Choke the Word Mk 4:19 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Mk 4:19 exposes three things that choke the word and make it unfruitful. These choke the word in a Christian and choke the word when it is preached to a lost person. These three things choke the word:
Cares of this world – the word of God bears fruit in your life when you receive it and live by it. It saves you [1 Pet 1:23], it orders your steps [Ps 119:133], it illuminates your path [Ps 119:105], it improves your understanding [Ps 119:130], it discerns the thoughts and intents of your heart [Heb 4:12-13], it gives you strength in battle [Eph 6:10-18], it works effectually in you [1 Thes 2:13], and many other things. But when you become more concerned with the cares of this world than you do with the words of God, those cares will choke the word of God.
Husbands and wives naturally care for the things of the world [1 Cor 7:33-34]. But when those cares compete with the work of the words of God in their marriage, then those cares choke the word. Young families rarely have family devotions and routinely attend only one church service each week and are rarely faithful even at that. You can’t imagine how much you are missing in your marriage because you are not allowing the words of God to bear fruit in your marriage. Businessmen and women naturally care for their employment, but when those cares compete with the work of the words of God, they choke the word [i.e., working on Sunday]. How much more blessed your business would be if you would run it according to God’s words. Recreation and entertainment often choke the word [i.e., skipping church to hunt, fish and vacation on the weekend]. Men and women who are consumed with these things don’t generally care to hear the gospel; they’re too busy. They don’t want God interfering with their plans. They don’t realize how much better his plans are than theirs.
Deceitfulness of riches – The word of God has much to say about riches and wealth. If you will follow the instructions of the Bible in making money, spending money and giving money, you will be surprised how well your finances will be managed. It is amazing how much God blesses those who follow his instructions. 2 Cor 9:7 and Acts 20:35 are both very true.
But riches can be very deceitful. And when men are deceived by riches, those riches choke the word. The rich young ruler turned away from Jesus Christ and eternal life because of his riches. He went to hell without his riches. If he had followed the Lord he would have had eternal life and treasure in heaven, to boot. Ananias and Sapphira died because their riches deceived them. They ended up lying to the Holy Ghost. When Christians are deceived by riches, their riches choke the word and cut them off from the fruit of the word of God in their lives. Instead, they are pierced through with many sorrows [1 Tim 6:10].
Lusts of other things – The word of God reveals to you all kinds of lusts that interfere in your relationship with the Lord God. There are lusts of the flesh and lusts of the eyes. The lust of the flesh is contrary to the Spirit of God and causes great turmoil in your spiritual life. The trouble with lust is that it never satisfies the appetite of the flash. Lusts never satisfy the appetite of the eyes [Prov 27:20].
The words of God are very satisfying. The fruit of them produces godliness in our lives. And the Bible says godliness with contentment is great gain [1 Tim 6:5]. In the conversations that I have had with young adults who are given over to their lusts, they believe that they are right to do what they are doing and that the Bible is out of date and out of touch with their “reality.” Thus, the word of God cannot bear fruit in their lives because they don’t even believe what it says. Their lusts choke the word.
Conclusion: which of these is keeping the word of God from bearing fruit in your life? If you are lost, you must believe that God can satisfy you far more than your riches and your lusts. He can handle your cares much better than you can [1 Pet 5:7]. With Jesus in you, there is a peace and contentment that this world can never give you. If you are saved, you are missing all the blessings of the fruitfulness of the words of God by consuming your life on your cares, your riches and your lusts. These all vanish with time. But the word of God abideth forever as does all the fruit that derives from those words. Don’t let cares, riches and lusts choke the word in your life.