Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Thorns and thistles

Luke 8:14 “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard go forth, and are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”

“The Sower went out to sow his seed…”.

The seed is the Word of God…but it is the ground which it falls into we are talking about.

This Word falls in a heart full of thorns. Thorns represent the curse of the fall….or our “old man”…the old nature which is always present.

Jesus said, that these thorns were:

“cares”…..burdens of grief, fear, protection, supply.

“Riches”….a supply of money, houses, or lands….to make us independent of God….or so we think.

“Pleasure of this life”….we think of food, sex, drink, or drugs….but there is also putting our “fun times”, first.

I believe Jesus Christ is able to save to the uttermost,…. all who will come to Him. (Hebrews 7:25)

Therefore these thorns represent that which keeps us from completely giving ourselves to the Lord Jesus.

Something that claims this part of our life,…first.

Jeremiah 4:3 “For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.”

We are to prepare our hearts to hear His Word, when we read it….when we hear it….when it is preached.

And when it is heard….because our hearts are prepared…it will bring forth fruit….not thorns.

But where did the thorns originally come from?

There were no thorns and thistles in the garden of Eden.

But when Adam and Eve fell…

Genesis 3:17-18 “And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it:

cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field:”

Thorns are actually aborted branches. Both are prickly and injurious. Both can cause infections….

…..both can only be put away… effort.

But thorns and thistles shall it “bring forth” unto us. They just pop up….with no effort….for they are of this world….they are of the curse of sin.

We are in a world of sin….and thorns and thistles abound… us, by habit or temptation…

….and around us.

They often spring up before the good seed…and if we are not careful to remove or cut them down…..they will choke the new good plant.

Hebrews 6:7-8 “For the earth which drinketh in the rain which cometh oft upon if, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, recieveth blessing from God:

But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.”

We are to keep our hearts and lives for God….and use every blessing from God (the rain) to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But if we are careless….then thorns and thistles (the things under the curse…sin)….will definitely spring up in our life…and they are not so easy to deal with then.

Numbers 33:55 “But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.”

We must deal with all the things of our old man….of cares, riches, and pleasures of this life……because if we leave them, as the Israelites did the cursed inhabitants…they will be thorns in our side….giving us trouble, till we do.

(My brother bought a small plot of land….about fifteen acres…from a neighbor.

Now the neighbor told him to watch for Canadian thistles.

They have a very strong root….so cutting them down will not do any good….they will just spring back up…you have to keep at it.

He told my brother that he had had trouble with them, and if you let them flower….you have let them go too long….for the flowers will dry and spread them all over.

My brother used the ground for pasture for some special cows….so he did not want to spray it.

You guessed it,… brother saw them coming up….and was busy….and the next thing you know it they were grown and flowering.

Let me tell you how hard it was to deal with something that was almost as tall as I was…

Chopping them out, without getting “bit” by the prickly nettles….was a very hard job.)

So it is with us….if we are careless…

Proverbs 22:5 “Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.”

Froward means twisted, perverted, crooked. And how many crooked paths are put before us everyday….to lead us astray?

A little twist of the way…..what will it hurt?

But the thorns come up and the thistles grow large….before you know it.

Watch ye….is not just good advice for times of trouble….but times of prosperity….and…any time. We need Christ’s guiding hand to lead us away from thorns…..and to lead us in to His fruit of the Spirit.

Isaiah 32:11,13 “Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones…..gird sackcloth upon your loins.

Upon the land of My people shall come up thorns and briers;….”

To be careless….. is to put our desire for now….what ever it is over the will of the Lord….as though it was not that important.

The answer? To continue to receive the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 32:15-17 “Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high….

Then judgement shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.”

Some believe this is a prophesy concerning the giving of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost….but…

……whenever the Spirit is manifested….there is righteousness and peace…

…not thorns of self will.

Matthew 7:16 “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

Nothing we can do, without the Holy Spirit’s blessing will yield any good fruit.

The best that human nature can produce for God….is thorns.

Only when we continue to receive the Holy Spirit’s fullness, will we bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)

And, of course, I would be remiss, if I did not mention the worst day for the manifesting of man’s the attitude toward God….

….. when our blessed Lord had a crown of thorns pushed into HIs head….when they mocked Him as a king…

….totally unaware that He is the King of kings.

John 19:2-3 “And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe,

And said, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote Him with their hands.”

He bore all the curse for us.

Thorns and briers, thorns and thistles…..all are under the curse.

They spring up, unless you cut them out.

They spread out, and interfere with the good plants.

They are strong….not easily removed….unless you get them early.

But by watching,…..and receiving all the Holy Spirit has for us, we can cut out all that is “thorns”,….or of our old man……and bring forth fruit to Christ Jesus our Lord, in blessing.

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