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Faith Types Parable of the Sower and Reapers Roadmap

Faith Types and The Parable of the Sower:

The Parable of the Sower soils can also be viewed via the lens of ones’  faith related to the four soil types, as follows:

  1. Faith Blinders
  2. Faith Rocky
  3. Faith Rebel
  4. Remaining Faith

Faith relates to one’s inner trust, belief, and following of Jesus Christ the Son of God, who is one in nature with God the Father and God’s Spirit.

Faith Blinders:

A person with Faith Blinders fails to comprehend the wisdom in trusting, believing, and following God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Consequently, God’s Word is disregarded, corresponding to seed sown along the path.

Matthew 13:19 (NIV): 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

Those with blinders to faith can be the worldly outside the Church, or even those who appear religious inside the visible Church. The net result are people who never let God’s Word sink into their soul to grow and change it!

Luke 6:39 (ESV): 39 He also told them a parable:  “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 

Hebrews 4:2 (ESV): 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because  they were not united by faith with those who listened.

Faith Rocky:

A person with a Faith that is Rocky is content with a surface-level faith in God’s Word.  A contributor to surface-level faith may even be how faith was explained! This contentment is counterproductive, leading an individual to skip the dedication required to stand firm. To stand firm requires increased understanding in depth with application of God’s Word learning from Jesus’ life. To squander the initial faith, even if received with joy & enthusiasm, mirrors seed sown along the path with rocks right below the surface.

Matthew 13:20-21(NIV): 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.

To have a faith that overcomes the world requires a deep focus on faith, so the faith produces a love for all people and a righteousness not of works or religiosity, but in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is one with God, and is God.

1 John 5:4-5 (ESV): 4 For  everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 

It critical to consider how deep or shallow one’s faith is to apply special care to learn Jesus’ character to be like Jesus in love, truth, righteousness, and endurance. Why? Self-interest of one’s final  & eternal destination is at stake.

Faith Rebel:

People with Rebellious Faith destructively permit worldly priorities and aspirations to compete with faith in God as primary, rather than fully committing to Jesus Christ, despite knowing better.  The result is predictably putting worldly ways in positions to interfere with their walk with God. This happens over time as choices in life solidify & reveal ones’ degenerate character, like when God’s Kingdom’s seed is sown among thorns.

Matthew 13:22 (NIV): 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.

To counter this self-destructive character pattern requires deliberate attention to make diligent efforts to pull up these competing worldly weeds. This responsibility to take steps to eliminate obstacles operates in tandem with our tending to God’s Words growing in our soul as number one.

Jude 1:3-4 (ESV): 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

As the Bible verse in Jude illustrates, One’s Responsibility is to “contend for the faith” using all one’s heart, mind, body, and soul. The Holy Spirit will guide each serious contender in the ways of faith, truth, and love to know and imitate Jesus Christ and his apostles’ inner character. Like in the early centuries after Jesus’ life, crucifixion, death, and resurrection, be alert to any distortion of the Gospel of Grace that destructively encourages sin. Instead, apply deep knowledge of the truth of God to pluck up any weed seeds sown. God the Father oversees this process, to ensure true believers are never tempted more than they are able to bear, as God aids travelers through this faith journey.

Remaining Faith:

A Remaining Faith in Jesus the Savior exhibits a firm character rooted increasingly more deeply in God’s Word, that fruitfully understands and practices God’s Word. This faith tends to one’s own character diligently to work to eliminate evil thoughts and actions. The faith in God’s Son endures through hardship. This faith operates like the seed that fell on good soil.

Matthew 13:23 (NIV): 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

In the Bible, Peter’s Letter informs us that even after God calls and elects a person to have a remaining & enduring faith, that the faith is made certain through the proper nourishing and practicing of that faith in Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:9-11 (ESV): 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

What type of harvest in your character & soul & in the world, ought you to see? Can you explain your part in pursuing it? Peter elaborates on need to “make every effort” to add to your faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affecting, and love. Why? Doing so will ensure you are effective, productive, and fruitful in your faith in Jesus.

