August 26, 2019

Life's Worries, Riches, and Pleasures

Luke 8:4-15

“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

Have you ever been so wrapped up in your work that even when you’re at home, you’re not really “all there”? Have you ever been so consumed by worry that you hardly notice the rich blessings around you?

Have you been driven to reach that next pay grade, get that new car with all the bells and whistles, or scoop up that new smartphone that no one else has yet? Or how about that slick new boat, that lakeside property, or even that amazing new power tool? If something like that is driving you, it’s time to step back, take a deep breath, and ask God if you are doing the right thing.

The pleasures and distractions Jesus is talking about in this parable don’t have to be sinful to choke our maturity in the Christian life.

Be honest with yourself and the Lord. It’s not wrong to enjoy great blessings, to set goals for building a business, or to have a bucket list, but it would be a huge mistake to let anything but the Lord be your motivator.

If we are distracted or driven by life’s troubles and worries, or by trends, gadgets, or gains and the pleasures they seem to offer, we won’t grow mature in the truly good life God intends for us. Instead, we will let those things take over in our lives, choking out the rich and full life God wants us to enjoy forever.

Your parables, Lord Jesus, often give us a wake-up call. Guide our thoughts and actions each day, that we may live the best life possible, centered on your Word for living. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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