Today’s Scripture: 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 4:19

What are the “cares” of the world of which Jesus speaks? In Scripture the word care often relates to worry. The cares of this world relate to obtaining the necessities of life-food, clothing, shelter. How can worry over those things choke out the Word?

Jesus said in Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”

Does this mean that the believer is never to think of what he or she is going to wear, or what kind of home he is going to live in, or what she is going to eat for dinner that night? Jesus understood that people need these things, but He encourages all of us to recognize that the cares of the world can choke our growth. Why? We can easily look to those things too much-not realizing that they are blocking our view of God. Their influence can blind our minds to eternal truth.

How often do you worry about your financial situation? Do you obsess over your retirement or your child’s college education? While Christians can and should plan for the future, it is most important to understand that this earth is temporary and that God’s kingdom is eter­nal.

Does any of this apply to you? If there isn’t something to worry about, do you worry that there is nothing about which to worry? I am tempted to worry as much as anyone. Yet I’ve learned an important secret in my worry war. God has shown me over and over again that He cares about me and will provide the answers to anything I am worried about. When I have His perspective, I also feel secure and tend to feel less anxious.

Trust God and don’t allow the cares of this world to make you unfruitful.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder