The German ivy plant has become a serious problem in California. This fast growing exotic house plant smothers and shades everything in its path. It can completely cover and destroy a tree. Jesus warned us that anything that competes with Him for our hearts can choke our spiritual lives. He said that even the natural love of family can be dangerous and keep us from following Him. Our Lord demands our undivided love and loyalty. Once we value Christ above everything else, we will learn to love our family with a deeper and healthier love. But until our ultimate loyalty is determined, homegrown affection will do in our hearts what fire or German ivy will do in a forest. We shouldn’t let anything compete with Christ. The more we love Christ, the more we’ll love others.