Like the father celebrated the return of the prodigal son, the good shepherd rejoiced when he found his lost sheep. Jesus wants us to know through these parables how much our heavenly Father loves those that are lost and far from Him. As you do these activities with your kids this week, be sure to pray for someone you know who does not know Christ.
HIGHLIGHTS from Sunday…
This week your child learned that we must use God’s word as a guide for living, and God wants us to spread His Word. Jesus told a parable about a farmer who planted some seed. Some of the seed fell on the road, where the birds ate it. Some seed fell on the rocks, where it started to grow but could not take root, so it withered away as soon as the sun came out. Some fell in the weeds and could not grow because the weeds choked it out. And some fell on good dirt, where it produced a wonderful harvest for the farmer. Jesus explained that God’s word is like the seed and our hearts are like the ground. Some hearts are like the road - God’s word just remains on the surface, not impacting or changing their lives at all. Some hearts are like the rocky ground - they may respond with enthusiasm at first, but they do not let God’s word live deeply in them, so when things get difficult they do not live by God’s word. Some hearts are like the ground of weeds - they are too worried by the many things in this world to care about what God’s word says. Finally, some hearts are like the good ground - they listen to all God has to say. These people live by His words and they produce good fruit for Him. (Luke 8:4-15, Mark 4:3-9 and Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)
- When we love and believe in the Lord Jesus, He helps us learn more and more about the Kingdom of God.
- Jesus wants our hearts to be like good soil, ready to hear God's Word.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NLT)
Here’s a simple song to help your child (and you) memorize this week’s memory verse!
3 Activities that remind us that Jesus Wants Our Hearts to Be Like Good Soil, Ready to Hear God's Word:
1. Nature CraftsGo on a walk with your child and take along a paper bag. On your walk, find some small rocks, pebbles, or gravel, good soil, flowers and weeds. When at home, grab a sheet of white card stock and help your child fold it in half and half again to make four squares. Label the top of each section with good soil, gravel, weeds or road. Let your child glue soil, gravel, weeds and draw a picture of a road and bird into each appropriate section. Next, let your child sprinkle seeds into each section. Glue a small flower or flower sticker into the good soil. Cover the front of the paper with contact paper. Now with this paper talk about the parable we call “Farmer & the Seed” and ask these questions.
- What do seeds need to grow?
- When God’s word is planted in our heart, how do we care for it?
2. Seed to Flower
Let your child pretend to be a seed and have him crouch down like a seed. Go through each place where the seed falls.
- Seeds on the road will blow away, so let your child roll away.
- Seeds in rocky soil will grow for a while, but eventually the rocks get in the way and hurt the seeds, so have your child grow a little by coming out of the crouch, then die back down.
- Seeds in the weeds get choked out and don’t have the ability to grow, so have your child try to grow, but gently push him back down.
- Seeds in the good soil have everything they need to grow, so let your child completely grow into a flower.
3. Watch it Grow
When at the store, grab a small package of dry lima beans. At home, take three or four lima beans, a zip lock bag and a folded paper towel. Let your child squirt the towel with a water bottle a couple of times (just to slightly dampen the towel). Have your child put the lima beans on top of the paper towel and put it in a zip lock bag and seal it. Put it on a window seal and check it daily to see what happens. When they begin to sprout let your child help you plant them.
Lord, please help me to know and obey your words, and produce good fruit for you by telling others.
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