2 Peter 1:9-11 (ESV): 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Faith Types Summary:

The seed of faith in Jesus gives us options regarding how the seed of faith, the seed of the Kingdom, is to grow in the soil of our soul, our mind, our character, and our heart:

  1. Properly understand & practice a Remaining Faith
  2. Strengthen faith or become blind again with Faith Blinders
  3. Deepen faith or let faith become week & wither away like a Rocky Faith
  4. Make faith the top priority or set it up to be toppled by the world’s cares, desires, aspirations, and concerns like a Faith Rebel

2 Peter 1:3-4 (ESV): 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

The choice that guarantees our eternity fruitfulness is to practice a Remaining Faith which continues to learn ever more about God’s character, through Jesus Christ the Son of God in whom the fullness of God’s nature is hidden, with guidance from the Holy Spirit as God’s Word is absorbed and applied.

Next Steps:

View the Parable of the Sower Slideshare Presentation.

You can also directly view the Parable of the Sower presentation at the Slideshare link http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/parable-of-the-sower-and-reapers-roadmap-slide-share

Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/invitation-to-delve-deeply-into-the-parable-of-the-sower

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Parable of the Sower and Reapers Roadmap Faith Types

Heart Types and The Parable of the Sower:

The Parable of the Sower soil types can also be viewed via the lens of ones’ heart condition related to the four soil types, leading to these 4 heart types:

  1. Blind Heart
  2. Rocky Heart
  3. Rebellious Heart
  4. Remaining Heart

The heart here relates to one’s inner intentions and motivations, rather than to a biological / physical heart.

Blind Heart:

A person with a Blind Heart does not understand the value of God’s Word, and so the divine message communicated is disregarded, corresponding to the seed sown along the path.

Matthew 13:19 (NIV): 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

If you have a blind heart, God is able to replace it. When willfully blind, God has been known to willing to let people have their own way and ignore God to their  own detriment

Isaiah 6:10 (ESV): 10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

Rocky Heart:

An individual with a Rocky Heart is at first enthusiastic upon hearing the Good News of God’s Word. Unfortunately, too much confidence is placed in this enthusiasm or even some ritual. The person with a Rocky Heart is on a shallow foundation, leading to a lack of will to strengthen & safeguard the initial gift, paralleling the seed sown along the path with rocks right below the surface.

Matthew 13:20-21(NIV): 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.

Even though people falling away from God and away from righteousness has been the way of humankind, God has much better desires for each person while there is still time.

Psalm 53:2-4 (ESV): 2 God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand,who seek after God.3 They have all fallen away;together they have become corrupt;there is none who does good not even one.

Once a person has been given the insight to know that Jesus is the one true God, then their mission is to continue to seek, pursue, and imitate Jesus and his righteousness to build a sure foundation.

Rebellious Heart:

People with Rebellious Hearts only partially commit to Christ, leaving disastrous vulnerabilities to worldly desires & concerns. Satan leverages these vulnerabilities to stifle their walk with God, because the Devil has their own consent because of people’s deliberate negligence to challenge and pull up these weeds. To do otherwise is like the seed sown among thorns.

Matthew 13:22 (NIV): 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.

Each person has responsibility to promote the growth of God’s word as primary in their lives, eliminating obstacles, just like God expected from the people of Israel.

Ezekiel 18:31 (ESV): 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”

While we have the responsibility to clean up our heart and our spirit to the extent we can, God through his Son Jesus Christ is holy and ultimately is the only one who can fully give us a new heart and new spirit.

Remaining Heart:

Characters with a Remaining Heart dedicate themselves fully to Jesus and are firmly established, leading to reaping the fruit of righteousness plentifully, like seeds down among good soil.

Matthew 13:23 (NIV): 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

We learn from King David, a man after God’s own heart, the importance to direct our whole heart towards God. King David wisely presented the benefits that accrue and the consequences of doing otherwise, understanding God watches all we do, all we think, and all our motivations.

1 Chronicles 28:9 (ESV): “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.

Next Steps:

View the Parable of the Sower Slideshare Presentation.

You can also directly view the Parable of the Sower presentation at the Slideshare link http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/parable-of-the-sower-and-reapers-roadmap-slide-share

Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/invitation-to-delve-deeply-into-the-parable-of-the-sower

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Understanding Jesus’ Parable of the Sower properly positions people to interpret all parables, which contain secrets hidden since the Foundation of the World. Learn more about the Parable of the Sower and the Reapers Roadmap, Courtesy http://BibleOpia.WordPress.com

YouTube Presentation Video (No Sound): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmuT3hRCPjc

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Come & Click & Enjoy the Parable of the Sower & Reapers Roadmap Slide Share:

View the Parable of the Sower Slideshare Presentation.

