Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 4, 2016
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. Luke 8:14
Everyday life is full of opportunities to do God’s will and distractions to miss God’s will. Worry is distracted by issues out of its control—like an unprecedented presidential election year, fear of a global financial meltdown driven by government debt or lackadaisical Christians who are more concerned over their comfort than obeying Christ’s commands. Any distraction that keeps me from maturing in my faith walk with Jesus needs to be dismissed. I am learning that growth in my discipleship is the result of staying focused on engrafting God’s word into my soul.
Jesus paints a familiar canvas to residents of a mostly agrarian community. Uncultivated soil is not ready to grow crops. The few seeds that do germinate and develop into tender plants are soon choked by suffocating thorns. Such is an unbroken heart that hears truth, but the word of life is slowly tortured by fear and distrust, so truth is choked by life’s worries. The prickly thorns of worry have to be carefully cut out by the shears of belief in Christ to bear fruit from an abiding life. When Jesus abides in a life and that life abides in Jesus—a mature disciple is on display!
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:7-8).
One way to deal with distractions to discipleship is to anticipate them with proper planning. For example, use your calendar to schedule plenty of time to invest in the right relationships, rather than the calendar becoming a prison warden that locks you out of every opportunity. Mentor faithful, available and teachable people who know and apply the truth to their life. Life is precious, so don’t squander God’s valuable time on those who want to remain trapped by the thorns of worry. Seek out disciples of Jesus who give their full attention to trusting and obeying God.
Above all, invite the Holy Spirit to grow your heart of love and mature your walk with Christ. There is a cost to discipleship. The cost of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection. The cost of bearing your cross for Christ. The gospel offends—it comes with a cost, but some will surrender to the Spirit’s conviction. A life must first be converted to Christ, before it can become a mature disciple of Christ. Authentic discipleship is attractive in its disciplines of prayer, study, teaching, worship, evangelism and making disciples. Trust in Jesus uproots worry’s asphyxiating thorns!
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).
PrayerHeavenly Father, I exchange my thorny worries for trust in Your faithful word.
ApplicationWho is a faithful disciple of Jesus, that I can invest my time and energy into?
Related ReadingPsalm 21:7; Proverbs 3:5-6; John 8:31; 2 John 9; 1 Timothy 6:9-17
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