The Crowded Heart

Read

Matthew 13:7, 22, “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. … 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.”Psalm 119:10, “With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments!”

Think

“I can’t wait for you to check out my thorn garden,” said no one ever!Can you imagine removing plants to make room for weeds and thorns? No! In fact, they’re the bane of every gardener’s existence. The soil is fertile, the seed’s been sown, but the flowering plants and green leaves are being choked out by sharp, spiky protrusions. Quickly they can become so overpowering that they destroy the very life you hoped to produce.In today’s reading, Jesus likens our hearts to excellent plant-producing soil that’s being overrun by thorns — those of us who’ve been receptive to God’s grace and His Word of truth but are allowing other aspects of life to choke out and stunt our spiritual growth. Our hearts can get so crowded with worry, fear, tangible possessions, and self-indulgence that we lose focus on that which matters most — our relationship with Jesus.Do you have a crowded heart? If so, it’s time to pull out your gardening gloves, hoe, and shovel. It takes work to dig deep and root out whatever’s stunting your walk with God — but the growth on the other side is well worth your effort. As you yield to God’s Word, the beautiful flowers of faith will have space to grow. Then you can step back with a joy-filled heart as you admire the fruit of the harvest!

Act

What are your thorns? What do you need to root out so that you can make your relationship with God a priority? Take a few moments to consider and pray for God to help you prune the garden of your heart.

Pray

Dear Lord, Produce in me a bountiful harvest! Help me eliminate the weeds of worry and the thorns of materialism and pride. Pull me close as I do the work to get back on track with what You want for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.