Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Our plans for March: Sowing and Reaping

I'm really excited about the things God's laid on my heart for the month of March.

Yesterday, I began implementing those plans with the purchase of a little watermelon germination kit from Lowe's. The boys had a friend over and we watered our little soil disc, waited until it reconsituted and then gently pressed our seeds into the soil. Now they sit in the window sill and we're praying for growth! Literally! Cause I can't grow a thing!

Then today I took the boys to our side-yard and we tackled the task of uprooting a gazillion weeds from a neglected portion of our little lot in suburbia.
As I was bending down to pull I knew it was one of those moments when I had to call the boys over and "diligently (teach God's word) to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."It was such a blessing to me. The word got in and I saw that lightbulb go off over both of there heads as I said, "Boys. See this (pointing to all the weeds). Are there any fruit trees, or grapes or vines growing here?"
Boys answer: No!
Me: What's growing here?

Boys: Weeds!

Me: That's right, a bunch of weeds. When you plant a seed in the ground it's like putting God's word in your heart. If it goes deep in your heart it'll produce fruit like that lime tree over there, but if you hear God's word and you don't really take it in your heart, there'll just be a bunch of weeds and rocks like what you see here.

Now I know that's not exactly the parable Jesus told, but it's what was on my lips and it connected with the boys. After that we went over to the lime tree which is sprouting these fragrant buds and blossoms and discussed the sweet smelling fruit God's Spirit produces in our lives when we let His word take root in our hearts and do what He says.
So here's a summary of my plans, which I'm prayerfully committing to the Lord:

March plans:

Theme: Sowing and reaping
Key words: Sow, reap, harvest, seed, plant, workers, dirt, soil

Memory Verse: Matthew 9:37-38
Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."


*Plant seeds in germination cups to transplant to raised beds.
*Build raised beds.
*Have a “beat your swords into plowshares" party. Talk about the time to come when Jesus reigns on earth and there will be no more fighting. Invite neighbor kids to share the gospel with them. Micah 4:3, "He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.
*Print Kids of Courage featured country activities. Look for country on world map. Pray together for harvesters.
*Maybe a field trip to a large nursery- talk about seeds that go into good soil and plants that produce fruit.

Key sections of scripture to read through:

Matthew 13:18- 50
18 "Now here is the explanation of the story I told about the farmer sowing grain: 19 The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the Good News about the Kingdom and don't understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches the seed away from their hearts. 20 The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy. 21 But like young plants in such soil, their roots don't go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word. 22 The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced. 23 The good soil represents the hearts of those who truly accept God's message and produce a huge harvest – thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted."
24 Here is another story Jesus told: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as everyone slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. 27 The farmer's servants came and told him, 'Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds!' 28 "'An enemy has done it!' the farmer exclaimed."'Shall we pull out the weeds?' they asked. 29 "He replied, 'No, you'll hurt the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds and burn them and to put the wheat in the barn.'" 31 Here is another illustration Jesus used: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants and grows into a tree where birds can come and find shelter in its branches." 33 Jesus also used this illustration: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast used by a woman making bread. Even though she used a large amount F74 of flour, the yeast permeated every part of the dough." 34 Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables. 35 This fulfilled the prophecy that said, "I will speak to you in parables. I will explain mysteries hidden since the creation of the world." F75 36 Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, "Please explain the story of the weeds in the field." 37 "All right," he said. "I, the Son of Man, am the farmer who plants the good seed. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. 39 The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels. 40 "Just as the weeds are separated out and burned, so it will be at the end of the world. 41 I, the Son of Man, will send my angels, and they will remove from my Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace and burn them. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the godly will shine like the sun in their Father's Kingdom. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!
44 "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field – and to get the treasure, too! 45 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a pearl merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. 46 When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it! 47 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that is thrown into the water and gathers fish of every kind. 48 When the net is full, they drag it up onto the shore, sit down, sort the good fish into crates, and throw the bad ones away. 49 That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the godly, 50 throwing the wicked into the fire. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

1 Corinthians 15:35-58
35 But someone may ask, "How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?" 36 What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn't grow into a plant unless it dies first. 37 And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a dry little seed of wheat or whatever it is you are planting. 38 Then God gives it a new body – just the kind he wants it to have. A different kind of plant grows from each kind of seed. 39 And just as there are different kinds of seeds and plants, so also there are different kinds of flesh – whether of humans, animals, birds, or fish. 40 There are bodies in the heavens, and there are bodies on earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the beauty of the earthly bodies. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their beauty and brightness. 42 It is the same way for the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die. 43 Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. 44 They are natural human bodies now, but when they are raised, they will be spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, so also there are spiritual bodies. 45 The Scriptures tell us, "The first man, Adam, became a living person." F83 But the last Adam – that is, Christ – is a life-giving Spirit. 46 What came first was the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48 Every human being has an earthly body just like Adam's, but our heavenly bodies will be just like Christ's. 49 Just as we are now like Adam, the man of the earth, so we will someday be like Christ, the man from heaven. 50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever.
51 But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died F84 will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. 53 For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. 54 When this happens – when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die – then at last the Scriptures will come true: "Death is swallowed up in victory. F85 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" F86 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Other verses to talk about and consider:

Hosea 10:12
I said, 'Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.

Psalm 126:6
They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Proverbs 11:18
The wicked man earns an empty wage,but the one who sows righteousness, a true reward.

1 Corinthians 3:7-9 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, you are God's building.

Matthew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

John 12:23-26: But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

2 Corinthians 9:6
Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.

Galatians 6:7
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:8
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
Galatians 6:9
So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

Matthew 9:36-38
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary F41 and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."

Father, I pray, "That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; That our daughters may be as pillars, Sculptured in palace style" (Psalm 144:12). As each of us mommas make it the focus of our days with the children you've given us to pour Your word into them and to labor to see Christ formed in them fill us with Your Spirit and guide us. Let our eyes be fixed on You, Jesus, wherever you go, give us ears to hear that we may follow and lead our kids to You!

May Connor and Ryland be plantings of the LORD!

What about you? What are you prayerfully planning to focus on in teaching your kids God's word? As always, I'd love to hear your ideas and plans if you'd like to share. Just leave a comment.

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