Jesus says: the worries of this life will keep the word of God from taking root in your life. It's something that chokes your life out.
The other one is the deceitfulness of wealth, which is a lie that says: if I had this I would be happy.
Do you have one day in seven, that is unlike any other? If you do, how is it different? Who are the most important people to you? What are you called to be? Is that getting your attention first?
In Matthew 13, Jesus tells this parable. He talks about four different kinds of soil, and I don't have time to do the other three types; but the third type of soil, Jesus says about it: the seed gets sown, and it takes root, and it starts to grow; then the thorns choke it out.
These people are good people - they're great people. They just can't seem to get the truth of God's word to stick. The reason is not because they're stony; and it’s not because they don't understand.
These are people who understand that: Jesus' way is the best way for their life. They know what to do -they just don't do it; or they do it for a time - and then it gets choked out. The life of it just gets choked out.
Where do you find yourself in that story? Sometimes, people have tried to preach that, and say: these kinds of people are ‘bad people’; and these kinds of people are ‘good people’; but that's not the point at all.
Jesus, when He explained the parable, said: the hard ground, are the people who don't understand the ways of God, in that area. Have we ever been there? Of course!
Has anybody ever preached something to you, and you went: I've never thought about that before? That means, before that day, you didn't know - you didn't have the revelation of it; so we've all been there.
Has anybody ever been stony? I mean has anybody besides me, ever had a point in your life where you hear something, you get all excited about it, you make all these promises to God - but it has no root, so then it dies off? We've all been there!
Good-hearted people are there; and in a thorny ground, it actually takes root, starts to blossom - everything's going good, and then the thorns choke it out. Just choke it out. Then of course, the good ground - we've all been there! But I want to talk to you tonight about the thorns, and about: in leadership - are we choking?
Jesus, interestingly enough in this story, He doesn't give them bullet points, or solutions. He just says: “Let him who has ears, let him hear”.
If you're willing to do the work in this area, there's an overcoming that's available to you. The kingdom of God demands that we wrestle with things.
His disciples get frustrated in this story, and they say: “why do you speak to us in parables”? Just tell us what the deal is!
So in Matthew 13:22, He explains the thorns, and saying: “the seed ‘falling among the thorns’ refers to people who: hear the word; but the worries of this life, and the deceitfulness of wealth, choke the word out of them, making it unfruitful”.
So Jesus says: two things cause good hearted people (where the word of God starts to take root in their life) from the thing taking root. It chokes it out; and that is: the worries of this life; and the deceitfulness of wealth.
The worries of this life: the word ‘worry’, in the Greek language, is something that causes us ‘to split’. In other words: I'm here; but I'm actually there. I'm here with you preaching; but my mind is thousands of miles away on a problem I have - the worries of this life.
I don't have young kids, but how many of you have ever been playing with toys with your kids, but your head was on: how are you going to pay the bills? Split. It's the worries of this life.
Have you ever been out on a date with your spouse, and to have quality time, with just you and them - and you spend your whole time talking about the worries with your kids? The worries of this life…
It's: I'm here; but I'm actually there, and there, and there, and there, and there, and there, and there. The word ‘anxiety’ or ‘worry’ means: anything that causes you to split; or anything that keeps you from being ‘fully present’. It's the failure to be here.