Jump Start # 2830
Luke 8:7 “Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out.”
Springtime is a very busy season for me. Here at the Shouse house we have lots and lots of flowers, rose bushes, shrubs, and trees. The spring is always exciting because everything opens up after the long winter. Little sprouts pop up out of the ground. Trees bud. For someone who has allergies, it’s a nightmare. For me, it’s lots of cutting out dead branches, transplanting, and yes, pulling weeds. I believe the dictionary of weeds could be written at our place. Wild onions. Dandelions. Some that spread out like spider webs. Weeds, weeds, weeds. I have found out some interesting things about weeds. They grow in every type of weather we have. If it’s hot and dry, the weeds grow. If it’s wet and cool, the weeds grow. They survive through a frost. And, if you don’t stay on top of it, one dandelion becomes thirty within a day or two.
Our verse today, taken from the parable of the sower, tells us that the thorns grew up and choked out the good seed that the farmer was planting. The seed started to grow. Things were on the up. But the thorns came. The thorns grew faster than the farmer’s seed. There wasn’t enough space, sunlight and moisture for both the thorn and the good seed to survive side by side. In time, the thorn grew and the good seed died out. The good seed didn’t make it. The crop was a failure. It didn’t accomplish what the farmer was hoping. There would be no harvest of the good seed.
Jesus is not giving us principles of farming. That’s not the point. The soil that Jesus was talking about is our hearts. The word of God, which is the seed, comes into our heart. We start to see what God is saying. We start to make changes. Things are on the upside. Things are looking good. But, it doesn’t take long, and that thorn or weed springs up. It’s demanding. It wants our time. It wants our money. It wants our attention. Before long, that good seed is pushed to the back. And, what happens, all too often, is that the person just doesn’t stay with Christ. The thorns and weeds have filled his heart with materialism, immorality, and a thirst for the here and now. There just isn’t time for Jesus.
Now, two main thoughts ought to come to our minds:
First, where do the thorns and weeds come from? Where do weeds in my garden come from? They just seem to be there. I certainly do not go to the store and buy dandelion seed. Seeds are scattered by the wind and birds. And, where do the weeds in my heart come from? Our past. The things that influences us. People that we hang around with. We like TV, but it’s worldly. It’s more likely to take your thoughts and heart away from the Lord than making you more spiritual. We live in a world of thorns and weeds. They are everywhere. And, if we are not careful, our hearts become full of them. In the context of our passage, riches, pleasures and worries are described as the thorns. Those weeds have deep roots. They are hard to pull. Just consider how often we think about riches, pleasures and worries. They fill our days and they rob us of our sleep. We talk about those things. We dream about them. It seems that these are the only things we notice in life. Riches, pleasures and worries.
Second, how do we keep weeds from taking over? For me and my garden, it’s nearly an every day task. Pull. Spray. Dig. Over and over and over. When folks come over they admire our beautiful place. They talk about it over and over. I see work. Lots of work. But at the end of the day, I can look over the place and be satisfied that it has been worth all the time I put into it. Now, to keep up with this, I have to make sacrifices of other things. There is only so many hours in a day and those weeds keep growing.
It’s no different for our hearts. One has to be diligent. One has to stay with it. Not just on Sundays, but everyday. Those weeds grow. They are always growing. Pull. Dig. Spray. That’s the key. You take care of the good plants and you get rid of the worthless weeds. Spiritually, you are reading God’s word. Spiritually, you are worshipping God daily and with the church often. Spiritually, you are careful and watchful. Spiritually, you fight riches, pleasures and worries that will take over and ruin what you have established.
And, others will notice. They will notice that you rise above all their other friends. They will notice your kindness and your willingness to help out. They will notice your character, your forgiveness and your attitude. While they are sprouting weeds, you are shinning with a godly character. It’s work. It’s a lot of work. It’s daily work. But you look back and see how you have grown, changed and you like the way you are turning out. Perfect, you are not. But you are a long, long way from what you used to be.
There are days that when I get home, I do not feel like walking about the place, pulling, digging and spraying. But I know if I don’t what the place will look like. The same is true spiritually. There are days when you just don’t feel like doing what you need to. But, you know what you will look like if you don’t.
Love the springtime…