Children’s Simple Devotions
The Parable of the Sower
This week our theme is “The Parable of the Sower”. It is written in Matthew 13:18-23 in the Bible. If you have a Bible, please be sure to read it.
Message to parents or adults:
These simple Bible stories are written for adults to read to children. In place of the word “you” please put in the child’s name. When you read the prayers in Japanese, please use the child-appropriate words for “me” and “you”. These lessons are written for elementary school children. For that reason, difficult words are written in hiragana, not Kanji in the Japanese translation. Also, to make the lessons easier to understand the language level is not very formal.
・On each weekday you can read a simple Bible story and prayer.
・At the end of their prayers, Christians often say, “I pray in Jesus’ name”. They say this because they believe that Jesus is their Savior who will take them to heaven someday.
・Christians also say “Amen” at the end of their prayers. This means, “Yes, this is really true”.
Monday – Jesus’ parables
Jesus told stories called parables to many people. A parable is a story about something from everyday life, but through the story Jesus helps us understand something about God’s ways and God’s people. This week we will look at Jesus’ story about seed that fell on four different kinds of ground. In what kind of soil do seeds sprout and grow and produce much fruit? The seed Jesus is talking about is the Word of God, and the ground it falls on is our hearts. This week let’s study Jesus’ parable and learn what kind of hearts receive the Word of God and produce many fruits of faith.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me to listen to your Word with a correct attitude and to believe with all my heart. Amen.
Tuesday – The seed that fell on the path
First of all, some seed fell on a hard path. Because many people walked on that path, the seed was stepped on. The ground was hard and seed could not go down into the soil. Birds came and ate it. This is like people who hear the Word of God with their ears, but it never goes into their hearts. They soon forget about what they heard. If we don’t think about the meaning of God’s Word, the evil one comes and takes the seed of God’s Word away from us. That evil one is the devil. The devil is always fighting against God. God wants many people to hear about Jesus, to believe in Him, and to go to heaven. It makes God very sad when people with hard hearts do not receive the seed of His Word.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we know that you love us. Keep me from ignoring your Word. Help me to listen to your Word with joy. Amen.
Wednesday – The seed that fell on the rocky soil
In Jesus’ parable, the second kind of soil the seed fell on was rocky soil. There was a thin layer of soil, but underneath that there was hard rock. The seeds started growing, but the roots could not go down past the The sun was too hot for the plants and burned them up. The plants withered and died. Sometimes people hear the Word of God and at first they are happy about God’s promises. But when some kind of unwanted trouble enters their life, their faith is not strong enough. Instead of relying on God more, they get angry and throw God away. Jesus is the Son of God. He came into this world and suffered and died on the cross to take away our sins so we can go to heaven. When we have some difficult and unwanted trouble in this life, let’s hold on to God’s Word and continue to pray to Jesus for help.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, you are my Savior. Help me to firmly believe your Word at all times. Amen.
Thursday – The seed that fell among the thorns
In Jesus’ parable, the third kind of soil the seed fell on was full of thorns. These thorns were unwanted weeds that would hurt your hand if you touched them. Those weeds grew fast and quickly covered the ground. The good seed sprouted and grew, but the fast growing thorns prevented the good plants from growing big and producing fruit. Jesus is teaching us about people who hear the Word of God, but God is not the most important thing in their lives. Other things are more important. Things like watching television, playing games, spending time with friends, and having earthly possessions and money are thorns that choke out their faith. Their faith is not able to grow and bear fruit for God. In this situation it can happen that the people stop believing that Jesus is the Savior who will take them to heaven. For this reason, let’s continue to pray that Jesus would be number one in our lives, so we can bear much fruit for Him and continue on the road to heaven.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, heaven is much more wonderful than this world. Help me to remember that Jesus is my “Number One” because He can take me to heaven. Amen.
Friday – The seed that fell on good soil
In Jesus’ parable, there was also seed that fell on good soil. That good soil was deep and soft and full of many nutrients. It was not full of weeds. The seed that fell on this soil grew into big plants that could bear much fruit—producing one hundred, sixty, or thirty times as much as was planted. Jesus once said, “Those who love me will keep my commands.” As we hear and keep God’s Word in our hearts, God strengthens our faith. A farmer waits patiently for his fields to produce a crop. In the same way, is waiting for us to bear much fruit, serving Him with our lives. We pray that God will help us do that. Let’s keep studying God’s Word! Let’s keep fighting against sin! Let’s live in a way that pleases God!
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for always taking care of me. Give me a strong faith so I can serve you in many ways. Help me to treasure and obey your Word. Amen.