Bella Vista Church of Christ



Randall Caselman 

Choking Thorns


 Mark chapter four contains Jesus' parable of the sower; some seed fell among thorns... "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" (vs 18). Of the four different soils, perhaps this one more closely fits our situation and circumstance today. So many things to choke out our continued faithfulness. Jesus gives three...


 Worry... We become bound up, even consumed, with worries. "I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?... O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Consider the birds and flowers... For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them (Matthew 6.25-32).


 Wealth... Most of us don't consider ourselves to be rich, but we are! Riches present a unique danger to children of God. It's easy for us to trust in riches rather than in Him who sustains our very existence. Paul knew this, so he gives this warning: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6.10).


 Desires... Interesting that we are perpetually unhappy because of fleshly desires that result in sin. "Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death" (James 1.14-15).


 Jesus knew it would become easy for us to surrender to these thorns, those things that take our eyes off Jesus and the life He calls us to live. The Hebrews' Writer addressed his letter to those suffering with thorns: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus... So that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrew 12.2-3).