As one walks through the gates into our garden, there are three bushes in the flower bed outside our home. The first one is taller than me and covered with flowers. It is so beautiful that we decided to fill the empty space next to it with two of the same type of plant. We purchased them on the same day, planted them together, and have since been giving them the same amount of water. They receive the same amount of sunlight.
The only difference is the soil in which they are planted. The one closest to the established, flowering bush has already grown flowers of its own. It is thriving, the leaves are a deep healthy green and each day I can recognize growth. The one closer to the wall has wilted into just a dead stalk. It never showed any growth.
These three plants are a practical reminder to me each day of the parable of the sower, and the third plant teaches me the most.
Mark 4 vs 18
“Still others, like seeds sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires of other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
We all long to have our Christian walks be described as fruitful. We pray for growth and change and progress. We pray for Christlikeness and a deeper walk with Him. For this reason we should take notice of these three things that can lead to an unfruitful life.
- The worries of this life: If we are so busy worrying about the temporary in this life, then our focus is not on the eternal and it will stop us bearing fruit.
- The deceitfulness of wealth. If we are storing up treasures here on earth then we are most likely forgetting to be storing up treasures in heaven.
- The desires of other things. This one is the most challenging. As I read through the Word and I long to have the Lord lead me in doing good works, to lead me in encouraging others, to give me a greater desire for holiness, godliness and righteousness, I recognize how easily these desires can be replaced by earthly distractions.
So as I walk into my house each day and I look at my little bushes I pray that I will be like the one in the middle. I pray that I will situate myself close to Jesus with my roots in the good soil so that I can grow up to be just like Him.
Mark 4 vs 20
“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop- thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”