You can also directly view the Parable of the Sower presentation at the Slideshare link http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/parable-of-the-sower-and-reapers-roadmap-slide-share

Next Steps: Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/invitation-to-delve-deeply-into-the-parable-of-the-sower

Parable of the Sower and Reapers Roadmap First Slide

View more presentations from Carl Frederick at SlideShare.net

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Reapers Roadmap Focus on Rejoicing

Review

The Reapers Roadmap materials previously presented summarized how The Bible’s Gospel of John 1:10-13 and the “Parable of the Sower” found in Matthew 13:1-9 shows the way redemption typically happens, or regretfully fails to happen. That is, it shows how people come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, or choose another course both for their life on earth and more importantly for eternity.

John 1:9-13 (NIV): 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

God reveals his word and ways so people have the chance to learn more and get to know God better by applying their reason and strength. God presents his message both to Jews and Gentiles. Today, God through his word and the Holy Spirit calls to those who attend Christian Services and who hear God’s word elsewhere along life’s paths. In the “Parable of the Sower” this is like dropping seeds of God’s word along the path, as illustrated in the Bible in Matthew 13:1-9.

Parable of the Sower: Matthew 13: 1-9 (NIV): 1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.  2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.

Focus on Rejoicing:

The Apostle Paul’s message in the Bible’s Book of Acts parallels The Reapers Roadmap message, as once the Jesus was revealed and received as Lord and Christ, believers are encouraged to do their rooting in him, and remaining established as they walk in the faith, with rejoicing through thanksgiving. (Acts 2:6,7 (ESV): 6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and  built up in him and  established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding  in thanksgiving.)

Rejoicing & Salvation:

When many learn the gospel’s good news, they receive it gladly and rejoice, like the believer in the Parable of the Sower represented by the plant with the shallow root, who later fell away quickly when troubles came. The lesson here is that being joyful is insufficient for salvation, and is an inadequate basis for confidence in salvation. (Matthew 13:20-21 (ESV):  20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.) While insufficient for salvation, rejoicing is a regular essential aspect to our faithfully following Jesus. (Philippians 4:4 (NIV): 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.) Those who seek the Lord are expected to rejoice. (1 Chronicles 16:10 (ESV): 10 Glory in his holy name;  let the hearts of those who seek the  Lord  rejoice!) After learning the good news that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior, rejoicing is frequently a regular and sincere response to God’s love, mercy, and grace. The open-minded eunuch that the Holy Spirit lead Philip to teach about Jesus exemplifies this normal response. (Acts 5:39 (ESV): 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.)

Rejoicing through Trials:

Rejoicing is expected in all variety of circumstances, which includes tough circumstances. (1 Thesalonians 5:16-18 (ESV):16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.) In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained believers properly following God are expected to be glad and rejoice, despite facing opposition. Why? God’s has rewards reserved for the righteous. Encountering opposition and persecution to good works is further reason to rejoice when your faith is authentic.  (Matthew 5:11-12 (ESV): 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.) The apostles exhibited this response to rejoice after being beaten and instructed to desist from preaching the good news about Jesus. (Acts 5:41-42 (ESV): 41 Then they left the presence of the council,  rejoicing that they were counted worthy  to suffer dishonor for  the name. 42 And every day,  in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and  preaching  Jesus as the Christ.) To respond with rejoicing is expected of all believers as they face the tough trials of life, knowing God provides spiritual and emotional support. (1 Peter 4:12-13 (ESV): 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at  the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.)

Rejoicing with Dancing, Singing, and Instruments:

Besides with words, inward rejoicing is expressed outwardly with music using a wide variety of musical instruments too. (1 Chronicles 13:8 (ESV): 8 And David and all Israel were rejoicing before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets.) Shouts to the Lord are other ways to rejoice. (2 Samuel 6:15 (ESV): 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.) Besides music, dancing and leaping are also ways to express rejoicing. (2 Samuel 6:16 (ESV): 16 As the ark of the  Lord  came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart.) Today there are many more musical instruments, music videos, and theatrical shows. Professional quality media are available online and after performances. Electronics like smart phones, music players, and touch screen devices enable this music to be collected and played conveniently.

