This is an easy-to-understand Bible study in the "Worry" series.

3 pages.

Bible Study 1: Worry - Worry is a Thorn

1.1 Key themes🔗

  • Jesus is like a farmer who sows the seed of the Word everywhere.
  • From the seed of the Word there must grow good plants in our life, such as faith, repentance, and love.
  • Worry is like a thorn that chokes the good plants of the Word in a person.
  • Our hearts should not be full of the worries and the treasures of this life.
  • Our hearts should be full of God’s Word, so that we will bear good fruit.

1.2 Matthew 13:2-8, 18-23🔗

13:2 And such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat to sit while the whole crowd stood on the shore.

13:3 He told them many things in parables, saying: 'Listen! A sower went out to sow.

13:4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.

13:5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground where they did not have much soil. They sprang up quickly because the soil was not deep.

13:6 But when the sun came up, they were scorched, and because they did not have sufficient root, they withered.

 13:7 Other seeds fell among the thorns, and they grew up and choked them.

 13:8 But other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.

13:18 'So listen to the parable of the sower:

13:19 When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches what was sown in his heart; this is the seed sown along the path.

13:20 The seed sown on rocky ground is the person who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy.

13:21 But he has no root in himself and does not endure; when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away.

13:22 The seed sown among thorns is the person who hears the word, but worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth choke the word, so it produces nothing.

13:23 But as for the seed sown on good soil, this is the person who hears the word and understands. He bears fruit, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.'

© NET Bible

1.3 Worry is dangerous🔗

In this lesson, we will see why worry is so dangerous. The passage that we have read is a parable. In this parable, Jesus tells us about different reasons why people do not listen to his Word. He is like a farmer that sows the seed of the Word everywhere. Some people’s hearts are like a hard path. When the Word comes to them, they do not understand it and Satan takes it away. Other people’s hearts are like a rocky place. When they hear the Word, they accept it with joy. But they do not become true followers of Jesus. When troubles come, then their faith disappears.

Then Jesus tells us about a third type of person. Their hearts are like ground that is full of thorns. In such a heart, the Word will not grow for long. The thorns will choke the Word. What are these thorns? Jesus warns us against two thorns: the worries of this life, and the deceitfulness of wealth (verse 22). This shows us why worry is so dangerous. When your heart is full of the worries of this life, you cannot truly listen to God’s Word.

1.4 Worry is a thorn🔗

Every farmer knows the damage that thorns (or weeds) can do. At first, thorns look like normal plants. But they quickly grow and become so many that they make it impossible for other plants to grow. They take the food and the space that other plants need. In this way, they choke the other plants.

When a person hears the Word of God, it is like good seed that is sown in his heart. From this good seed there must grow good plants: faith, repentance, love for God, love for other people, peace, and so on. Everyone who truly believes in Jesus Christ, will have more and more “good plants” in his/her life. This person will continue to learn from God’s Word and will continue to grow in goodness. This is the fourth type of person in the parable. It is a person whose heart is like a good field, where the seed of God’s Word produces a big harvest (verse 23).

That is what God expects from every Christian. But if your heart is full of the worries of this life, then there is no place for the Word of God. Then the “good plants” of faith, love, and so on, cannot grow. Maybe you will still go to church and hear the Word of God preached and sing together. But your mind will be busy with other things. You will think about your worries, for example: your money, your health, or the week that is coming. In this way, the worries of this life can choke the Word of God. The Word of God does not make a difference in your life anymore.

Some people (even preachers!) try to mix the Word of God with the worries of this life. They think that Jesus is there to make them rich, happy and healthy. In this way they are choking the Word of God. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:19-21: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”   

What does your heart look like? Is it full of the worries of this life? Money, a new car, a new house, many friends? Or is your heart full of Jesus Christ, his death on the cross, and the day when he will come again? If your heart is full of his Word, then you are truly rich!

1.5 Do not worry, bear fruit🔗

Another way to speak about “good plants” is to call them “good fruit.” In many places in the Bible, we read about the good fruit that a Christian must bear (carry). For example:

  • “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit” (Luke 6:43-44).
  • “This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples… Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:8, 12).
  • “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • “for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9).

Yes, there will be problems in your life. Most of us have to work hard for our money. We have to plan for the future. But do not allow these things to take over your life! Do not be worried about them. Rather ask yourself in every situation, How can I bear fruit for God?

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