18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19 NIV
When you sit down to work on your weekly calendar, jot down a few to-do’s on a piece of paper, or take a few moments to reflect on what you would like to accomplish, the end goal is to be fruitful or productive. This is also true when we are impacted by the words of a sermon, or read an inspirational devotional which has a promise we would like to incorporate into our lives. BUT…
Jesus identifies three emotional desires which choke out the fruitfulness or productivity. His list sounds like the front page of a Woman’s World magazine cover. How do we avoid getting bogged down with the multitude of worries this world is offering? Food shortages, violence in the streets, wars, and destructive division are the headline topic of almost every news outlet. Turning off the radio or TV does not make it any less real.
The antidote for worry is found in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” The key is the thanksgiving portion of the petition. Come to God often with your request. Don’t try to figure out the answer for God. Just present the information to Him. We are thankful, not for the bad thing that is happening, rather we trust that God is bigger than the problem. For this we can be thankful.
The other two items on the list are more subtle but just as troublesome. The deceitfulness of wealth is the thought that all of your problems will vanish, if you just have more money. Someone asked how much is enough, he replied, “just one more dollar”. Having wealth is not wrong. Trying to be independent from God leads to troubles.
The last example is the desire for other things. We sang a song with our kids from a Jungle Jam album with part of lyrics dealing with more stuff. “The more you have, the more you have to take care of the more you have.” Simplicity and contentment are treasured gems not found in the stores, commercials or online shopping. You start acquiring these gems when you give your stuff away without replacing the items.
My heart for each of us today is the blessing of fruitfulness which has nothing to do with the accumulation of more stuff. May you be fruitful in your conversations of genuine concern and friendship. May you be fruitful in the tasks your hands are trying to accomplish today. May you be fruitful in downsizing your things while blessing others. May you find the joy of interceding for the cares of this world without trying to solve the problems through repeating the conversations with others.
In the Garden of Eden, God created man and woman with a bent toward fruitfulness. May the fruit of God’s word transform your life from gory to glory in His image. Accomplishing all that God has in store for you on this day is good fruit. That would be a pretty good day to be at peace when you lay down your head on your pillow at night for a restful sleep.
Blessings Love y’all