Parents: This week we continue our study of the parable of the soils, looking at the thorny soil.
Thorns can be tough to deal with, and no one knows better than Larry Boy (a.k.a. Larry the Cucumber) from the famous Veggietales series. One of the earlier Larry Boy movies (and one of my favorites) is called “The Rumor Weed”. Many of you may be familiar with it. It’s the story of a mutated weed that grows and spreads as people spread rumors about Alfred the butler.
The giant weed destroyed much of Bumblyberg and almost defeated the mighty Larry Boy, but thankfully some nice words were spoken about Alfred, and the day was saved. It’s a powerful lesson of how quickly sinful words and actions can spread to others and cause pain.
Speaking of thorny weeds, we’ve been learning about Jesus’ parable of the different soils and the seed, and this week we’re looking at the thorny soil. The Rumor Weed grew wild because of mean words, but the thorns in the parable represent a heart distracted with the cares of this world. The thorns choked out the plants that sprouted from the seed, so no fruit was produced. In the same way, if all you think about are games, toys, money or getting nice things, it’s going to be difficult to live your life for Jesus.
There was once a very famous preacher named Charles Spurgeon that lived in England during the 1800’s and built a church that had thousands of people attending every Sunday. He gave many amazing sermons, and pastors still learn from him today. One time, he taught about the parable of the soils, and he had some interesting things to say about the thorny soil.
Out of the thousands of people in Spurgeon’s church, many were very rich. Some were high up in politics, others were businessmen, but they all had one regret…their riches were keeping them from being close to Jesus. Spurgeon shared with the whole congregation about his meeting with one politician who said, “Ah! Sir, these politics, these politics! I wish I could get rid of them. They are eating the life out of my heart. I cannot serve God like I want to.” Another rich business owner said, “It is an awful thing to be rich. One cannot keep close to the Savior with all these earthly things around him.”
This can be a difficult lesson to hear, because so many people want to be rich. Even those who don’t want to be rich can be tempted into loving things and focusing on them instead of Jesus. This is especially true in this country. The United States of America is the richest country in the world, and the American Church is the richest part of the Church around the world. So, what does this mean for kids?
Having thorns in your spiritual soil isn't just about loving money, it's about "the cares of this life". This can mean having the latest cell phone, video game or shoes. There's nothing wrong with having nice things, but these things can very easily get in the way of knowing God and hearing from Him. Think of your heart as being like a plate. God wants to fill your plate with His love, power and wisdom, but if you love certain things, it's like those things are sitting on your plate, crowding out the things God wants to give you.
There is a verse in Proverbs that is important for all of us to remember. “don’t make me either poor or rich, but give me only the bread I need each day. If you don’t, I might have too much. Then I might say I don’t know You. I might say, “Who is the Lord?” Or, I might become poor and steal. Then I would bring shame to the Name of my God.” Proverbs 30:8-9
Mark 4:1-20 | The Parable of the Farmer
CHAT WITH ME
1. Why do you think it’s so easy to be tempted by riches?
2. Has there ever been a time in your life when you wanted riches more than you wanted God?