The other day I was reading the parable of the sower in Luke 8. Just for a refresher, here’s a quick summary of the four categories Jesus divides the recipients of God’s Word into:
1. The way side- Those that hear, but never believe.
2. The rock- Those that hear and believe, but never are grounded, so they never produce fruit.
3. Among Thorns- Those that hear and believe, begin to grow, but are choked by the cares of the world.
4. On good ground- Those that hear and believe, and over time produce fruit.
As I was meditating on this passage and how it applies to me, I realized that myself (and most of my close friends) really can only fit into the latter two categories. By God’s grace I am saved, so the Word has been planted in me. Like many of my friends, and probably many of you reading this, I have also been grounded. Personally, I was blessed enough to grow up in a Christian home, receive a Christian education, and have all types of positive influence and accountability in my life. Since I have been rooted, this parable warns me that the cares of this world will be what keeps me from being fruitful. What a waste, if after all the time and energy that was invested into me, I allow myself to pursue fleeting pleasures of this life. Sadly, in our culture, we are bombarded with the temptation to just live comfortably. Sure, I could probably be a nice person, give a little bit to the church, but really just sit back and enjoy what this world has to offer. However, as we live our lives in a fallen world with millions and millions who have never heard the gospel, we know Jesus has called us to more than “the comfortable life”. I believe this passage is an important reminder to our generation that no matter how firmly we have been planted in God’s Word, if we allow the cares of the world to choke us out, we will be useless.
On a side note, this passage also speaks to the importance of discipleship for new believers. New converts cannot be left to fend for themselves, or they will never produce the fruit they were intended to.