thorny_groundWe see that there are many hindrances to bearing fruit in our lives:  the attacks of the enemy, a lack of depth in our spiritual maturity, and today we will look at the  pressures we face from the world.  Jesus presented  this parable,

Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.   (Mark 4:7)

This was an apt picture of my back yard – weeds and thorns thrived in my yard and if I did not cut them back they would have overtaken the yard.  We not only may have thorns in our yards but also in our lives,

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.  (Mark 4:18-19)

We see that Jesus specifically described the types of thorns  that may inhibit fruitfulness in our lives:

1.  Worries of the world – A cursory look at the news reveals no shortage of problems in the world.  Is your focus on the tragedy all around us or on the God who can provide peace in the midst of the storm?  Jesus encouraged His disciples,

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  (Matthew 6:34)

2.  Deceitfulness of riches – Money is not the problem, but the love of money can lead you astray,

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  (1 Timothy 6:10)

3.  Desires for other things – The world system seems designed to make you feel that you need more.  The writer of Hebrews encourages us toward contentment,

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”  (Hebrews 13:5)

What are some of the thorns in your life that need trimming?  God’s desire is that you bring forth much fruit for His glory.


RickAssociate Pastor – Discipleship.  The Church at LifePark

Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University

Follow me on twitter:  rickhiggins5