Inwardly Rejoicing:

Rejoicing emanates inwardly from following God and appreciating his wisdom and instructions. (Psalms 19:8 (ESV): 8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; …) Understanding God’s message clearly is important for having a proper thought process for rejoicing. (Nehemiah 8:12 (ESV): 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.) Teachers and preachers, who know the Bible and explain the gist of what is being communicated, facilitate a fruitful understanding of God’s word. (Nehemiah 8:8 (ESV): 8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.)

Rejoicing in Toil, Wealth, and Possessions:

Proper understanding of scriptures leads to rejoicing in all good material things God has given you and those with you. (Deuteronomy 26:11 (ESV): 11 And  you shall rejoice in all the good that the  Lord  your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you.) Rejoice and thank God if you have been granted the gift to enjoy your work, wealth, and possessions under the sun, being careful to keep God first in your heart. (Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 (ESV): 18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil–this is the gift of God.)

Rejoicing when the Lost Repent:

Jesus’, Parable of the Lost Sheep, Coin, and Sons (see Luke 15) show God, his angels, and friends rejoicing over souls that come to a place of repentance to transform their life eternally. (Luke 15:5 (ESV): 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.) Likewise, the Apostle Paul rejoices when those whom he knew repented, even though it was sorrow leading them towards repentance. (2 Corinthians 7:9 (ESV): 9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.)

Rejoicing in Others Progress & Proper Dealings:

It’s right to rejoice in the continued progress of fellow believers’ faith. (Colossians 2:5 (ESV): 5 For  though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.) Be thankful and rejoice without gloating or hatred, when God handles those who reject all that is good, even as you still hope all will come to know God, perhaps through your kindness to them. (Deuteronomy 32:43 (ESV): 43 “Rejoice with him, O heavens;  bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries.  He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people’s land.”) Rejoice when your dealings with people have been proper. When dealings have been improper, repent, for God watches and judges. (Judges 9:19 (ESV): 19 if you then have acted in good faith and integrity with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you.) Rejoice when God saves the poor and weak from evil adversaries and follow God to aspire likewise. (Psalms 35:19 (ESV): 9  Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord, exulting in his salvation. 10 All my bones shall say, “O Lord, who is like you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?”)

Key Points: Rejoicing:

  1. God and his angels rejoice when the lost ________.
  2. Though counter-intuitive, believers are expected to rejoice through ________.
  3. Dealing with people _________ is another reason to rejoice.
  4. Knowing, understanding, following, and appreciating God’s wisdom leads to ________ rejoicing.
  5. Dancing, leaping, singing, playing instruments, and performances are forms of ________ rejoicing.
  6. While many find it natural to rejoice when initially receiving God’s Word, being joyful is an inadequate basis for confidence in ____________.
  7. Caring for others leads to rejoicing in others’ _________ in their faith walk.

Discussion Questions: Rejoicing

(1) How is it possible to rejoice in the midst of fiery trials inflicted because you are doing what is right?

(2) What types of outward expressions of rejoicing do you and fellow believers express?

(3) What modern devices have you used to facilitate your rejoicing in the Lord? What are your favorite artists, composers, and performers?

(4) Why is being joyful an inadequate basis for salvation, knowing the lesson from the Parable of the Sower?

(5) What is the proper basis for confidence in salvation?

(6) What type of proper conduct towards others does Jesus expect towards our friends, family, and enemies?

(7) When others do well and progress in their faith, do you tend to be happy for them, or become jealous and envious of them?

(8) How could those who became jealous of believers receiving praise from God use that to fuel their own missions to become closer to God?

(9) Knowing we are expected to rejoice in our hard toil under the sun, how does that influence how awesomely you do you work?

(10) When blessed with an abundance of wealth and possessions, how could you use them to solicit praise from God, leading to your own rejoicing due to God’s approval?

