MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (May 31, 2021): The Key to the Kingdom, Part 4

We have been examining the parable of the Sower and the Seeds found in chapter four of Mark’s gospel. Jesus Himself told the disciples that this parable is key to understanding the Kingdom of God: “Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?” (Mk 4:13).

We have determined that the four categories of hearers of the word, represented by the four categories of ground described by Jesus, were ALL children of God. Last week, we examined the “Stony Ground Christian.” Today, we look at the “Thorny Ground Christian.”

Jesus explained that the “thorny ground” represented those who hear the word of God, but who are distracted by worldly concerns: “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mk 4:19-20).

The “Thorny Ground Christian” is usually someone who was raised in church, and likely attends regularly. This kind of Christian is attentive to the sermon, but when “life” encroaches upon his time, he lets the Kingdom go to attend to the matters in front of him. Bible study falls by the wayside, because work calls. Sometimes church attendance is secondary to recreational pursuits. And through all of this, the word of God is being “choked out” by the thorny cares and distractions of the world!

This is the category that I most struggle with myself! There are so many distractions in the world we live in. The television contains unlimited programming, the iPhone provides unrestricted access, and video games provide unending distraction for the Christian. Often I find myself distracted from the Kingdom of God by other pursuits that are lawful within themselves: work, recreation, hunting, etc. None of these things are ungodly, standing alone; however, they may become distractions from the work we should be doing in the Kingdom if we are not careful.

So what message do we give to the “Thorny Ground Christian?” Isaiah gives us the answer: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. . . .” (Isa. 26:3). STAY upon Christ! To “stay” in this context means to lean upon, or be propped upon Him. This is what the “Thorny Ground Christian” needs – for his mind to be stayed upon God, and His Kingdom. Keep on focusing upon Him! Renew your mind daily in the word of God! Only by STAYING upon God can one move from the thorny ground into the good ground.

Next week, we will focus upon the last category: the “good ground.” Have a blessed week!

In Christ,

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor