“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11 (p. 596)
- We Plant Seeds Of Hope.
“And his name will be the hope of all the world.” Matthew 12:21 (p. 742)
“‘Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants.’” Matthew 13:3-7 (p. 744)
- Cultivate the soil of your heart.
“‘Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.’” Matthew 13:8-9 (p. 744)
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (p. 483)
- Turn your focus outward.
“‘Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath… Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock… Other seeds fell among thorns… Still other seeds fell on fertile soil…’” sMatthew 13:3-8 (p. 744)
Series Memory Verse: “You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” Luke 6:36 (p. 786)
- Remember growth takes time.
“‘The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!’” Matthew 13:23 (p. 744)
“‘Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.’” John 15:5 (p. 824)
My Next Step This Week:
_____ I will read and meditate on Isaiah 40:28-31 daily.
Small Group Questions
One Thing: We Plant Seeds of Hope.
Key Verse: “You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” Luke 6:36
Bible References: Matthew 13:1-23
// Do you like to garden or have any plants at home? Maybe growing up in school you had a project where you had to take care of plants. What does it take to make seeds grow into healthy plants?
Israel in Jesus’ time was a community whose economy was based on producing and maintaining crops and farmland. When autumn rains had softened the ground, trenches were made by a simple wooden plow pulled by an ox. Seed was scattered by hand avoiding the hard paths which would cut through the field. Then farmers hitch thorn branches to their oxen and drag the branches across the field. Flocks of birds would try to steal the seed before dirt covered it. The spring rains brought life to the crops. To reap, farmers either pulled out the plants whole or cut the stalks with a wooden sickle, circular blade, which had sharp flints set into the cutting edge.
// Read Matthew 13:8-9 (p.744). We have to cultivate the soil of our hearts.
- What does it mean to cultivate?
- How can you purposefully take care of your relationship with Jesus right now?
- What areas in your relationship with Jesus do you need help with?
// Read Jeremiah 17:7 (p.587). This passage talks about being blessed when we trust in God and He is their hope and confidence.
- What are the blessings we have from God?
- What do we do when we find it difficult to hold on to the hope God gives us?
// Read Matthew 13:3-8 (p.744). Turn your focus outward.
- What does it mean to have deep roots as a follower of Jesus?
- How can we grow deep roots and have a firm foundation that will allow us to grow?
// Read 1 Corinthians 3:7 (p.871) Paul is pointing out that we all have different roles to play, a theme he picks up later in chapter 12. It’s important that we follow Jesus’ command to teach, baptize, and disciple those whom Jesus sends us.
- Do you ever feel sometimes you are not able to share God’s Love? Why do you think this is?
- Do you ever get frustrated or jealous of others in church that they are more confident in showing God’s compassion? Why do you think this is?
// Read Matthew 13:19-23 (p.744). Remember growth takes time.
- How can we intentionally change our mindset and give grace when growth takes time?
- How can we measure the growth that Jesus talks about in this passage?
____ I will read and meditate on Isaiah 40:28-31 (p.548) daily.
In the New Testament, there a several stories of people who met Jesus and then told others about Him. Read the following passages and see what they all have in common:
John 1:42-44 (p.868), John 4:1-30 (p.811-2), John 20:11-18 (p.828), Acts 26:9-20 (p.854)