of others. Therefore, we must discern the difference between a need and a want. However, most of all, we must be willing to surrender our hearts to our Heavenly Father daily, cooperating with His rule and reign over our lives. Our prayer should be, as King David prayed in Psalm 139, Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23,24).
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I have allowed the riches and pleasures of this world to take a place of prominence in my life. Please search my heart and show me if there are any “thorns” choking out Your Word in my heart.