Parable of the Sower

We have two videos this week:  the first is for preschoolers, the second for our older kids.  

The Parable of the Sower

Theme: Having hearts receptive to God’s teaching.
 
Scripture: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
 

Memory Verse: “But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:23 (NIV)

As Jesus traveled around the countryside with his disciples, large crowds often gathered around him to hear him teach. He often taught them by using parables. A parable is a story that Jesus made up to help people understand what he wanted to teach them.

Our Bible lesson today is one of the parables of Jesus. It is called The Parable of the Sower. It was a story about a man who planted seeds in the field. Listen to the story that Jesus told.

A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he scattered the seed, some fell on the hard path nearby and the birds came and ate it up.

As the farmer continued to plant the seeds, some of them fell on soil that was full of rocks. There was not much dirt around the rocks so the seeds started to sprout and grow the very next day. The only problem was, there was little dirt, so the plants didn’t put down roots which would help them become strong and healthy. In the afternoon, the sun was very hot so the plants that had started to grow in the rocky soil withered and died because they had no root in the ground.

Some of the other seeds fell on soil that had been taken over with weeds and thorns. The weeds and thorns grew faster and taller than the plants from the seeds, so they choked out the plants that the sower wanted to grow.

Finally, some seed fell on the good soil that had been plowed, fertilized, and weeded to make a good place for the seed to grow. Those seeds made healthy plants and produced good fruit.

This is the lesson that Jesus wanted his disciples to learn, and it is also the lesson that he wants us to learn today. The seed that the sower was planting in the story represents the teachings of God’s Word. Our heart represents the soil where the sower planted the seeds.

Sometimes our Sunday School teacher or our Minister is trying plant the teaching of God’s love in our heart. If our heart is hard and filled with anger and bitterness, the teaching falls on hard ground and never grows, just like the seed that fell on the hard ground in the parable that Jesus told.

There are other times when we hear the Word and we get excited about it, but then our excitement fades away because our understanding is too shallow. That’s the way it was with the seed that fell on the rocky soil.

Sometimes we hear the Word and we believe what it says, but we want to keep on doing the same things we have been doing. That is like planting the seed in with a bunch of weeds. I’m sure you can guess what happens. The weeds will soon take over!

The last seed is the best, it fell on the good ground. If you learn from what you hear in Sunday School and church, the seed that Jesus plants in your heart will grow. Your life will produce good fruit just like Jesus intended. You will be helping others to grow in their knowledge and understanding of God’s love.

Our Father, help us to be like the good soil in our lesson today. Help us to listen to your Word and grow up to be the kind of boys and girls you want us to be. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Activities + Resources


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When Your Load Is Heavy

When Your Load Is Heavy

Theme: Jesus will help you carry the load.
 
Memory Verse: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

 

Some of you have some pretty heavy burdens to carry in life. Perhaps you have a physical handicap that makes your life difficult. Or, perhaps your father has lost his job and your family is having financial difficulties. Maybe someone in your family has cancer or some other serious illness and you are worried about them. You may be having a hard time making passing grades in school. I don’t know what the burdens are that you have in your life, but I do know that there are some that you just can’t handle by yourself. Well, guess what? You don’t have to!

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” There is no reason for you to struggle with burdens that are too heavy for you. God’s Word is full of promises to help us in times of trouble. Here are just a few: “Don’t be afraid, I am with you.” (Gen.26:24) “I’ll give you strength.” (Psalm 28:7) “I’m with you in times of trouble.” (Psalm 34:6) These words of encouragement are just what we need to face the hard times that may come our way.

Does that mean that if we will ask him, God will take all of our troubles away? No, but he will help us. In fact, some of our struggles may help us to grow and become stronger. They may also help us to learn to trust in Jesus. But when the load is too heavy, he will help us to carry it — and there is no burden that is too heavy for Jesus.

Dear Father, we are thankful that when we struggle under the load of life’s burdens, you are there to help us carry the load. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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Rewards of Service

Theme: God rewards those who welcome his disciples.

Memory Verse: “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.” Matthew 10:40

 

When Jesus was sending out his twelve disciples, he warned them that being his disciple wasn’t going to be easy. They would often be mistreated, rejected, and abused. In our lesson last week, Jesus assured that God would watch over them and keep them safe. He also promised that God would reward those who received his disciples with kindness and welcomed them into their homes and was kind to them.

