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Chapter 12 - 'Choking the word'
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. - Matthew 13:22
In the specific example of the deceitfulness of riches Jesus describes one effect as 'choking the word'. This point deserves special attention. Life consists of more than avoiding doing wrong. The Christian draws his life from Godís word.
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. - Luke 4:4
Jesus is also called the 'word of God'.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. - Revelation 19:11-13
We have the ability to make to the word of God ineffective.
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. - Mark 7:13
God would have us grow in faith and dependence upon him. Those who seek after riches neglect trust in God and grow in trust of self and the belief that riches will sustain them. It is when we cripple our faith in God, that we lose the effectiveness of his word in our lives.
There is a life to which we as Christians are called, Christ-likeness. This is growing to maturity in truth and love. We can only follow this path by humility and faithful dependence on God guiding us. When we abandon this path to serve the flesh and the world, we cut ourselves off from access to wisdom, truth, discernment, and grace. The path of self grows increasingly darker as we become distant from Jesus.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
One might think of the world as a minefield. There are all sorts of hazards and dangers we can encounter. Those pursuing riches find they are not able to avoid these dangers and are even drawn to them. Whereas the Christian who has escaped to deceptions of riches is able to draw from the word of God illumination to negotiate past the hazards of the world.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105
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