What Are The Thorns?

English: Close-up of a cluster of large but un...

English: Close-up of a cluster of large but unripe fruits hanging from a Bael (Aegle marmelos / Rutaceae) tree in the Fruit And Spice Park, Homestead, Florida. Note the long, deadly thorns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine…

Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. – Mark 4:7


The thorns had been chopped off but their roots were still in the ground. Then as the seed began to grow, so did the thorns; and growing faster and stronger than the wheat they soon choked it out. In the end there was no wheat left growing.

What are these thorns? Jesus says they are “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches.”

“Cares” are anxieties, distractions and worries. Martha was in danger of having the good seed in her heart choked out by her distracting thoughts about running her household. Many a promising Christian life has been dwarfed and stunted by the same cause.

“The deceitfulness of riches”. Thousands of spiritual lives have been starved into insignificance by the desire for riches.

“The lust of other things entering in, choke the word.” We have all seen people who began well; but as cares multiplied or riches increased, their enthusiasm waned. We need, however, to look to our own hearts and we shall probably have enough to do if we keep out all the thorns and weeds in the one little garden committed to us.

Jesus did not say these people are not Christians, but that they “bring no fruit to perfection.” The distractions of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the pursuit of others things choke the spiritual life causing it’s fruit not to develop. They lose the sweet comforts of a healthy faith. The fruits of the Spirit in them become shriveled. They may go on working in the church, preaching, teaching, praying; but the life is severely lacking.

What is the lesson in this? That we need to watch without ceasing these hearts of ours, and let no weed or thorn-bush grown there for a day. Sometimes God himself does the weeding. He lifts out of our inmost being the earthly object that is absorbing all the heart’s love. The process is sore, but the results are full of blessing.


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