April 11

Text: Matthew 13:3, 7

"Behold, the sower went out to sow; . . . And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. (NASB)

Two observations should begin this devotional.  Nothing was wrong with the seed. Nothing was wrong with the soil.  The seed was capable of producing plants and did.  The soil was capable of sustaining plant life and did.  The issue was what grew on the soil.

The seed germinated and produced plants.  The problem: two competing seeds germinated in the same soil.  The seed the planter sowed produced plants.  He did not the plant the thornsóthe thorns were unwanted.  The end result reveals the why: the thorns were such a robust, determined plant that they choked to death the desirable plant the planter sowed.

The plant the planter sowed would sustain life at the time when nothing grew.  The thorns sustained life in harsh conditions.  The ultimate loser was the planter.  He made all the effort and received no benefit.

When Jesus interpreted the parable (Matthew 13:18-23), he associated the thorns with worry of the age and the deceitfulness of riches.  Worry often is centered in oneís priorities, and riches are often centered in what one considers a solution.  We often associate our worries with our values.  We often regard money as the answer to most physical problems.

Godís values are against anxiety.  Being anxious changes nothing, complicates the situation, and ignores the God involvement factor.  Godís values oppose viewing wealth as a solution to physical problems.  However, Godís view of life refuses to compete with worry or wealth.

The decision is not Godísóit is ours!  Fundamental to our use of physical life is our decision and choice of the purpose of physical life.

Suggestion for reflection: Is there a relationship between competition and spirituality?  If so, what is it?  (Read Philippians 4:4-7.)

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