He That Hath Ears to Hear, Part IV — Thorns and Weeds

March 24, 2008, 9:00 am; posted by
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Don\’t close your eyes,
Don\’t close your eyes —
This is your life . . .
Is it everything you dreamed that it would be?
When the world was younger . . .

— Jon Foreman, Switchfoot

I have a friend named Chuck, and I remember a conversation we had seven or eight years ago about how our zeal for the things of God can diminish with time. We were reminiscing about when we first got saved — how we were going to change the world, how we witnessed to anything that moved, how we went on the streets, and handed out tracts, and preached in the jails. In fact, Chuck made a confession to me that we both found quite humorous at the time. He said that he was so on fire for God when he first got saved and started reading the Bible, that he became absolutely convinced he would be one of the “two witnesses” spoken of in Revelation; he could not conceive of his life ending any other way.

I don\’t really need to tell you the rest, do I? I saw Chuck\’s wife in Wal-Mart a while back on a Sunday afternoon, and she told me they are “out of church,” as they call it down here. Why? They are building a new house, and the weekends are the only time they have to oversee the work being done by subcontractors. When the house is finished, though, they are planning to look for another church.

In this last section of the parable, Jesus compares people who get consumed by “the cares and riches of this life” to the seed that falls among thorns and eventually gets choked out. I\’m a pure exegetic preacher, so I see no other way to deal with metaphors than to trust that Jesus was correct when he defined them as cares and riches. How could there be another application than what Jesus so clearly stated? Cares and riches — these choke the word of God in our life so that we bring no fruit to maturity.

Cares are unavoidable; we have to work, mow our lawns, raise our kids, file our taxes and pay our bills. But we cannot let these choke out the work of God in our life. That\’s what Luke 13 and Matthew 7 are all about. We cannot live like the unbelievers. We cannot worry about the things that the world worries about.

Riches, Paul told Timothy, are deceitful and hurtful, plunging men into all manner of evil. The pursuit of riches has left many a person “pierced through with many sorrows.” Any conception you have of Christianity that allows you to put Jesus on a back shelf while you deal with your life, or pursue riches, can only hurt you and bog you down. It will only kill the work of the word of God in your life, and it will keep you from accomplishing what you have already heard from God.


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