Youth Sunday: March 31, 2019 10:30 a.m.
WE GATHER IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
“Every Time I Feel the Spirit” arr. M McDonald
“Sunshine and Joy” arr. M Hayes
“Beautiful Savior” Zimmerman
News of the Church
Please complete the attendance form found in the red Welcome book in your pew. Prayer request forms are also available in the Welcome book. Thank you.
There are no strangers in God’s House, just friends we have not yet met.
Greet your neighbor with Christian love and let them know that you’re glad to see them!
Special Music “Christ Taught Us As a Farmer” C W Gillette
*Coming Together in Praise
Leader: We gather today as seeds which God has scattered around the world.
People: We are here to bloom where we have been lovingly planted!
Leader: We are warmed by the light of God’s spirit. We are drenched in the water
of baptism. We are fed by the rich soil of God’s word.
People: We inhale the life-giving air first breathed into us by our Creator.
Leader: God provides all we need for growth. We are called from the lifeless
places that hold us from Him and into the circle of believers to encourage
each other until the harvest.
ALL: Let us worship God!
*Hymn “Forever” C Tomlin
“Oh My Soul” Casting Crowns
*Remembering Our Disobedience to God (Unison)
Dear Lord, we surround ourselves with negative and unkind people and wonder why our hearts are hardened. We fall into the wrong crowd, quickly become entangled in ways not of Your teaching and our hearts become empty. We seek smooth paths and look for the easy way out and then find our hearts vulnerable. Open our hearts to draw near to those who know You; to grow in knowledge of You; and to pursue a life nourished by You…(Silent time of prayer)
*Promise of Jesus’ Forgiveness
Leader: Jesus came to lead and to guide; to love and to have mercy. He forgives
our sins and fills our hearts with the desire to grow.
ALL: Thanks be to God!
Special Music “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” Traditional
WE OPEN OUR HEARTS TO THE WORD OF GOD
After the Children’s Message, children are invited to stay in worship.
Child care is available for very young children.
Special Music “Though I May Speak” English Folk Melody
Prayer for Understanding God’s Word (Unison) I
Dear God, You gave Your Son to us as the Living Word. You inspired the authors of the Bible to gather Your infallible and inherent Word so that all may grow in the knowledge of You. Teach us through the Bible that while some seeds fall away from You, others are planted firmly in the soil of Your Word. Amen
Word of God: Matthew 13:1-23
The Parable of the Sower
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with ears listen!”
The Purpose of the Parables
10 Then the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 13 The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ 14 With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:
‘You will indeed listen, but never understand,
and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
15 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
so that they might not look with their eyes,
and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn—
and I would heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.
The Parable of the Sower Explained
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks Be to God!
Message “Four Soils, Four Hearts”
Youth Skit “The Seeds of the Harvest” Youth Group
*Hymn “Who Am I” Casting Crowns
Our Response in Prayer
Leader 1: Jesus speaks to us through parables, helping us to better understand His teachings. In the parable of the sower, we hear about seeds and soils. How can we be sure we aren’t the seeds that find the bare path and are devoured?
Leader 2: 2 Timothy 3:16 reminds us that “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” It is not enough to simply read God’s Word, we must learn it, live it and grow in it.
ALL: We are the seeds of God’s written Word and must grow in its truths.
Leader 1: We go to church and listen to the Bible readings and the message, and most of time we understand and agree. Isn’t that enough? Why does the parable tell us that even if the seeds are protected from the birds, they can be destroyed by the sun?
Leader 2: John 15:5 tells us “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” It isn’t enough to simply agree with or trust that you understand the Word, it goes much deeper than that! We need to study and believe and make God’s Word part of us. We need the Word to be in us, to be imprinted on our hearts and in our minds.
ALL: We must be one with God in order to grow in His Word!
Leader 1: I understand that we must take root in order to grow and we need to
continue growing to really be a part of God’s kingdom; but I have seen flowers and vegetables grow among thorns and weeds. They must have roots to flower and bloom, so why are those seeds at risk?
Leader 2: Weeds and thorns can be really hard to get rid of! They are the things of this world that surround us and distract us, and can eventually destroy us. Sometimes we are so meshed together with those of the world, even we can’t tell the difference and many times the gardener pulls the good up with bad. James 4:4-6 warns us “You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that ‘God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.’”
ALL: Being one with God not only binds us to Him, but it separates us from
those who deceive!
Leader 2: The world is not perfect and even the strongest faiths can be tested and strained. Is there really such a thing as perfect soil? What happens when the birds dig at the ground, or our roots are blocked or weeds begin to grow around us? Are any of us truly safe?
Leader 1: If we turn to the Bible in 1 John 1:8-10, we see that “If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins…he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.” God sees our struggles and can tend our soil, but we need to show our fruitfulness. Go to Him in prayer, ask for His guidance and be an example of growth to others.
ALL: God help us to be faithful and fruitful despite the challenges in our lives!
OUR PROMISE TO LIVE OUT GOD’S WORD
We Pray for Each Other and The Lord’s Prayer
Leader: The Bible guides us, informs us, comforts us and becomes a part of us. Within its pages, we learn how to live and grow as a Christian: to love each other and the Lord, and to pray for ourselves and others using the prayer He taught us:
ALL: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily
bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us
not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and
the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
Sharing Our Blessings
Special Music “Open the Eyes of My Heart” P Baloche
*Doxology (The Hymnal, p. 606)
*Blessing Our Blessings
We dedicate these gifts, Lord, for the work of the church. We ask that our earthly gifts help to bring others closer to You through the sharing of Your Word. We ask that we can better become living examples of Your way described within the Bible. Amen.
WE GO OUT TO SERVE AND WITNESS
*Hymn “Our God” C Tomlin
Postlude “How Firm a Foundation” arr. D Stanley
*Please stand, in body or in spirit
Scripture Passages today have been taken from The Message and The New Living Translation