Friday, August 17, 2018

Outdoor Object Lesson 73: The Best Pot

Key Verse

"What was sown on the good ground, this is he who hears the word, and understands it, who most certainly bears fruit, and produces, some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matt. 13:23 (WEB)


Note: Material needed includes 4 small pots. Fill one with gravel/stones, one with dull nutrient deficient soil, one with weeds, and the last with fresh and rich potting soil. As each one is mentioned in the lesson, show it around to the audience so they can see what is inside. This is a modern take on the parable of the sower.

A mother wanted to plant some flower seeds in a pot to brighten her home. She looked in the 4 plant pots she had on the back porch. As she looked through each one she found they were filled with different substances. She looked in each one trying to find the best one that would provide good soil to grow her flowers. She wanted only the best soil that would provide all the nutrients for the seeds.

She peered into the first one and found it was full of stones and gravel. (show first pot) Do you think that would make good soil to grow the flower seeds in? The next one she looked into was full of dull dirt that had many rocks in it. The dirt had many hard lumps that were difficult to break with her hand. (show second pot) Would this make better soil than the first? The third pot was full of weeds that had grown over the past several months. Their roots reached all the way to the bottom of the pot and she could hardly see the dirt they were growing in. (show third pot) Would the new seeds be able to grow around all those weeds? The final pot was filled with dark, rich, black soil. She ran her fingers through this soil and found it had no rocks or lumps. There were no weeds growing in it yet. (show last pot)

Do you think the last pot would be best for her to grow her flowers in? If you said yes, than you are correct. New seeds need nutritious soil. Rocks and hard lumps of dirt make it difficult for seeds to put down good roots. Large weeds will take up all the light and water and choke the seeds as they try to grow. Jesus used this illustration to help us understand what kind of heart we need to have so that the gospel will grow in us into something beautiful. Jesus said if our hearts are full of rocks and stones, the gospel is easily snatched away because it cannot grow there. If our hearts are like the dull soil that is full of rocks and lumps of dirt, then we may receive the gospel with joy, until life gets hard. Then because of the poor soil of our hearts, the gospel does not have deep roots and is washed away by difficult times and we give up on it.

If our hearts are like the third pot and full of weeds, we may receive the gospel for a short time. But if we are not careful, the cares of this life and pursuit of material things may choke it out because we focus more on them than on the gospel. The only sure way for the gospel to take deep root in our heart and grow into something wonderful, is if we have a heart like the fourth pot. Our heart needs to be rich and fertile so that the seed can form deep roots and become the most valuable thing in our life. Jesus is the great farmer and can give us hearts of good soil if we let him. Then as it says in the key text, we will hear and understand the gospel and it will bear much fruit in us making us kind, patient, joyful, and loving. Ask Jesus to give you a heart of good soil today.


If our hearts are like one of the first three pots, how do we get one like the fourth, full of good soil?
What types of things in our life can choke the gospel?
What else do seeds need besides good soil? Did Jesus say where we could get these important items?

Written by David F. Garner