Grow, Pray & Study Guide: Faith Sharing, Week 1

Our hope at River City is that you grow daily in your walk with God! One way to do that is to spend time with God every day. This Grow, Pray and Study Guide (GPS) is just one easy way to connect with God on a daily basis.

In all services this week we spent some time with Jesus’ Parable about the man who went to sow seed in his field.  Matthew 13:1-23


Matthew 13:4, Luke 18:18-23

“Some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up…”

We are a distracted people. Everywhere you look there is Facebook, email, billboards, tv, and other forms of entertainment. Many times these things can distract our hearts and we can miss the seedling that God has offered to us. The Rich Young Ruler was distracted by his wealth and his heart had become hard because of this distraction. The seed could not even make its way in so it was eaten by the birds. What distractions harden your heart?  What things in your life make you miss out on the thing God is trying to do in your life? God longs to use us each and every day, but many times we simply miss our opportunities. Ask God to soften your heart today and to block out distractions so that you can accept the seed God is throwing your way.


Matthew 13:5, John 15:1-11

“Some fell on rocky places where it did not have much soil.  It sprang up quickly, but passed away quickly because the soil was shallow.”

We live in a shallow world that demands quick success and quick opportunities to feel good. Jesus knew this so his last word to his disciples was to cling to the vine. Stay connected to God so that they could continue to grow. The sun was getting ready to get really hot and it would be easy to be scorched, but if you are connected with the vine…if your soil is deep…you can produce an abundance of fruit! Many people become excited in their faith or about a movement of God only to die out quickly. They move from mountain top experience to mountain top experience and wonder why their faith never truly grows. It is in the tough times where God speaks to us. Wherever you are today…cling to the vine. Know God. Spend time with God and with people who encourage you in your walk with Christ. Those are the people who help your soil remain deep and can also block some of the rays of the sun.


Matthew 13:7

“Some seed fell among the thorns , which grew up and choked the plants.”

We live in a world that glorifies sin. Many times the church universal is very tolerant of sin. We open the doors to everyone, as we should, but we don’t challenge the lifestyles we are living. Sin chokes out the fruit that God wants to produce in our lives. What would King David’s life been like if he had not slept with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed? Would his family have been better? Would his kingdom of flourished even more? He was still a man after God’s own heart, but I’m sure some fruit was choked about the thorns of sin. What thorns are you surrounding yourself with? Maybe they haven’t reached the point of choking yet, but are they slowly working their way up? It’s time to get some “round-up” and choke out the thorns in our lives.  Read Psalm 51 as a time of confession. What thorns do you need to allow God to pull up by the root today?


Matthew 13:8

“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty, thirty times what was sown.”

This has kind of been a down in the dumps GPS thus far this week, but there is good news! Today is the good news!  There is a harvest before us and we get to reap even what we have not sown! After Jesus met with the woman at the well he told his disciples in John 4, “Look at the fields…seriously LOOK AT THE FIELDS…they are ripe for harvest.” The woman went back to the town and told everyone to come out and meet Jesus. The fields were filled with the people! Your field is ripe for harvest as well.  Each day you walk into a field and before you enter Jesus is saying, “Derek (or your name), look…seriously look…the fields are ripe.  Go reap what even you did not sow.”  So go…


Matthew 13:9

“Whoever has ears…let them hear.”

Lets just make sure. Take your hands and place them on the side of your head. Do you feel anything? Some of us might not feel hair, but hopefully all of us feel these weird floppy things that are not so aerodynamic. We all have ears. So why does Jesus say what he does in Matthew 13:9.  Now, place your hand over your chest. Do you feel anything (if you don’t call 911)? Our ears have nothing to do with hearing God. It is all about our hearts. Read James 3:11-12. What we put into our hearts (feelings, ideas, what we watch/listen to, what we read) is what creates the type of soil that either accepts or rejects seed. What do you fill your life with? What do you fill your heart with? Do I have an ear problem or do I have a heart problem?  We all have hearts…we all have ears…let us all hear.