February 24, 2014

Seeds That Choke

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

“The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitful-ness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
—Matthew 13:22


We might think that the greatest danger in the Christian pilgrimage is the temptation to leave the path, the way marked out for us by Christ. A more common danger, though, is not what is off the path but what is on it. We can become so preoccupied with things that are good—even spiritual blessings—that we become distracted and stop moving forward. We stop progressing toward our goal of living faithfully for our Lord and Savior.

The pilgrim life is not easy; our Lord knows that we get tired. For this reason, he feeds us and comforts us in our times of weakness. But we can easily be distracted by even these good things.

For example, think of a tired pilgrim who stops to rest under a shady tree. The pilgrim might say, “This tree is so good; I will stay here awhile. I may even use some of it to make a shelter beside this trail. When I am ready, I will continue my journey.” Time passes, but the pilgrim never resumes his journey. Because he is so close to the path, he feels like a pilgrim, but he has fallen short of the goal.

Are you like that pilgrim? Have you settled somewhere off the path, rather than continuing on in the pilgrim life? A true disci-ple keeps following the Master. Up ahead, he’s calling, “Come; follow me!”

Lord and Savior, keep my eyes focused on you. If I am weary, do not let me leave the path, but strengthen me by your grace and Spirit. My only hope is in you. Amen.

About the author — Jason Zuidema

Jason Zuidema lives in Repentigny, Quebec, with his wife, Anna, and their three children. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and currently serves as executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association. He is the author of a special Seafarers edition of Today devotions published by ReFrame Media in 2012.

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