What Jesus Did! 'The Cares of the Crowded Heart' — Mark 4:18-19

Friday, March 4, 2016

"Other people are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. These people hear the teaching. But then these things come into their lives: the worries of this life, the love of money, and wanting all kinds of other things. These things stop the teaching from growing. So that teaching does not make fruit {in the lives of those people}."
— Mark 4:18-19
Illustration of Mark 4:18-19 — "Other people are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds."

Key Thought

I hate thorns. Spending part of my time growing up in West Texas, we had to deal with all sorts of spiny kinds of cactus-like plants. Then in East Texas, where I spent the other part of my childhood, there were briars. I hate thorns. They seem to grow better in droughts than most other plants ... but then they grow better than most other plants in wet times, too! This is just a reminder that our hearts can easily be distracted from what is important by what is pervasive! For many of us, the stuff we own soon begins to own us and choke out our heart's openness to God.

Today's Prayer

Father, please help me keep my priorities correct as I battle with the cares of this life, the lure of money, and the desire to have nice things. Bless me as I seek you and your Kingdom first and as I trust that you will supply what is most needed in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Another time Jesus began teaching by the lake. Many, many people gathered around Jesus. So Jesus got into a boat and went out on the lake. All the people stayed on the shore next to the water. Jesus taught the people from the boat. Jesus used many stories to teach them. He said, "Listen! A farmer went out to plant his seed. While the farmer was planting, some seed fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed. Some seed fell on rocky ground. The ground there did not have enough dirt. The seed grew very fast there because the ground was not deep. But the sun rose and the plants were burned. The plants died because they did not have deep roots. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and stopped the good plants from growing. So those plants did not make grain. Some other seed fell on good ground. In the good ground, the seed began to grow. It grew and made grain. Some plants had 30 grains, other plants had 60 grains, and some had 100 grains." Then Jesus said, "You people that hear me, listen!" Later, Jesus was away from the people. The twelve apostles and Jesus' other followers asked him about the stories. Jesus said, "Only you can know the secret truth about the kingdom of God. But to those other people I tell everything by using stories. I do this so that: 'They will look and look, but never really see; they will listen and listen, but never understand. If they saw and understood, they might change and be forgiven.'" Then Jesus said to the followers, "Do you understand this story? If you don't, then how will you understand any story? The farmer is like a person that plants God's teaching in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the path. This is like some people. Those people hear the teaching of God. But Satan (the devil) comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them. Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching and quickly and gladly accept it. But those people don't allow the teaching to godeep into their lives. They keep that teaching only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they quickly quit. Other people are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. These people hear the teaching. But then these things come into their lives: the worries of this life, the love of money, and wanting all kinds of other things. These things stop the teaching from growing. So that teaching does not make fruit {in the lives of those people}. Other people are like the seed planted on the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and make fruit—sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 100 times more."

Mark 4:1-20

Related Scripture Readings

Don't worry and say, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' All the people that don't know God try to get these things. Don't worry, because your Father in heaven knows that you need these things. The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing the good things God wants you to do. Then all these other things you need will be given to you. So don't worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Tomorrow will have its own worries.

Matthew 6:31-34

It is true that serving God makes a person very rich, if that person is satisfied with what he has. When we came into the world, we brought nothing. And when we die, we can take nothing out. So, if we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with that. People who want to become rich bring temptations to themselves. They are caught in a trap. They begin to want many foolish things that will hurt them. Those things ruin and destroy people. The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the {true} faith (teaching) because they want to get more and more money. But they have caused themselves to be very, very sad.

1 TImothy 6:6-10

Enjoy serving the Lord, and he will give you what you want.

Psalm 37:4

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.