Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
There seems to be nothing wrong with the soil of this heart, for growth is plentiful. When it comes to good soil, anything can grow: the good and the bad. Every heart that is receptive to the gospel is also vulnerable to the world. A heart that entertains any kind of growth will end up having no kind of fruit. If we are humble in our reception of the good news but careless with how we live, we might be weighed down with the cares of this world.
Jesus makes it clear in His explanation that this seed fell into a place of good soil, where it could grow, but because of the thorns and weeds around it the plant could bear no fruit. A love of this world, a love for what matters in this world—power, riches, fame and the like—will suffocate our effectiveness in Christ.
We can grow in church and in discipleship but be stunted in our love for others. Our generosity of finances can be choked; our kindness towards others suffocated; our judgment of others can become quick and thorny. We have a level of strength in the plant but nothing for anyone to partake of. This type of believer can be the hardest to be around. If we become this sort of believer, we can end up being miserable, complaining and prickly. In a way we have a sense of life about us, but if someone gets too close, that person will experience the thorns that are intertwined with our soul.
We need the Father. Jesus described the Father in John 15 as the great gardener, the one who prunes. We need the Father to take away a love of the world, its trappings and false comforts—those things that look inviting but in the end simply choke our potential. We need to let God have full access as the gardener in our lives, so that the grace He is planting—the deposit of Himself—is not lost to things that don’t matter.
The seed, His grace, has the potential to produce a harvest of love and joy in our lives. Do we want His fruitfulness more than the riches and cares of this world?
// Pastor Josh Kelsey