Good | Most of our lives are filled with good, not bad, things. We eat dinner with friends, exercise at the gym, take the kids to the park, work at the office and volunteer with charitable organizations. We read books or newspapers and connect with our family or friends online. These are all good things, but they can be dangerous, too.
Choke | In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus warned about the danger of good, not bad, things. He said that some seeds “fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.” Then he explained, “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” . In other words, “weeds of worry and illusions about getting more” caused the news of the kingdom to have no effect on its hearers .
Value | That seems to happen so quickly. In one moment, we read about Jesus proclaiming the kingdom, performing miracles and calling us to participate in his redemptive work. In the next, our minds wander to the litany of good things on our schedule and the kingdom seems distant. How can we bridge that gap?
Reckon | Abraham Kuyper said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’”  In other words, the things in our daily lives are tethered to our calling to bring the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Yet, as Jesus warned, if we want to bear fruit, we must look at those good things with eyes of faith, not worry or illusion. How can we do that? How can we pray that, in our planning and purchasing, His name be made holy and our hearts be guarded against the deceitfulness of riches?
Prayer | Lord, May we never seek your gifts more than we seek you.  We admit that we are easily enticed by “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches” and, therefore, we ask for simple and discerning hearts. As we consider the good things in our lives today, give us your grace that trains us to “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions” and, instead, “live self-controlled, upright and godly lives”, as we wait for the return of Christ. Amen.
 Matthew 13:22 ESV |  Matthew 13:22 The Message (Andrew Peterson translation). |  Abraham Kuyper. “Sphere Sovereignty,” in James Bratt, “Abraham Kuyper: A Centennial Reader.” Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1990 (pp. 448). |  Matthew 13:44-46 ESV (“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”) |  See Titus 2:11-14.