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God's Will, Our Style

Bible’s Lessons:

The Bible records many distinctive ways people lived God’s Will, even though at times rebellion, sin, and disobedience surfaced. God’s Will allows for personal style consistent with God’s Commandments, and requires repentance in response to disobedience. As you live out God’s Will, distinguish between these:

      1. God’s Will
      2. Our Style consistent with God’s Will
      3. Our Way opposing God’s Will
      4. Our Sin & Rebellion

The key point is that as people are called to follow God, that God is also calling you to bring your essential individually, and then to seek God’s help to live it out without your inner sin.

God’s Will Generally:

The Bible emphasizes the importance (a) to have faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, (b) to repent from sin, (c) pursue righteousness, (d) to love & obey God with all your being, and (e) to love your neighbor as yourself. When selecting what to do in life, evaluate your decisions in light of God’s Will generally.

God’s Will Specifically:

Complimenting the already available guidance in God’s Will generally revealed, is the further knowledge that God works to bring believers through situations to improve them & help others. This is a process where our character, skills, and faith is meant to grow beneficially individually & collectively as life’s challenges are faced.

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV): For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God’s preparing good works for people to perform is observable in scriptures in several instances. God prophesied to Abraham hundreds of years ahead of time the slavery & release of his people, in which Moses & Aaron played a critical role. The life of Queen Ester and Mordecai evidences God’s coordination of redemptive events to protect his people from genocide. What instances do you recall from your studies of scriptures?

God’s Will Directly Articulate:

On rare occasions, God’s Will is made crystal clear via direct communication. One instance is when God asked Moses to rescue his people from EgyptPharaoh (Exodus 3).

Exodus 3:10 (ESV):  10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.

God’s Will and Our Style:

God permits the way in which God’s Will is lived out to incorporate our personal & collective styles to some extent. This is illustrated when God preferred Moses to directly deliver God’s Word and lead God’s people. Moses personality & style was inherently shy about speaking directly to his people, so God provided Aaron to Moses to work out God’s Will to deliver his people from physical bondage & slavery.

Exodus 4:10-17 (ESV): 10 But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” 14 Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. 17 And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”

While God’s Will does permit Our Style, Moses’ illustration encourages people to also consider whether God’s Will prefers us to embrace a style that will grow our comfort with new skills God knows we’ll be able to handle with his help. God preferred Moses to grow skills speaking directly to God’s people, even though Moses feared it. Even today, it is often reported that people find public speaking frightful.

God’s Will Indirectly Articulated & Our Style:

People will often discover God’s Will in their specific situations is implicit rather than explicit. As an illustration, Queen Ester and Mordecai both recognized that Queen’s Ester intervention looked like God’s first & primary preference for intervention on behalf of God’s people.

Ester 4:12-17 (ESV): 12 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. 13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” 17 Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

Mordecai previously asked Queen Ester to petition the King to rescue their people. Queen Ester agreed to risk her life by going before the King without being officially summoned, and her style was to fast first before God prior to executing this bold maneuver. Mordecai respected Queen Ester’s stylistic approach to fast first. It is reasonable to infer God did too.

Our Way Opposing God’s Will:

When facing decisions in life, evaluate your inner desires, motives, and means, to ensure they are living up to the standards God set. While your conscience can provide guidance, as can good godly council, God’s revealed word in the Bible is the ultimate authority. As an illustration, when King David’s inner being became lustful for Bathsheba after seeing her bathing on her housetop (see 2 Samuel 11), King David needed to evaluate his inner desires carefully, even though typically King David’s inner being desired to know God’s Will and do the right thing.

While in some cases, a particular action is not in & of itself immoral in the general case of God’s Will, it is still immoral to do in instances when God specifically decreed that action was not permitted. For example, Jesus instructed certain people not to publicly reveal the healing he performed for their individual benefit. They disobeyed, which caused Jesus difficulty in his outreach mission in several geographic areas.

Mark 1:40-45 (ESV): 40 And a leperf came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesusg sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

Our Sin & Rebellion:

When evaluating our situational liberty & latitude, evaluate decisions & desires in the light of God’s Will generally revealed to know when to repent & change. This analysis helps to distinguish Our Stylistic latitude from Our Wayward tendencies towards evil. In absence of accomplishing this effectively, sin & rebellion result. One sin has the dangerous potential to lead to many sins.

Consider how King David committed adultery, and then did not repent. This first sin lead to the first attempt at a “cover up” that did not work. King David still did not repent and instead resulted to murder in another “cover up” attempt (see 2 Samuel 11 and 2 Samuel 12). In King David’s case, God’s Will revealed adultery & murder is wrong, so King David knew these actions were not stylistic discretions, yet rather sinful disobedient rebellious actions against God. King David “cleverly by worldly standards yet unwisely by God’s standards” (cleverly yet unwisely) made plans to disobey God’s commandments not to commit adultery and not to murder. God severely punished King David by allowing evil enemies to obtain sufficient power to repay King David for his immoral actions.

In Conclusion:

Whether you receive God’s Will via direct commands or via God’s generally revealed will, carefully evaluate your inner being & decision-making process to ensure your thoughts & actions align with God’s Will. Just as God provided a lot of variety in nature, and this variety is consistent with God’s Will, so too God provided a lot of variety in people’s styles that are harmonious with God’s Will, Another way to understand it, is that in work positions, there are certain responsibilities & expectations that come with the role. Yet, within a given role, people find ways to contribute that brings out their own personal style, background, and vision through their contributions.