“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me,” Jesus told them. Who is the one who sent Jesus? It is God the Father. Isn’t it wonderful that we can know that when we welcome those who come to us in Jesus’ name, it is the same as welcoming Jesus and when we welcome Jesus, we also welcome God the Father who sent him? Jesus went on to tell the disciples that whoever welcomes a prophet would receive the same reward as the prophet and that whoever welcomes a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. Jesus also promised, “If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of my disciples, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

Father, help us to be faithful to your teachings each day. Help us to welcome those who come to us in Jesus’ name and care for others as we offer even a cup of cold water in your name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Activities + Resources

Here is a video of 3 children’s activities focused on being welcoming.  Enjoy these crafts with your children and while you are doing them talk about how God welcomes everyone and we should too.  Below the video are the other regular activities we provide each week.  


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His Eye Is on the Sparrow

Theme: God watches over His children.

Memory Verse: “So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10: 31 (NLT)
 

Are you ever afraid? Do you ever worry? Are you ever discouraged? What are some things that discourage you? (Give the children an opportunity to answer.) Here are some things that might cause worry, fear or discouragement:

  • Loneliness
  • Feeling neglected
  • Feeling that you don’t have any friends
  • Failure in school or other activities
  • Illness or injury
  • Criticism from others

Today I want to tell you a story about a woman named Civilla Martin who wrote a song about overcoming fear, worry, and discouragement. Mrs. Martin and her husband were visiting a couple named Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle who lived in Elmira, New York. Mr. Doolittle was crippled and had to move about a wheelchair. Mrs. Doolittle had been confined to bed for over twenty years. Despite the problems they faced in life, they always seemed to be have a cheerful outlook on life. Mr. Martin asked Mrs. Doolittle, “How do you manage to remain so joyful when you face so many problems?” Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple. “If God has his eye on the sparrow, then I know he is watching over me.”

Mrs. Martin was so touched by Mrs. Doolittle’s reply that she wrote a poem that was to become the basis for a song that has brought peace and comfort to people for over a hundred years.

“Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart feel lonely, and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches over me. His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me. I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free! His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me. His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me.”

The next day Civilla Martin mailed the poem to Charles Gabriel, a gospel songwriter, who wrote a tune for it. “The rest,” as they say, “is history.”

The truth of the message of the song, “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” is found in our Bible lesson for today. In Matthew chapter 10, Jesus was teaching his disciples that even though they were going to be facing some difficult times as his followers, they should not be afraid. He said to them, “Two sparrows are sold for one copper coin, but not one single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. So don’t be afraid, you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

Isn’t that amazing? God knows everything that we go through. Nothing that happens to us that he doesn’t know about. When we feel lonely and totally abandoned, when it seems that our prayers are unanswered, when everything seems hopeless, God knows and God cares.

Father, we know that your eye is on the sparrow, and we know that you are watching over us. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

“His Eye Is on the Sparrow” Songsheet

Activities and Resources


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Giving Thanks

Be your Child’s Teacher

Giving Thanks
 
  • Theme: Giving thanks to God for His blessings.
  • Scripture: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalms 100:4-5
  • Memory Verse:. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalms 100:4-5

We have a lot to be thankful for, don’t we? What are some of the things you are thankful for? (give the children some time to name some things) Who should we thank for all that we have? That’s right, we should give thanks to God. The Bible tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from God. When someone gives you a gift, you say, “Thank you.” When do you think we should say, “Thank you” to God? Should we have one day each year that we give thanks? Should we have one day each week that we give thanks? I think EVERY DAY should be a day of thanksgiving. Don’t you agree?

Our Bible lesson today says:

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Let’s stop right now and give thanks and praise God for all he has done for us.

