Do you realise that the entire Christian population is replaced every 90-100 years! Therefore, someone must be passing it on! You and I are responsible to pass the baton on to the next generation. The future church will be as healthy as our obedience to Jesus’ command to “teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”
1. The Parable of the soils warns us against having the attributes of the unfruitful soils. Jesus wants us all to enjoy being productive and overflowing and sowing into the lives of others. The author to the Hebrews urges them to grow so as to be able to sow,
‘In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.’ (Hebrews 5:12-14)
What ought they to be and what might be the reason for there lack of growth?
What things must they do so as to become what they should be?
Whose lives are you sowing into? Have you considered forming a Running Partners group? (For details see https://www.communitychurchputney.com/post/running-partners)
2. Jesus uses the sowing of salt in a similar way to sowing seed,
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13)
Salt speaks of persevering and flavouring; A Christian is to seek to improve the world in any way that they can. To ‘salt the world’ we are to sow the seed of God’s word as the Spirit leads. What are the ways that you can ‘sow salt’ as you go through an average day?
3. An extremely important lesson from The Great Commission and Parable of the Soils is that Jesus wants to work through us to sow the good news of the gospel into our community. Let’s remind ourselves of the Parable,
‘As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”’ (Mark 4:4-8)
Take some time to meditate on this parable. How does the Lord want to adjust your attitude to being a sower of the gospel?
Let’s pray today for the church’s growth in sowing the seed of the gospel
1. Pray for our evangelism using the Parable of the Sower as a guide (Mark 4:4-8).
2. Pray for our next Alpha Course in January - Pray about whom you will invite.
3. Galatians 6:9-10 speaks of our doing good as a method of helping people to come to Jesus. Pray for God to make us more loving and sensitive to serve those outside the church for His glory.
To memorise this week
‘Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.’ (2 Timothy 2:15)
To consider this week
What are your current habits of taking in God’s word? Do you have a balanced diet of:
1. Reading - Getting an overview of the whole story of the bible.
2. Meditation - Reading a passage slowly and repeatedly, leading to prayer, worship and obedience. Writing/journaling is a helpful tool in this.
3. Study - Studying a book, chapter, passage, character, word… using study aids such as a study bible.
4. Memorisation - Only those who regularly memorise scripture will be able to effectively use ‘the sword of the Spirit’!
5. Hearing it taught - Devotion to seriously listening to the bible being taught by leaders you trust.
Maybe you’d like to pick one or two areas to work on this week.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - GOOD SOIL RECEIVES, GROWS AND SOWS
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
In addition, we have baptism preparation on the 6th of December. Please contact the church office if you are interested in exploring baptism.
Have you ever said something that you wish you hadn't or not said something that you wish you had?
Introduction - please share in your group
On Sunday we saw how Jesus' Great Commission involves learning, doing and passing on what Jesus teaches. Jesus tells us,
‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
We saw how The Parable of the soils helps to illustrate this idea that disciples are those who receive the seed of Jesus' teaching, grow in doing/obeying, and then go on on to sow truth into other's lives. Jesus describes the good soil thus,
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.’ (Luke 8:15)
Disciples of Jesus are to:
i) Receive- they have a devotion to learning God's word
ii) Grow - As they read or hear teaching, they ask the Spirit, "How do you want me to respond?"
ii) Sow - Disciples want to help their brothers and sisters to grow; they have a passion for Jesus to be known by the community that God has put them into.
We all need to regularly reflect on our receptivity to learning and doing what Jesus' teaches. Finally, let's pray for ourselves using the words of Hosea,
“Break up your unplowed ground…” (Hosea 10:12)