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Mark 041 - Some Fell-Thorny

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.

Mark 4:7

Have you heard the question whether it’s nurture or nature that influences us most? Nurture is the life experiences that we encounter. Nature is our genetics. But sometimes it’s hard to separate the two.

While I was still in my mother’s womb, she went up a ladder to paint walls in a stairway. Either the ladder slipped, or she lost her balance, and she fell. She was OK but I was born with a bump on my head. I can see you nodding your head in understanding as you think, “So, this explains a lot about Chet.”

When the farmer threw the seed, it went all over the place. They didn’t throw seed into the middle of thorns. But one place where seeds did go was onto good soil where thorn seeds were already sitting. The good seed and thorn seeds were right there, side by side. They germinated, sent down roots, and grew up together. Side by side, they flourished, reaching up towards the sky, but with very different purposes.

As they grew up together, it became time for the seed to start producing. It had everything it needed: good soil, moisture, sunlight. It even had the right DNA information to produce more seed to feed many. But the good seed couldn’t fully mature to produce grain.

You see, as the good seed grew, so did the thorn seed. They grew up side by side. And the thorns choked the good plants. They wrapped their roots around the good seed roots and strangled them so they could not get enough food or water to produce its grain.

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 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

Jesus described this tragedy in gruesome detail. He outlines the problems that the thorns caused, and the three things that keep us from growing, reaching our God-given purpose and potential.

· Distraction – Worries of this life. When we are drawn in so many different directions, we worry and are distracted from what’s really important.

· Deception – Deceitfulness of wealth. Money and things deceive us, giving a false impression that they are most important, cheating us from the best through fraud.

· Direction – Desires for other things. And then there’s the rest of everything in life that we can be drawn to, pointing us in a different direction from God’s purpose and plan.

So many things are coming at us at the speed of life. And we want all the new stuff. After all, new is always better. New technology. New apps. New house. New car. New friends. The latest social media platform.

But these thorns of life are distractions that make us choose to turn away from God’s loving plan for us. They are deceiving us from God’s best. They push us into a different direction than the one God has in line for us.

We have to remember that the seeds grow up right next to each other. The thorns don’t jump up and stick us. They are not instantly right there, pricking our fingers, smacking us in the face. No, it’s a slow, drawn-out process. It happens over time.

You can’t see the daily growth of either seed, but it’s happening. Little by little, they grow up together. They poke their little heads up together. For a long time, you don’t know anything is wrong. You have no idea that thorns are in the middle of your grain.

Once you finally can see that thorns are growing right next to the grain, it’s too late. The damage is already done. There’s nothing you can do to undo it. There’s no way to un-sow. To reverse the damage.

We need to be on the lookout for thorn seeds in our life. We need to steer clear of people and things that distract, deceive, or change our direction with God. We have a personal responsibility to think about the people, events, and things in our life.

When we open ourselves up to thorn seeds, they will grow and produce a thorny heart. Grasping for riches or power will produce thorns in our life. Period. This is a guarantee.

Now is the time to start looking at the seed that falls into our life. We need to stop thorn seeds from landing next to us, growing up with us. This is all part of the process of moving from being thorny to a child of God.

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