Lord, we thank you for your for all of the good gifts you give to us. Most of all, we thank you for your love and for the gift of your son, Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

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God sends the Holy Spirit

Be your Child’s Teacher

God sent the Holy Spirit  (Llenos del Espíritu Santo)
  • Theme: God sends his Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost
  • Scripture: Acts 2:1-4
  • Memory Verse for Preschoolers: I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. Acts 2:17
  • Memory Verse for Elementary School: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 2:1-4Acts (NIV)
 
Today is a special day which many churches celebrate. It is called the day of Pentecost. Here is the story of how it all began.
The Bible tells us that on the day of Pentecost, the Jesus’ followers were all gathered together in one place and God sent the Holy Spirit to give them the power to teach others about Jesus. Now, they couldn’t see the Holy Spirit, so how did they know the Holy Spirit was there?
The Bible says that they knew the Holy Spirit was there because they could hear the sound of a mighty rushing wind coming from heaven. They couldn’t see the Holy Spirit, but they could hear the sound of the wind just as we can hear the air blowing from this fan.
Then the Bible tells us that they saw what seemed to be flaming tongues of fire that came and rested on their heads. They couldn’t see the Holy Spirit, but they knew that the Holy Spirit was there because they could see the flaming tongues of fire just as we can see these red ribbons on our fan.
Finally, the Bible tells us that they knew the Holy Spirit was there because they could feel his power. When they were filled with the Holy Spirit, he gave them the ability to speak in languages that they didn’t even know, so that they could tell everyone about Jesus. They couldn’t see the Holy Spirit, but they could feel his power in their life just as we can feel the air from this fan.
The Holy Spirit is still with us today. We can’t see him, but we can hear him as he speaks to our hearts, we can see his moving in our life, and we can feel the power of his presence as he guides us through each day.
Dear Father, thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to be our teacher and guide. Help us to listen and obey as he teaches us how to tell others about Jesus. Amen.
 

Activities and Resources

 

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Up, Up and Away!

Be Your Child’s Teacher

 
  • Theme: The Ascension of Christ.
  • Scripture:  Luke 24:50-52,  Acts 1:6-11
  • Memory Verse: While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.  Luke 24:51

In today’s Bible lesson in the book of Acts, we learn that when Jesus was ready to return to heaven, He took His disciples aside to make sure that they understood everything that had happened to Him. He explained why it was important for Him to be crucified and to be raised from the dead to fulfill what the Scriptures had said about Him. He also told them that he was going to return to His Father in heaven and that the Holy Spirit would come to be with them.

At first, the disciples were sad that Jesus would be leaving them, but then the Bible tells us that Jesus opened their minds so they would understand. Then, an amazing thing happened. The Bible tells us that Jesus lifted his hands and blessed His disciples. While He was blessing them, He lifted up and was taken up into heaven “up, up and away.”

Dear God, thank You for sending Jesus, Your only Son, to die for our sin. We know that He has risen from the dead and has returned to heaven. Bless us today as we worship Him with great joy! In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Holy Spirit Comforter

Be Your Child’s Teacher

 
  • Theme: The Holy Spirit is our comforter.
  • Scripture:  John 14: 15-21
  • Memory Verse: And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Friend to help you and to be with you forever. John 14:16 (NIV)

Jesus understood that we all need help in times of trouble. When he was here on earth, he was a source of help and comfort to his disciples. When he was preparing to return to heaven, he knew that there would be times when disciples would need help and comfort and that he would not be there to give it to them. He told the disciples that he would ask his Father to send them another comforter who would stay with them forever. That is exactly what he did. He asked the Father, and he sent the Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit is with us in times of trouble. He is there to comfort and to guide us.

We never outgrow the need for the comfort and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit.

Activities and Resources

 


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The Way Children

Be Your Child’s Teacher

  • Theme: Jesus is the Way
  • Scripture:   
  • Memory Verse: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV)  (You may want to watch/sing this great video with your kids to help them learn.)
When we are trying to find your way through the journey of life, we need some help in finding the right way to go, don’t we? Each day we face many difficult decisions and it is sometimes hard to know which way to turn. Some people use their feelings to make decisions. They say, “I’m going to do this, because it just feels like the right thing to do.” That’s no good. Our feelings may change from day to day, and just because we feel good about something doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do.  There is one sure way to know if we are going in the right direction in life—and that is to follow Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We know where we want to go, we want to go to heaven. And now, we know the way. Jesus is the way. If we follow him, we know we are on the right path and headed in the right direction.
 

Children’s Activities

 

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The Good Shepherd

Be your child’s teacher

  • Theme:  We know Jesus’ voice
  • Scripture:  John 10:1-18
  • Memory Verse:  His sheep follow him because they know his voice.  John 10:4
 

Activities for your kid’s

 

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