After Carol left the store and got into her car, she opened the packet of pictures she had just picked up. She was happy to see that they had all turned out well. This picture of my Sunday school class is very nice, she thought. I'll have prints made for all of the children's scrapbooks. As she looked at that picture she began to think about how different the children were from each other.
There was Jan, gazing up at the ceiling. She is such a character, Carol thought with a sigh. She never sits still, and hardly ever listens. I wonder what more I can do to help her learn about Jesus? She just doesn't seem to be interested.
Next to Jan was John. Two years ago John had prayed and asked Jesus to come into his heart and make him a Christian. He had loved Sunday school so much and never missed. But last year he had begun to miss Sunday school once in a while. He wasn't learning his memory verses like he used to. And just a few weeks ago John quit coming. Carol had gone to his home to visit him and to see if there was anything wrong. But John told her he wasn't saved any more and didn't want to go to Sunday school. It had made Carol so sad to hear that.
Then, there was Benji. He came to Sunday school only now and then. He always had some reason why he was too busy. Fishing, watching television, or playing ball were all a lot more important to him than learning about Jesus. He told Carol he had only come to Sunday school the day of the picture-taking because he liked to have his picture taken. He seemed to think more of himself than of anything else.
The last three in the picture were Tom, Mike, and Pammy. They were all Christians. They loved to hear the Bible stories. They listened when Carol told them about Jesus.
Carol laid the picture down and said a little prayer. "Thank You, Jesus, for my Sunday school class. Please help me to teach each child about You. Help them to be good listeners so that they will know that You really love them. Amen."
In the Bible, there is a story that Jesus told about a man who planted seed - the Sower and the Seed. The seeds fell onto four different kinds of ground. The sower was like a teacher who tells about Jesus' love. Each kind of ground was like the heart of a person who listens to the Word of God. How many different kinds of "listeners" can you find in Carol's class? What kind of listener are you?
After reading this lesson's Bible text with your child, let him illustrate the four types of soil. Divide a piece of paper into four equal sections. Give your child some seeds (popcorn or beans) to glue on each section. Then let him draw around the seeds to show what happened to each because of the type of ground in which it was planted.
Talk about what we can do to be sure our hearts are "good soil," receptive to the teachings of the Word of God.