(Matthew 13:22) “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.
The answer to this question is not difficult; to be unfruitful is to put too much thought into the cares of this world in one’s life and to be deceived by what riches can do.
When the cares of this world become the most important motive for the action in your life you are not seeking first “the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Matthew 13:22 is part of the parable of the sower and the ground. In this parable, there is one type of seed which is “the word of the kingdom” or “the word of God”. Yet there are 4 types of soil:
1) the soil by the wayside, which is hard. The seed cannot grow in it and the devil takes it away.
2) the soil on the rocks. This soil is not deep so the roots are not deep.
The ones that receive the word on the rocks will receive and believe the word “with joy; but have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.”
3) The soil among the thorns. The thorns are “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches”. The thorns will cause the Word of God to be choked so that it will be unfruitful.
4) The good ground or soil. This is where the Word of God will grow and be fruitful.
Why will the word of God in “the good ground” believers have fruit and the word of God in “soil among thorns” believers not? Both have the same cares of this world, and both can be deceived by riches. So, why does one have fruit and the other not?
The answer is what the believer puts first in what he thinks. The believer that does not have fruit for the Lord is the one that has put how to live in this world first in his thinking.
The fruit-bearing believer thinks first about how to please the Lord. The fruit-bearing hears the Lord’s command and tries to obey it: (Matthew 16:24-26) “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
He also hears the Lord’s promise and tries to meet the condition so that the Lord’s promise will come true: (Matthew 6:33) “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
We can see things happening in this present time that point to hard times that will come. We need to prepare for these hard times. This preparation should not be just for our needs in this world, but also for God’s will. We need to do what Jesus tells us to do, (Matthew 6:34) “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
What do you want for yourself? Do you want to be an unfruitful servant or do you want to be in God’s will and have fruit in your life by seeking first “the kingdom of God, and His righteousness?”