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"I love the sense of satisfaction that I get when I’ve done a swimming workout or race, and know that I gave my whole being and heart to God in every moment of the swim. It’s the best worship I can offer him."

Penny Heyns

The sower 3

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Matthew 13: 7

People sometimes seem to come to faith, grow, become established and then fall away. The falling away may be dramatic but it is more likely to be a gradual drift away. What kind of things can choke our relationship with God or cause us to drift away from faith? Jesus explains the meaning of the parable in verse 22: “The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful”.

Jesus identifies two areas of challenge. The first is life! He calls it “the worries of life”. In our busy life it can be hard to find time and space for God. There are more distractions than ever; life is busier than ever. We wake up and put the TV or music on, we get in our cars and immediately put on the radio or music. We walk around with a headset on. Our phones are never far away. It is so hard to find that quiet place to be still with God.

Jesus talks a lot about money but the phrase “the deceitfulness of wealth” has a poignant challenge to it. We have all fallen for it. We all believe to some extent if only we had a little more money, a newer car, a bigger house, we would be happier. One of the first credit cards in the UK used the slogan “take the waiting out of wanting”. The lottery adverts give this insidious message that winning the lottery will bring happiness. Agur in Proverbs 30:8-9 writes “Give me neither poverty nor riches but give me my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you…or I may become poor and steal”. The challenge is to know when we have enough.

Reflect on how money or busyness might distract you from following Jesus.

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