Good Soil: Part 4

There are many things on my hunting property that I would love to have. For starters, it would be great to have some kind of agriculture fields nearby. I also would love to have more hunters around my property that was more interested in growing mature deer. We all want what we do not have. However, what I do have in large abundance of is briars. The pine jungles of the Deep South are full of all sorts of thorny foliage. The primary species of briars growing on my property is blackberry bushes. Though these plants do produce good forage in browse and soft mass, these bushes will ruin a new pair of hunting pants. I have found myself caught-up in the middle of a blackberry patch many times. Just walk down an old lane where pine timber has been thinned at night trailing a wounded deer and you and your legs will know what I am talking about. Something else I noticed about these briar bushes is that though they may produce good food, they don’t allow other plant species to grow very well along with it. Also as biologist I know too much of anything can be a bad thing because this decreases plant diversity.

Matthew 5:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.

If you had been following this series of devotions you know that I have had a hard time with several of my food plots. One of my plots where I had clover and chicory in, which was planted from the year before, was almost completely covered in blackberry bushes this year. I failed to spray them with herbicides this summer and these thorny bushes had taken over. There were a few patches of clover and chicory growing underneath the bushes, but their growth was impeded greatly.

Friends this part of the parable is very easy to understand and apply directly to our lives. There are so many briars and thorns of life that affect our lives daily. The cares and the comforts of today’s lifestyle choke out many things that the Lord has planted in our hearts. Also, it is not always the things that are obviously bad that are these briars, but are the things we many times see as good that pull us away from the Lord and His Word. One of the big thorns that Jesus is referring to here is the love of money; “the deceitfulness of riches” (Matt. 13:22). I Timothy 6:10 has this to say about money, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Beware of this thorn; it is very powerful, persuasive, but also can be very painful. Another thorn that Jesus speaks about is the love of possessions. In Matthew 6:19-24 Jesus speaks against putting our worldly treasures before Him.

There are many other thorns that the Bible speaks of. Some are very obvious and are easy to stay away from. However, others are not so easy to discern. Some thorns are like that patch of blackberries that in a season completely took over what I had planted. There are many thorns of life that will do the same in your life. The difference is that these thorns will at least impede your growth as a Christian as they choke out the things that God has planted. Even though these briar bushes may produce something very sweet, they are not worth getting caught-up in the middle of; because they will ultimately ruin your life.

God Bless and Happy Hunting.

Posted by Mark Newell

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