What’s Choking the ‘Life’ Out of You?

What’s keeping you from being effective? Productive? Fruitful? Healthy and mature in your relationship with Christ?

All this month, we’re talking about harvest… looking at the Scriptures that speak to this theme. In the four Gospels, Jesus told the Parable of the Sower. The seed – which was the life-changing, life-giving Word of God – fell on different kinds of soil, or hearts. Some seed grew quickly, but just as quickly withered and died. Some never took root at all.

But some “fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.” (Luke 8:7)

This is the verse that I think should really grab our attention today – those of us who are committed Christ-followers. The seed has taken root, so we’re not in danger of being hard soil. And we’ve survived the initial challenges to our faith. It’s here to stay.

But how healthy is it?

Jesus explained to His disciples just what the thorns were and what they could do:

“Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.” (Mark 4:19 AMP)

Luke 8:14 puts it just a little differently, sheds even more light:  “And as for what fell among the thorns, these are [the people] who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked and suffocated with the anxieties and cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not ripen (come to maturity and perfection).” (Luke 8:14 AMP)

I think every one of us is always in danger of our spiritual growth being “choked,” of being suffocated or distracted, of neglecting our relationship with Jesus. Always in danger of putting other “gods”—other desires, other priorities, other relationships – before Him. It’s how our hearts work.

So this week during my quiet time, I’m asking myself some tough questions … and then taking steps to tackle whatever issues I find.

I thought I’d share the questions and the steps with you:



Harvest: Does He Have a Job For You!

Harvest Does He have a job for you

It’s still high summer here in the Sunshine State. Weather forecasters are calling for temperatures in the low 90s all week. For the past week or so, I’ve been watching my Facebook newsfeed start to fill with pictures of pumpkin patches and fall festivals and friends celebrating the return of “sweater weather” – which arrives […]

One Battle At A Time

One Battle at a Time

I can be an all-or-nothing kind of girl – a bit of a perfectionist.  In my heart of hearts, I’d like everything in my life to always be perfectly well-ordered, organized, disciplined, beautiful … and at the same time full of joyous spontaneity, creativity, and freedom. You don’t have to raise your hand if you […]

Are You Headed Up the Wrong Mountain?

girl standing at the edge of rock

When I look back over the last twenty or twenty-five years of my life, I see myself fighting a lot of the same battles over and over again. That can be pretty discouraging. Where’s the victory in Jesus? I mean, I’ve definitely experienced it sometimes. In some areas. And in other areas for some seasons, […]

Go Forth Without Fear ~ Michelle DeRusha

Go Forth Without Fear DeRusha

I love reading the stories of women who have followed Jesus wholeheartedly — ordinary women who have found themselves doing all kinds of extraordinary things for His kingdom and His glory! Women in Scripture, women in history, women today. These women humble me and teach me and challenge me and inspire me in so many ways… […]

Finding My Happy Thought

Finding My Happy Thought

“Sometimes these things get worse before they get better.” He really meant for his words to be reassuring. I freaked out this weekend, when four weeks into my second stress fracture this year, my pain was actually increasing. I begged my doctor to see me right away, convinced I was having another one of those horrific […]

Image courtesy of Apolonia at FreeDigitalPhotos.netSo looking forward to returning to the wonderful women’s ministry of Horizon Christian Fellowship in El Paso, TX, this time to share at a special Christmas Tea!

Date: December 6, 2014
Time: 09:00-02:00 p.m.
Event: Ladies Christmas Tea ~ December 6
Sponsor: Horizon Christian Fellowship
(915) 474-6788
Location: El Paso, TX
Public: Public