Listen to today’s devo!

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life . . . choke the word. (Mark 4:18–19)

Two hours late! Our reliable car needed additional service after its oil change, and we were leaving for our Thanksgiving celebration behind schedule. I was relieved, because it had allowed me time to fully be present and teach our kids, load the dishwasher, and pack us up, Black Friday ads and Christmas lists included. We loaded our repaired, yet grease-scented car and drove into the darkness to meet my family at a hotel for a relaxed holiday reunion. As my husband drove, I window-shopped the online websites for items on our Christmas lists and for a used vehicle to replace our dying minivan.

Jesus’ words pointedly describe my behavior and focus: I’m as seed scattered among thorns. Worries and cares, even those that are “respectable,” like needing a reliable vehicle or income, choke out his Word of life, sown into my heart, making me unfruitful. Distractions, the deceit of wealth—including deals on Black Friday to save that wealth and make it stretch a bit further—and the desires for things other than his kingdom values do the same thing.

Plants sown in thorny soil may grow up, but they don’t bear grain; they’re useless at keeping the kingdom of God growing. We must become like the good-soil plants, accept his Word without distraction and worry and produce a massive crop, multiplying ourselves and God’s kingdom.

Choose to hear the Word, accept it, and produce new kingdom crops.

Jamie Hilty is a Wesleyan pastor’s kid. She currently serves with her pastor-husband in Goshen, Indiana, and has served as a contributing writer for Annesley Writer’s Forum.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.