Scripture: Mark 4: 3-20 Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Romans 3:23; 10:9
I John 1:9, II Peter 3:18
15 min. Greet members and invite them to have some refreshments. Walk with them to the garden where they planted plants last week. Point out that the soil in the garden is rich and fertile, and it will help the plants grow so that they will produce blooms.
05 min. When members are seated and quiet, ask one of them to bring an open Bible to the worship center table and to light a candle to signal the beginning of class. Offer an opening prayer. For example,
" Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Word so that we can learn more about Your Son, Jesus our Savior. Help us to grow in our Christian lives to be more like our Lord."
05 min. Read Mark 4: 3-20. Discuss with the class members why they think it is important to have good soil in a garden. Explain that Jesus used illustrations that made sense to His followers when He wanted to teach them something important. He explained to the disciples that God wants to plant His Word in our hearts, but our hearts must be prepared to receive the Word of God.
20 min. Discuss with the class members the steps necessary to receive God's Word. First, we must confess that we are all sinners. Read Romans 3:23. Take time for a discussion about sin to find out if the members understand what it is. Next, read I John 1:9 and tell the class it is important to confess and receive forgiveness for all of our sins. At this point in the lesson, take a few minutes for the members to acknowledge God's forgiveness. They may want to pray silently or aloud.
Read John 1:12 and Romans 10:9. Ask the members to formulate a class set of beliefs based on the verses you read that will help them remember what God's Word means to them. On a chalkboard, write their ideas making sure they conform to the meaning of the Scripture verses.
Read II Peter 3:18. The purpose of receiving God's Word is that we can grow in the knowledge of Jesus our Savior.
05 min. Allow time for members to observe closely the plants they planted last week. If there are buds on these plants, explain that the flowers will soon bloom. If there are none yet but the plants are healthy,
explain that they too should bloom.
05 min. When the members are seated again and quiet, explain that the flowers are called the fruit of the plant. Tell them that next week they will study about the fruit of the Spirit that comes from living the Christian life.
05 min. Extinguish the candle. Stand forming a circle and sing "Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet" or another song about the Bible such as "Thy Word Have I Hid In My Heart." Close with the Lord's Prayer. After the class is over, copy the class set of beliefs to use next week.