Hand Drawn Rejoicing Roadmap Visual

Reapers Roadmap 9 R's Focus on Rejoicing Hand Drawn

Black & White Rejoicing Roadmap Visual

Reapers Roadmap Focus on Rejoicing Black & White Visual

Key Points: Rejoicing: Answers

  1. God and his angels rejoice when the lost    repents   .
  2. Though counter-intuitive, believers are expected to rejoice through    trails   .
  3. Dealing with people    properly    is another reason to rejoice.
  4. Knowing, understanding, following, and appreciating God’s wisdom leads to    inward    rejoicing.
  5. Dancing, leaping, singing, playing instruments, and performances are forms of    outward    rejoicing.
  6. While many find it natural to rejoice when initially receiving God’s Word, being joyful is an inadequate basis for confidence in    salvation   .
  7. Caring for others leads to rejoicing in others’   progress    in their faith walk.

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Parable of the Sower Initial Depth and Growth Chart

The Parable of the Sower Depth and Growth Chart shows key dimensions of each soil type. One dimension is depth and the other is growth achieved. The Parable explains too little depth is insufficient. To increase our own depth requires learning & following & giving ourselves to Jesus Christ more fully, and eventually completely. (Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV): You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.) Despite depth enough to grow, those who receive the message who fail to eliminate weeds present in their own life as scriptures require, later find the world’s demands detrimentally competing with their spiritual growth and impeding their fruitfulness. (Matthew 6:24 (ESV):No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”)

The Rich Young Ruler:

The Parable of the Sower provides a way to understand the interaction between Jesus and the rich young ruler.

Matthew 19:16-22 (ESV): 16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

The rich young ruler correctly addressed Jesus as Good Teacher, because Jesus teaches us authoritatively about God the Father’s character, since Jesus is God. The rich young ruler’s formal address to Jesus was technically correct, although he did not understand fully who Jesus was, so Jesus clarified that only God was good. As the rich young ruler lacked sufficient understanding about Jesus’ true identity, his condition parallels a shallow root depth like in the Parable of the Sower. When he asked Jesus what to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus graciously iterates the commandments the rich young ruler confidently felt he followed closely. When the rich young ruler sought to more deeply know what was lacking, Jesus’ answer revealed an idol in his life, which was his great possessions. The Parable of the Sower shows us this idol was a figurative weed, competing for  first place in his life. Like the rich young ruler having shallow roots and weeds at the same time, we too can suffer from multiple simultaneous conditions adversely affecting our growing properly in God’s Kingdom.

The Rich Young Ruler and Hope:

Like the rich young ruler, you too might assess that Jesus’ expectations of you are beyond your ability to fulfill alone. (Matthew 19:22 (ESV): 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.)

Matthew 19:23-26 (ESV): 23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Unlike the rich young ruler, rather than walk away in despair, you can enroll divine assistance to conquer obstacles you alone find impossible to overcome. These otherwise impossible obstacles can be overcome when following Jesus to team up together with God.

Next Steps

View the Parable of the Sower Slideshare Presentation.

You can also directly view the Parable of the Sower presentation at the Slideshare link http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/parable-of-the-sower-and-reapers-roadmap-slide-share

Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/invitation-to-delve-deeply-into-the-parable-of-the-sower

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Parable of the Sower Reapers Roadmap Book Visual

Click to Download & View the eBook PDF Document “Parable of the Sower Reapers Roadmap Deep Dive 2011-07-16“, available at the following web address:

http://bibleopia.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/parable-of-the-sower-reapers-roadmap-deep-dive-2011-07-16.pdf

The eBook PDF Contains these updates:

* Reapers Roadmap Visuals Updated to Include Rejoicing
* Rich Young Ruler Parallel to Parable of the Sower Explained
* Focus on Rejoicing Chapter Added & Edited
* Parable of the Sower Depth and Growth Chart Updated
* Discussion Questions Included
* Enhanced Table of Contents Now for All Roadmaps
* New Section Headings Corresponding to Visual Image
* Controlling Nature Added to Two Roadmap Visuals
* Rearranged Focus on Remaining Roadmap Text Materials
* Fill in the Blank Key Points With Most Answers Added
* Converted Hand-Drawn Visuals to Black & White Images
* Added Road and Sign Visuals to Cover Page
* Exercises included in Chapter 1 and 2

Next Steps

View the Parable of the Sower Slideshare Presentation.

You can also directly view the Parable of the Sower presentation at the Slideshare link http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/parable-of-the-sower-and-reapers-roadmap-slide-share

Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

http://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/invitation-to-delve-deeply-into-the-parable-of-the-sower

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