A strangled church

The parable of the sower teaches us about receiving the word of God, and the obstacles that face the word. I noticed that the seed that fell among the thorns was not fruitful, but had not died. And I realised, this is the state of many modern Christians, and many churches. If it’s there but not fruitful, it’s being strangled.

‘and others fell upon the thorns, and the thorns did come up and choke them“
Matthew 13:7

Who is it talking about?

‘And that sown toward the thorns, this is he who is hearing the word, and the anxiety of this age, and the deceitfulness of the riches, do choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.‘
Matthew 13:22

How prevalent is the anxiety of this age within our churches? What are the anxieties of our age? Fashion, “financial security“, popularity, status, “social security“ fitting in, standing out, and more.

‘Because of this I say to you, be not anxious for your life, what ye may eat, and what ye may drink, nor for your body, what ye may put on. Is not the life more than the nourishment, and the body than the clothing? look to the fowls of the heaven, for they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into storehouses, and your heavenly Father doth nourish them; are not ye much better than they?‘
Matthew 6:25-26

What is the deceitfulness of riches? It is summed up in the words of the rich man from Jesus‘ parable in Luke 12:16-21

‘I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast many good things laid up for many years, be resting, eat, drink, be merry.‘
Luke 12:19

The rich man dies that night. He wanted to please himself with perishables, whose satisfaction ends, and which certainly won‘t last past death.

‘Observe, and beware of the covetousness, because not in the abundance of one’s goods is his life.’
Luke 12:15

We need to free ourselves from the anxiety of our age and the deceitfulness of riches. The thorns are the common terrain of our society, and we need to actively free ourselves, in order to bear fruit.
May God bless you with lots of fruit.

[I just found that in Mark‘s account of this parable, Jesus adds to his explanation of the thorny ground, ‘and the desires concerning the other things, entering in,‘ (Mark 4:18).
God bless you.

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