In a nutshell: We should be generous in passing out snippets of hope, kindness, and truth a.k.a. “ Gospel seeds.” We are not challenged in this text to constantly hammer the lost with convictions they don’t understand or care about. The parable of the Sower illustrates his generosity in sowing ”Gospel seeds” everywhere rather than an analytical process of discerning diverse types of soils and withholding seeds from those soils deemed unproductive. SERMON OUTLINE
1. Generosity - Lk. 8:4-18
3. Prayerful trust – Lk. 10:2-3
The Unexpected Journey by Thom S. Rainer
Blah, Blah, Blah by Bayard Taylor
see also www.blahblahbook.com
A. What kind of luck do you have growing things? Are you a “green thumb” or a “brown thumb”?
B. Describe (to remain nameless) a negative Christian attempting evangelism. In contrast, describe a positive Christian known for being liked, listened to, and especially followed by skeptics to becoming believers.
CONNECTING TO THE TEXT
- As typical with principles for interpreting parables, Who is the audience to whom Jesus is telling the parable of the Sower? (Lk. 8:4)
- What are the four types of soils?
- What types of “listeners” people/circumstances do they represent? Lk. 8:5-8; 11-15
- Did Jesus give any indication as to the condition of the soil being the “Sowers’” responsibility?
- Looking at the context of stories Luke shares surrounding this parable which of the below statements might best describe the problem the parable of the sower is addressing?
i. Lk. 8:1-3, different types of people following Jesus as he taught throughout cities and villages
ii. Lk. 8:16-18, a lamp shines indiscriminately into the darkness making known things that used to be in the darkness. Only those who really pay attention will ultimately be blessed with more revelation.
iii. Lk. 8:19-21, mother and brothers come to Jesus, but Jesus claims to be closest to those who hear and obey the word of God.
- The Problem?
i. If Jesus had better analyzed his audience and better targeted his message more people would have been won to God…
ii. Some people can’t help it - they are just destined not to “get the gospel...”
iii. It’s not for us to discern who will and who won’t “get the gospel” we share. Share it freely and know that ultimately those that listen and obey will “get it” and produce a bountiful harvest.
REFLECTING UPON OUR LIVES
- What kind of “Gospel seeds” have you cast in the lives of people you perceived to be spiritually like “packed soil”?
- How might the kinds of “Gospel seeds” you sow be different for those people represented by the different soils?
- Packed soil
- Shallow rocky soil
- Weedy soil
- Good soil
CONNECTING WITH THE WAY WE DO CHURCH
- What kind of social events, church activities, personal acts of kindness might individuals represented by the four soils be interested in:
- Soils: packed soil, shallow rocky soil, weedy soil, good soil
- Activities: Talent night fund raiser dessert auction, Christmas musical, CARE group, Bible Fellowship group, Patriotic worship service, Blended Worship Service, Modern Worship Service, kind word, free lunch card, etc..
- Check this out! Harvester Christian Church Summer Day Camp