July 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering – Acts 20 – More Blessed to Give
The July 2023 Come, Follow Me Ministering Printable ties together Elder Juan A. Uceda’s April 2023 General Conference talk, “The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Minister,” and this July’s “Come, Follow Me” lesson on “it is more blessed to give than to receive” in Acts 20.
Download July 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable (4×6)
You can print these printables as 4×6 photo prints. My local drugstore prints them for just pennies. They are also a higher resolution if you want to enlarge them.
July 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Message
Acts 20 – More Blessed to Give Than to Receive
In the Parable of the Sower, Christ tells about a farmer who sows his seeds in different parts of a field. The seed represents the word of God. And the different kinds of soil represent the preparedness of people’s hearts and their response to the message. Some seeds are devoured by birds before they can take root. Other seeds wither away quickly. And some seeds are choked out by weeds. Only the seeds planted in good soil were able to grow and produce fruit.
The Parable of the Clay Hole
The parable got me thinking about my backyard. We live in the suburbs and when they leveled the lots to build houses, they stripped away all of the good dirt. They left us with nothing but hard clay. Shovels are useless. You have to break the ground with a pick axe. I finally bought a rotary hammer (it is like a mini jackhammer) with a spade bit to make planting easier.
But that isn’t the only obstacle. Any hole you dig acts like a clay pot without drainage holes. It has made growing trees a nightmare. The roots struggle to expand beyond the original hole. They also become waterlogged when the water does not drain from the hole. As a result, I have lost most of the trees I have tried to plant along the back hill.
Like the Parable of the Sower, the type of soil impacted the growth of my trees. Even though water is necessary for a plant to grow, it is important for the water to drain. The plant can’t keep all the water or the roots will rot and die. Like the trees, it is also unhealthy for us to keep all our talents and blessings to ourselves. We need proper drainage. As we are watered, we need to spread the water to others as well. Water that is moving or flowing stays fresh and clean. But stagnate water is not only dirty, it can also carry disease and cause decay.
When we serve others, we spread the live-giving water and everybody can grow and produce good fruit. But when we hold in all the water, like a hole in clay soil, our roots rot. If the drainage problem is not addressed, then the whole tree becomes diseased and dies.
Paul’s Example of Ministering
In the New Testament, Paul is an excellent example of a tree with proper drainage. At the end of Acts 20, Paul says farewell to the elders of the church in Ephesus before he departs for Jerusalem. He is unlikely to ever see them again. Even though Paul knows that persecution and imprisonment await him in Jerusalem, he is committed to following the guidance of the spirit.
During his farewell, Paul urges the elders to take care of Christ’s flock. He recounts his own faithful service and dedication to preaching the gospel. Paul encourages them to follow his example of hard work and selflessness. He tells them, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Paul’s life was incredibly hard and was about to get harder. But his focus was not on himself, but on those he served. He was an incredible example of someone who knew that it was better to give than receive. Paul understood that the best way to benefit from blessings was to spread them to others. As blessings flow to others, the “water” stays fresh and does not stagnate.
The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Minister
Elder Juan A. Uceda in his April 2023 General Conference talk, “The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Minister,” talks about how Christ set the perfect example of ministering and serving. He quotes President Nelson, “A hallmark of the Lord’s true and living Church will always be an organized, directed effort to minister to individual children of God and their families. Because it is His Church, we as His servants will minister to the one, just as He did. We will minister in His name, with His power and authority, and with His loving-kindness.”
Just as my trees decayed in stagnate water, our own spiritual growth depends on our willingness to serve and share. Are we planted in clay soil with poor drainage? Does the hard clay restrict our roots? Or do we become channels of living water, spreading the many blessings we receive? As Paul teaches us, Christ’s church has always been about ministering to His flock. Spiritual growth and true joy come from giving rather than receiving. As we follow Paul’s example and embrace the call to minister, we bring nourishment, growth, and abundant fruit to our lives and the lives of others.
July 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Handout
I started out wanting to use clay pots for the handout, but nothing really clicked for me. So instead I came up with these photo stand goodie holders and I love them! You might be seeing these again in the future. I felt the card holders went well with the natural look of the printable. They are super easy to do. You just place a photo holder in the middle of a cellophane bag and then put the treats around it. I used pistachio nuts for those who are looking to cut down on sugar. And then I did one with dark chocolate covered dry strawberries. I get them at Winco and they are super yummy!
Did you like this July 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering message? Find more Relief Society Ministering Printables for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
These ministering printables are a great way to help families incorporate the “Come, Follow Me” lessons into their own study. They are also perfect for Young Women’s, Relief Society, Sunday School, or Family Home Evening. I hope that these ministering printables will be a simple way to reach out to those we minister to.