He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful (Matt. 13:22 KJV)
The results of the Word of God in our lives is dependent on the state of the heart that receives it. This is illustrated by the parable of the sower where Jesus taught us about four different responses of the hearts to the Word of God. The first three types of hearts could not produce fruit because the conditions were not suitable for the Word to grow. The verse above describes the third of these three.
This third type is pictured figurative as a farmer planting seeds on a ground that has many thorns in it. The seeds were able to grow to full-grown plants, but these crops were choked by the thorns and could not bear any fruit. Jesus gives us the symbolic meaning of the thorns here—“the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches”. The love of money, an unhealthy desire to get wealth can lead to spiritual barrenness in our lives. I need not emphasize the dangers of the love of money anymore. It is sad that the current prosperity teaching does not even make mention of the potential of the love of money to destroy our spiritual lives and ministries.
The cares of this life are a tricky one. They are things which are not sinful but are heavy burdens that hinder us from bearing spiritual fruit. You will be amazed at how this is affecting us in many ways. Martha was so busy cooking that she did not have time to listen to the Word when Jesus visited them. There is nothing wrong with having a job, but many are spiritually barren because of their jobs. The same is true about the things that are part of our earthly responsibilities such as our families,etc. It is hard for many to understand this truth because these things are not “sinful things”. Do not allow anything, including the deceitfulness of riches or the cares of this life, make you spiritually barren and unfruitful.
Do you understand the meaning of the “Cares of this world” as described above? Can you see how they are different from sinful things yet can interfere with our spiritual lives? ( See Heb. 12:1, Luke 10:41, 1 Cor. 7:29-34)
APPLY THE WORD
Do you know that there are brethren who will give the Lord “valid excuses” why they did not do what He wanted them to do? Don’t let this be you. You will have to attain to your earthly responsibilities yet remain diligent in spiritual things. Do not allow the love of money either to destroy your spiritual life.
Ask the Lord to help you maintain a spiritually receptive and fruitful heart.