Read:  Matt 13:1-58

Focus:
He told many stories in the form of parables.  Matt 13:3

Todays reading has several lessons in it.  Let me encourage you to spend some time meditating on each parable.  Each story illustrates a truth about the Kingdom of God and each one is worth some time to reflect upon.

Jesus taught this way for a few reasons.  First, it veiled the meaning of His teachings from those who were not supposed to understand – God gave understanding or Jesus explained the meaning to those who were.  Second, stories are easy to remember and emotionally relate to.  They can be more powerful than just plain facts in shaping our hearts.

Jesus taught both ways depending on the circumstance (e.g. the Sermon on the Mount)  but I think parables were His favorite method of communicating.

In the parable of the sower, the third bunch of seed that fell among the thorns is the one that we American Christians must be on guard against in our own hearts.  Verse 22  “The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.”

Living in the land of abundance, where every marketing message (and there are thousands a day), communicates that you need more, you deserve more, you won’t be happy unless you have more, it’s all about you, etc., it becomes easy for God’s message to be crowded out with our worries, our lack of contentment, our obsession with our comfort and desire for more.

So often I see and even have to fight within my own heart, the third seed.  And this is what it looks like.  A person who claims Christ, but who’s life is all about them.  There is no fruit, because their focus is not on spreading the message but on keeping themselves comfortable.

I think if we are honest, this is a battle inside every Christ follower.  Jesus said  “to whom much is given, much is expected” and to not be the third seed, we must choose to not be the third seed.  Otherwise it’s our default.  So choose this day whom you will serve…

Prayer:
Father – Please forgive me where I have made it about me and let the worries of this life and lure of wealth get my eyes off of You and what You have given me to do.  Help me to live the 4th seed way.  Will You make my life fruitful for You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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