NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the YOU curriculum.
Bible Passages: Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23
- How effective do you feel as a sower of the Gospel message? Why?
- How do you know when the opportunity is right to sow the Gospel?
- How do you typically respond when a person is not receptive to hearing the Gospel?
Food for Thought:
Bucket lists are activities or tasks people want to complete before they die. One thing should be on the bucket list of every follower of Christ: lead others to faith in Jesus Christ. That’s a task that not only has impact on this life “before you die,” but it impacts eternity.
Unfortunately, just because we share our faith doesn’t mean the person will accept Christ. Matthew 13 helps us see that the full completion of that task is something we leave in the hands of God, Who can make that transformation complete.
Read Matthew 13:18-22. As believers, we would hope when we share the message everyone who hears would willingly accept and submit to it. Just as much as that should be our hope, it is even more so God’s desire. Not everyone we share the message with will readily receive it. Nevertheless, we should never give up on sharing the message of hope. Jesus didn’t. God counts on us to sow the seed regardless of the hearer’s response.
In Jesus’ parable of the sower, the different soils represent the different ways people respond to the Gospel and biblical truth.
- Hard Soil. The first soil represents the hearers of the Word who have hardened hearts. Just as a seed cannot penetrate hardened soil, when seeds of truth hit a hardened heart, they bounce right off, never taking root.
- Rocky soil. This soil lets seeds get in and be warmed by the sun, but when the plant’s roots meet bedrock, there’s nowhere for them to go. The first hint of foul weather causes the seeds of truth to wither.
- Thorn-infested soil. Some seeds cast by the farmer begin to take root. They may look healthy for a while, but then thorns grow up and choke the seeds of truth out.
Though God gave His only Son because of His love for the world, the world does not always reciprocate that love. Too many people fall prey to the enemy, give up when hardship hits, or become distracted by the wrong things. What can we do? We pray, and we keep on sowing.
YOU is committed to providing a complete Bible study experience for small groups and classes. Every session is written through an urban and multiethnic lens that provides relevant, engaging and applicable studies that not only encourage and equip people, but also motivate them to mission. This flexible, non-dated, all-in-one quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals and teaching plans, as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For additional downloadable online teaching resources, visit You.Lifeway.com.