What Chokes the WordBro. Ron Rupé
5/16/1999 6:00 PM
Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23
The stony and thorny conditions began to have life and bear fruit, but then either withered or was choked. There are several things that will wither or choke the word.
If the word is choked it is usually by cares, riches or pleasures. None of these things in and of themselves are sin. Christ isn't speaking of sin choking the word. This is important because you can abstain from all evil and still become unfruitful. A "touch not" and "taste not" message is inadequate because cares and riches and pleasures ... can choke the word. The concern is letting our heart become overcharged with these things.
Don't let your cares overcharge you. Overcharge: filled to the full. A heart so full of this world that there is no time for spiritual things.
Notice the similarities in the 2 parables. Some bore fruit, some withered away. In both, the Word is responsible for producing the fruit in us. God wants his word to bring forth fruit. He wants his words to live and dwell in you. The Word of God is alive.
The word of God is quick (or alive). It has life in it.
2 Timothy 3:16
The word is inspired (breathed) by God. The Holy Spirit continues to breathe life into it. Is the seed bearing life in you? Will the word come alive in you? When the Holy Spirit inspires your faith to believe the word of God, it comes alive in you.
Faith is the gift of God planted in the heart like a grain of mustard seed.
Faith is the natural result of the living word of God. The living word becomes choked when we fail to move from faith to action.
By looking into God's word, you'll see who you are. This revelation is a work of the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit does not anoint the word, the hearers will only justify themselves. If we fail to act on what we see, we'll forget. Keep the word abiding in you.
1) Apply the Word of God to yourself. It won't take root in you if you push it off to someone else.
2 Samuel 12:1-7
David didn't see that this was for him. We should receive every message as if WE are the man. Don't think that the message is for someone else. Also, how sad not to realize the portion that is for you. This may be why some carnal preachers become finger pointers. They see a need in the congregation... and so they take it before the Lord and study and bring it out... several times.. and the person keeps shoveling it off and shoveling it off.. until the preacher finally gets fed up with it all and says.. YOU ARE THE MAN!!! (We aren't condoning finger pointing.. but let's look at the other side of the pulpit... ) How responsive are you being to the message? Listen to the message and read God's word as if no one else is in the room. Find how you can apply it to yourself. Are you shoveling the message to someone else? If you are, the word will become unfruitful.
2) Respond immediately. Be tender to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Measure up now; it's a deception to think you will later.
Speaks of 2 who heard the command of Jesus - "Let me first...." This is a good way to choke the word.
To hear the word and not do is a deception. If you don't immediately respond, you will immediately forget. No excuse is a good excuse for not responding.
Zaccheus sought to see who Jesus was, and before it was over he saw who he himself was. He beheld himself and his response was immediate and complete. God wants us to apply and respond immediately. He wants us to bear fruit.
This man also beheld himself. He loved/trusted riches more than God. This is an example of riches choking the word. This man and Zaccheus were both very rich, but the response was so different. Don't allow your station in life to keep you from an immediate response.
Whether our fruit is 100-fold, 60-fold, or 30-fold, it is much fruit. Your fruitfulness depends on how you receive and respond to the Word. Let's all bring forth much fruit.