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Summary: The cares and anxieties of the world, and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches,and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes

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How’s Your Spiritual Maintenance?

By Pastor CG

"The cares and anxieties of the world, and distractions of the age, and

the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches,

and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and

choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless."

-- (Mark 4:19, The Amplified Bible)

Did you know that the seemingly innocent things in your everyday life

can suffocate your spiritual life if you allow it?

A friend of mine said the Lord told her in prayer one day that this

nation had become a nation of maintenance men. "You have so many things

to maintain," He told her. "You maintain your house. You maintain your

car, your yard, your machines, your hair...."

It’s true. You can become a maintainer of so many natural things that

you don’t have any time left to maintain your own spirit!

When you find yourself in that situation, it’s time to simplify your

life. I’ve had to learn that myself. Now when I’m considering something

I think I need, I don’t just count the cost in dollars and cents. I

think about how much time it will take to maintain it. I check to see if

I can spiritually afford it.

Second Timothy 2:4 says, "Don’t get entangled in the affairs of this

life." One thing I’ve learned over the last 25 years: Nothing is as

important as spending time in prayer and in the Word with the Father.

Absolutely nothing in my life is as vital as that.

SCRIPTURE READING: Mark 4:18-24

Mark 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

This illustrates those who hear the Word and fail to produce fruit because the Word is choked by three things:

1. The cares of the world or the lusts of the flesh (Mark 4:19; Matthew 13:22; Luke 8:14; Luke 21:34; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 2:15-17)

2. The deceitfulness of riches or the pride of life (Mark 4:19; Matthew 13:22; Luke 8:14; 1 Tim. 6:8-10,17; 1 John 2:15-17)

3. The lusts of other things or pleasures and the lust of the eyes (Mark 4:19; Luke 8:14; Luke 21:34; 1 John 2:15-17)

Mark 4:19 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.

Mark 4:20 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.

[they which are sown on good ground ...] This illustrates those who hear the Word of God, who wholeheartedly and eternally surrender to obey it and to please God in all things. They get rid of all shallowness, fickleness, and irresponsibility, along with deceitfulness of riches and pleasures, lusts of the flesh, pride of life, and lusts for other things that would hinder them in living for God. They are honest and true and conform to the letter to all known scriptural light as they get to know it (Matthew 13:23; Luke 8:15; 1 John 1:7).

[hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit] Three things required:

1. "Hear the Word." Over 155 times God commands men to hear Him and His Word. Not one time is there a hint that what He says will be hard to understand or that it needs any special interpretation. The entire Bible assumes that what it says is clear enough if men will only believe it as it reads and not change it.

2. "Receive it." This is the main battleground of man. If men could not understand the Bible there would be some reason for rejecting it. See Seven Reasons Why the Bible Is Simple.

Seven Reasons Why the Bible Is Simple

1. Because it is a revelation (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; Hebrews 1:1).

2. Because of its repeated truths (2 Cor. 13:1). All one needs to do with the Bible is find out what God says, where He says it and then believe it.

3. Because it is written in the most simple human terms possible. If it is understood as it is written then it is a simple book (Luke 24:25,45).

4. Because God is the author (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21). A deity that could not express himself as clearly as man does would not be the living, all-knowing God. One who could, yet would not make himself clear and sought to hide from man the very truth he expected to judge him by would be an unjust person. A deity who had to be interpreted every time he spoke would not be worthy of our consideration. The fault in Bible complications is not with God or the Bible, but with men who refuse to believe what God says and think we have to interpret what He says in order to get the meaning.

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