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HOME - nov 2023 - a night to remember - cultivate.jpg

Do your kids know the word cultivate?  To cultivate means to prepare the land for gardening.  So if we cultivate, we must be expecting to grow something, right?  But why does the land need to be prepared?  It’s a good lesson for spring planting, but also a necessary one for fall thanks giving.  Kids need to know this word, what it means, and how to cultivate their own heart’s garden so that thanksgiving pops up instead of complaining.

Preparation:  You’ll need a  pot of dirt (with a big rock hidden). A small watering can and a few seeds will be nice, as well as directions on how to plant (maybe a seed packet that has them).  Pansies are a good suggestion, if you want to actually plant something to watch it grow!

Who knows what cultivate means? (Tell the kids if no one knows.)

So we need to cultivate dirt before we plant something to grow.

What happens if we plant or throw seeds on ground that is nothing but rock, but the plant needs soil?

There’s a verse in the bible that says seed planted on rocks is stolen by birds and nothing grows.

Having a thankful heart doesn’t just grow either.  We can have lots of things, like toys and clothes and even friends, but if our heart isn’t full of good soil for growing thanks…it will just be hard like rocks.

(Check the dirt in your pot for rocks – find it – toss it).

If we are mad and always wanting our way and no one to touch OUR stuff; and we’re angry with our siblings or family, this is a rock that will choke out any good seed of thanks!

Let’s check the soil again, which should have good nutrients – be the right kind of soil for the plant - and be easily broken up with our hands (ask the kids to feel the soil.)

The way the garden of our hearts is broken up is by experiencing God’s love.  He loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die for us, so that we can live forever, and he forgives everything wrong attitude or thought we have.  Let’s examine our hearts to see if we need our soil broken up.  (Pause to pray together).  Does anyone need to ask anyone else to forgive them?  This prepares the soil for thanks.

Now, let’s dig a hole and plant the seeds according to the directions.  The right depth, the right spacing, the right watering.  (Open the seed packet, read the instructions, plant a few seeds.)

When we open our hearts and ask Jesus to come and live there, we are preparing our soil for good growth – a thankful heart.  And Jesus comes and plants his truth, his love, his goodness, and his mercy.

Now, let’s cover the seeds and water them.  What do you think will happen if we never water this pot?  (The seeds won’t grow.)  Plants need water, and the right amount of sun.

We water our hearts by prayer, praise, reading the Word, and all the things God tells us to do makes us strong in Him.  He then starts the growing process that then…produces a thankful heart!

These pansies or flowers we plant have to be tended to, watched, cared for and all the things…and hopefully the plants will grow.  But we know that sometimes our weather is harsh, we forget to water, or seeds are just bad…but that never happens with Jesus.

When we believe and receive Him in our hearts, ask forgiveness of our sins, and invite him to remove all the things that make our soil hard and rocky…we then have space to grow a thankful heart.

What does a thankful heart look like?

It causes us to complain less, love more, and observe God’s blessings.


God, thank you for this lesson on soil and seeds.  We invite you in to heal our hearts, remove hard rocks, and plant your lovingkindness deep down so that a beautiful thankful plant can emerge with arms reaching out to your Son.  We are thankful for your love, and we ask you to water us and makes us strong against wind and rain, as we thank you daily for everything…instead of complaining about anything. Amen.

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