Isn’t it amazing that you can read the bible over and over and yet each time something new jumps out at you? I was reading the Gospel of Mark last night and came to Jesus’ parable of the sower (Mk 4:3-9), which I have read many times before. I think before I read it very simplistically as believers versus non-believers but this time I really noticed the difference between the last two groups of people in Jesus’ explanation (Mk 4:14-20):
"The sower sows the word. These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
It really struck me as I read this last night that “the worries of the world” could make the word unfruitful. I myself am a worrier. I love the Lord with all my heart, but I still worry about the trivial things of life. It’s something I’ve been aware of for a while and have been working on, but ouch, I didn’t think of it affecting my “fruitfulness”.
When I’ve read this parable before I think I just automatically assumed I fell into the last category, and for the most part, I think I still do. But there are certainly days when the thorns overtake me and I lose my direction. Those are the days when I need to refocus and reset my compass. I think that’s why I love the words of the great hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”:
His Word shall not fail you—He promised
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
So this is what I will continue to work at. Turning my eyes upon Jesus and letting the things of the world fall away.
"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our Lord stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
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