As we look into God’s Word take note of this text from the gospel of Mark,
- “Now 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)
Ah . . . “riches,” how they can so dominate our thinking, our pursuits, our desires. We know how the world views the accumulation of wealth, but there is also, in our current day, a widespread teaching in churches of what is called, “the prosperity gospel.” This false gospel is no small thing. It has a broad reach. Beware of its “unfruitful” message.
Our Lord, in this parable of the sower here in Mark 4, warned of “the deceitfulness of riches.” The desire, the want for fortune, can actually “choke the word” off from an individual and they “become unfruitful.” When emphasis is put on worldly gain, upon the accumulation of wealth, when this becomes that which drives a man or woman, then there is no time for God, no time for His Word, no desire to do His will, and thus the fruit that is unto eternal life is rendered lost. The person portrayed in this parable has tossed aside one thing for what he deems to be the benefits of another, and is not saved.
“Riches” . . . the devil certainly knows how to use them to bring a person down. The world holds in high esteem those who have “riches.” Success is measured in this world by how much cash you have on hand. We are warned through the agent of God’s Word about “the deceitfulness of riches . . . . .”
- “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (I Timothy 6:9-10 – NKJV)
The desire to do God’s will, to know Him and serve Him, to be in His Word and of His Word must trump the “desire to be rich.” We are warned repeatedly in Scripture of how the pursuit of wealth, “the desire” for riches, can lead to “all kinds of evil.” We are told that “some have strayed from the faith” because of “their greediness,” and they have “pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
When we returned from Panama back in 1989, I took a job in a farm supply store, working for a man who held wealth in very high regard. He attended church but he spent zero time in God’s Word, showed no evidence in his walk of knowing Christ as Lord and Savior. He boasted of his financial status, his material possessions. He was to me a prime example of the type of person our Lord talked about in the parable of the sower . . . a man ensnared by “the deceitfulness of riches.” I often told him where the true riches were, in Christ, but his “love of money” choked off the Word.
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk beware of the false teaching regarding wealth, regarding riches, and do not allow it to choke off the Word from you.
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