Being fruitful (4)
We must eliminate the weeds. In His parable of the sower, Jesus said the seed fell into four different kinds of soil. ‘The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature’ (v.14 NIV). There are three varieties of ‘weeds’ that can prevent us from growing into spiritual maturity. 1) Worry. We can become so preoccupied with everyday cares that we take our eyes off Jesus. 2) Riches. Making money and buying things can dominate our lives so much that we don’t have time for God. 3) Pleasure. Constantly pursuing the 'fun stuff' can choke out our spiritual growth. It's okay to have a good time, but we also need to protect our priorities and have good times with God too. When we can make time for things like shopping, going to the cinema, playing football, watching TV, or scrolling through social media, but we never seem to have time to read the Bible and pray, our priorities are out of balance. We might say, ‘I just don’t have time for God right now. I’m too busy. I don’t have time at the moment to commit to Him.’ If that's the case, we need to do some weeding in our lives. Lots of things in life are not necessarily wrong; they're just not necessary. We might need to cut back a little on some things to remove the weeds. Fruit trees have to be tended to and protected, but dandelions take no effort; they grow by themselves when we neglect our garden. If the ‘weeds’ in our lives are stopping us bearing ‘fruit’, it’s time to have a rethink about our priorities and take action.
Which of the three ‘weeds’ in today’s reading most needs to be cut back in your life? Ask a trusted friend, your pastor, or youth leader for their suggestions of how to reduce its influence. Don’t forget to ask God for His wisdom and ideas too!
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