These are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Mark 4:18, 19, NKJV.
Christ specified the things that are dangerous to the soul. As recorded by Mark, He mentions the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things. Luke specifies the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life. These are what choke the word, the growing spiritual seed. The soul ceases to draw nourishment from Christ, and spirituality dies out of the heart.
"The cares of this world." No class is free from the temptation to worldly care. To the poor, toil and deprivation and the fear of want bring perplexities and burdens. To the rich come fear of loss and a multitude of anxious cares. Many of Christ's followers forget the lesson He has bidden us learn from the flowers of the field. They do not trust to His constant care. Christ cannot carry their burden, because they do not cast it upon Him....
Many who might be fruitful in God's service become bent on acquiring wealth. Their whole energy is absorbed in business enterprises, and they feel obliged to neglect things of a spiritual nature. Thus they separate themselves from God.... We are to labor that we may impart to those in need. Christians must work, they must engage in business, and they can do this without committing sin. But many become so absorbed in business that they have no time for prayer, no time for the study of the Bible, no time to seek and serve God.
At times the longings of the soul go out for holiness and heaven; but there is no time to turn aside from the din of the world to listen to the majestic and authoritative utterances of the Spirit of God. The things of eternity are made subordinate, the things of the world supreme. It is impossible for the seed of the Word to bring forth fruit; for the life of the soul is given to nourish the thorns of worldliness.
And many who are working with a very different purpose fall into a like error. They are working for others' good; their duties are pressing, their responsibilities are many, and they allow their labor to crowd out devotion.... They walk apart from Christ, their life is not pervaded by His grace, and the characteristics of self are revealed.--Christ's Object Lessons, 51, 52.
This newly updated inspirational packet, compiled by Jerry and Janet Page, contains many resources on prayer including topics like: Praising God, abiding in Jesus’ love, guidelines for those desiring anointing, encouraging promises and quotes on healing, principles of intercessory prayer, how to pray with your spouse, powerful promises for parents, what to pray for non-Christians, when Satan called a worldwide meeting, and much more. (Download the entire packet or choose topics individually.)
This document contains a personal "10-Day Heart Challenge" to help start your New Year on a positive spiritual note. It gives specific Bible passages to reflect upon and as well as prayer thoughts to help you seek a deeper walk with Christ. Whether you do it at the beginning of this New Year, or some other time, we are sure that it will be a blessing! (This is not part of the world church official "10 Days Of Prayer," but is meant to prepare you for this event as we will be seeking a deeper experience with Christ!)