By Jay Pearson


Mark 4:14-20
14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

In the parable of the sower there are 4 parcels of real estate: the way side, the stony ground, among the thorns, and the good ground. These parcels represent the condition of the heart and its standing. We need to guard our hearts. Where are you standing?

Proverbs 4:23
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

I’ve stood on three of these parcels – by the wayside, the stony ground and among the thorns – much more than I’d like to admit. Finally, I’ve reached the point in my life now where I can pretty much avoid the way side, and the stony ground. I’m sure most of you have also, but where are you standing now? Too often I find myself standing among the thorns where the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things choke the Word in my life.

We all need to be not only standing, but dwelling in the Lord, the good ground. Where are you standing now? Where are you standing today, this moment and where do you think you’ll be standing after you read this message and go back in your personal space and daily routine.

Let’s take a closer look at this third parcel of real estate, among the thorns, and see if we can avoid over extending our time there. I know I have assumed that you too pass through this parcel at times. As children of God we are not all that different in our struggles and temptations.

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

The DNA of the 3rd parcel of real estate is rooted in the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

There are three dominate tentacles of the 3rd piece of real estate, among the thorns. I refer to them as tentacles because they reach out distracting and attaching to you and pull you in.

  1.  The cares of this world
  2.  The deceitfulness of riches
  3.  The lust of other things

These three tentacles choke the Word in our lives when they dominate our actions. Let’s start with looking at the cares of this world.

Luke 21:34
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

I heard someone say recently, someone I love and care for, “I never saw that coming.” They lost their focus and stumbled back into old habits. We must learn to focus on the Lord and be thankful for what the Lord has done for us. We must be thankful for what the Lord is doing for us and will do for us, Trusting God more than our own ability. Our God must remain ever present in our hearts and minds bigger than our cares. Cares are every bit real and devastating in our lives. They need tending and we have the one sworn to do it, Jesus Christ, the righteous, the Son of the living God.

1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Among the thorns you’ll also find the deceitfulness of riches. Money becomes a problem for us when we are deceived by its value. It is not your sufficiency, God is. It seems we always want more money. If we have too much we fear losing it. If we don’t have enough, we fear not getting it.  Money is a way to get more stuff.  Riches aren’t just monetary wealth. Riches are the abundance of anything. The abundance of stuff can clog a heart just as fast as money. When we don’t have money or a job or health it seems to be easier to seek the Lord for his supply. Especially when we have exhausted our own. When we are full it is easy to be complacent and unthankful, consuming and wasteful. When we are full we need the Lord just as much or more to guard our hearts against the deceitfulness of riches.

Proverbs 15:16
Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.

Too much stuff can clog our house, the holy spirit within you. Stuff can fill it with occupying clutter leaving little room for the Lord to dwell. Our house does not belong to us.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Make room in your house for the Lord and maintain it. Some fell among the thorns. Where are you standing?

The third tentacle of the third parcel, among the thorns, is the lust of other things. There are many distractions and temptations in this world to choke the Word in our lives. I’ll say this, I’m tempted more by my own lust and enticed more than the personal assault of the devil. Sure, he’s in the background in his cage of darkness manipulating others to do his will. Our walk is to be in the light of the kingdom of God and focus on the Lord and his deliverance. We must deny our lust and avoid the darkness and it's distractions and pull.

James 1:14
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

We need to take responsibility for our actions and ask for forgiveness. God has promised to supply all our need but not our greed. Another person’s stuff looks pretty good at times. More stuff requires more of your devotion to maintain. The time taken to maintain temporal stuff takes away from your focus on the eternal things. God has more abundance than we’ll ever need and more power than we’ll ever exercise and more life than we can exhaust. He wants to share his abundance with you and me. We only need to abide in him, obediently standing in his truth and on the good ground.

2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Luke 8:15
But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

The three parcels of real estate spoken of in the parable of the sower, by the wayside, on stony ground, among the thorns can be guarded against first by recognizing them and avoid abiding in them. Don’t stand where you need to move.

Psalm 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

By the way side the word is stolen by the wicked one because they do not understand the word.

Matthew 7:7
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

On the stony ground he had no root in the word and endured only a little while.

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Among the thorns, the cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things chokes the word in our lives. The methods of the devil are ever around us, but not in us. Don’t allow him to hide in the corners of your heart or thoughts.

Ephesians 4:27
Neither give place to the devil.

1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Let’s stand on the good ground in the Lord Jesus Christ and walk in the newness of life.

John 15:4
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Where are you standing?

Ephesians 6:13
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Let’s do it. Let’s abide on the good ground

Matthew 13:23
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.


Presented September 9, 2018 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana