Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A matter of priority (Luke 8:7,14)

Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out.

The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. (Luke 8:7, 14 NASB)

The outcome for this seed was sad, sad. The seed fell in fertile soil and grew. It had everything it needed, but thorns were growing around it. Jesus compared those thorn plants to "worries, riches, pleasures of life". Thorns are distractions, and significant ones, that do require attention but are allowed to take priority in our lives. When the pursuit of riches or pleasure is allowed to become more important and of higher priority than the pursuit of holiness, no fruit is produced. No godly fruit, that is. When the worries of life, valid though they may be, are allowed to take priority and focus over faith, there will be no spiritual fruit. 

There is no doubt that responsibilities, finances, and relaxation are all important areas of our lives and demand considerable attention. Jesus was not implying that they should be neglected. He was teaching that those areas, when allowed to crowd out the pursuit of holiness, can choke our faith and stop all growth, preventing any fruit-bearing. How tragic! The goal of the Christian life is maturity and fruit. Disordered priorities can completely halt our progress!  

What you might not realize (unless you have some experience with weeds and thorns) is that the growing seedling can easily be overlooked in the midst of the thorns. If the thorns and weeds are dealt with from the beginning, the growing plant will be healthier and grow much faster. The really nice part of dealing with thorns and weeds is that, once all the weeds are dealt with initially, a constant vigilance will allow any additional weeds to be removed quickly and before injury to the plant develops. 

Do you have thorns that are choking your growth? If you are not sure, do a survey of the fruit in your life. If you are not bearing fruit (making a difference in the Kingdom of God), perhaps you have some "thorns" with which you need to deal. It's a matter of priority. Make sure yours are priorities that matter. 

Pray today that we and our loved ones will recognize those thorns in our heart that crowd out growth in our Christian walk and that, seeing, we will deal decisively with our priorities in order to become the mature men and women of faith we were saved to become. 

Today is the deadline to volunteer for "eight days of hope" and help build homes for Tupelo's tornado victims. Their website is www.eightdaysofhope.com
Link to last night's post is here: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/06/working-together-denim-chair.html
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