Review:

1. God’s Will allows for personal _______ consistent with God’s Commandments.

2. On rare occasions, God’s Will is made crystal clear via ________ communication.

3. People will often discover God’s Will in their specific situations is ________ rather than _________.

4. Consider whether God’s Will prefers us to embrace a style that will grow our comfort with new _________.

5. Evaluate decisions & desires in the light of God’s Will generally revealed to know when to ________ & ________.

6. Distinguish Our Stylistic _________ from Our Wayward _________ towards evil.

Related Articles:

Credits:

  • Special Thanks to Microsoft Office Images & Tools used in the creation of today’s visual.

God's Will, Our Style

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God's Sovereignty Control Chance ChoiceAcross the world, people wonder how much is predetermined & predestined (see related Ephesians 1 Audience article). What must happen that we can do nothing about? What is fate? Where does our free will come in during this life? The answer to these questions significantly impacts one’s world view and even how God‘s own scriptures are understood. In the Christian community, people agree that God is Sovereign, yet what does that mean in terms of God’s control, our choices, and chance itself? While there are over-simplificiations out there, what does the Bible have to say?

Chance Under the Sun:

What does the Bible say about Chance? Does it exist? Even if it exists, is it marginal? Does chance impact people’s life?

The Wise King Solomon shares in our Biblical Scriptures that chance happens to people in many areas of life.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 (ESV): 11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

The scripture shares from our viewpoint, from observing how the world works, that chance does exist, chance is not marginal, and chance impacts people’s lives.

Chance impacts the outcomes of battles within a war, who wins competitions, the food you have to eat, how wealthy or poor you will be, and whether you’ll be treated favorably in this life.

Chance Under the Son of God:

What did the Son of God say about Chance?

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is one with God, who existed before Our Universe was created, who is greater than King Solomon, speaks to us about being a good neighbor, and about the presence of chance, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:29-37 (ESV): 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

The Son of God revealed God the Father‘s divine message, and God’s divine message recognizes chance. Clearly Jesus could have revealed any other message, like that by the Divine Providence of God, the Priest was made to pass by there. Jesus clearly acknowledges chance was the reason. The Divine perspective by the co-creator of Our Universe is that chance is real, that chance definitely exists, and that chance influences who is in & out of our lives.

Chance under God’s Sovereignty:

Do you find the Wise Revelations of King Solomon and the Divine Revelation of Jesus Christ the Son of God concerning the presence of chance as disturbing? Even the highly respected scientist / theorist Albert Einstein found it unpalatable, saying:

“God does not play dice with the universe.” — Albert Einstein, The Born-Einstein Letters 1916-55, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/2669-god-does-not-play-dice-with-the-universe

Does chance undermine God’s Sovereignty?  How can God be Sovereign even in the midst of chance?

Let’s consider a thought experiment, which is a common tool scientists use to understand complexity. This thought experiment will illustrate how chance exists without undermining God’s Sovereignty.

Most everyone is familiar with the game of tic tac toe. Imagine you were playing a game with an opponent who is invincible. Even if you made random moves, you would still be unable to win. The game itself at best results in a tie when playing with an invincible player. Think about God’s Sovereignty in the same way. No randomness in the game play undermines God’s Sovereignty in any way by design.

Choice in Our Universe:

The Divine Word of God illustrates many choices people have, as already elaborated upon on the topic of “What Choice Do You Have?” .  To Summarize, People have Choices like the following:

God tells the truth and does not lie. God gives you legitimate choices. God wishes for you to pick blessings, but will let you pick curses. Pick Wisely!

Choice under God’s Sovereignty:

Does choice undermine God’s Sovereignty?  How can God be Sovereign even in the midst of choice?

Let’s consider the other side of that same thought experiment, except this time with choice rather than chance. A thought experiment is a common tool scientists use to understand complexity. This thought experiment will illustrate how choice exists without undermining God’s Sovereignty.

Most everyone is familiar with the game of tic tac toe. Imagine you were playing a game with an opponent who is invincible. Even if you use your intellect to makes the most intelligent move choices, you would still be unable to win. The game itself at best results in a tie when playing with an invincible player. Think about God’s Sovereignty in the same way. No deliberate choice in the game play undermines God’s Sovereignty in any way by design.

Control under God:

What are ways in which God institutes control in our world, to optimize the outcomes that result in the midst of chance, choice, and the fallen character & fallen culture of humankind?

The entire Bible’s testifies into the ways God has intervened with promises and with actions in the 66 Books of Bible. God promised to send his Son Jesus Christ into the world to bear our sins. Jesus Christ came and offers to bear the sins of all who become true believers & followers of his.

  • God intervened with the flood, saving Noah and his immediate family
  • God used Prophets to warn Kings
  • God intervened in battles & wars
  • God appointed & disciplined Kings
  • God sent Prophets who delivered God’s message and performed miracles to help people
  • God performed miracles to heal others, feed people in need, bring people back to life, and to teach deep theological lessons about forgiveness
  • God transforms the personal & eternal character of those who diligently seek him with all their heart, mind, body, soul, and strength
  • God reminds us of our choices & responsibilities
  • God determines the bounds of the length of our days & the locations of our journeys, though is open to change those bounds upon request, under the right circumstances
  • Jesus Christ came back to the Earth after his death to testify again to the Divine & Eternal Truth & Life found in The Way

Even though God rested from adding new physical rules governing Our Universe after the 6 days of creation (see Bible Genesis Creation Account), God still intervenes in Our Creation for the benefit of our souls.

The Wise King Solomon also acknowledges that although chance exists, God is able to intervene in chance.

Proverbs 16:33 (ESV): 33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

This verse does not preclude God from deciding that the outcome is to be determined by chance, yet rather asserts God’s ability & right to intervene in a way that looks like it was just chance.

This means that just as many people have seen God acting in the world through what seemed like chance fluke outcomes, that at least in some of those cases, it was God acting, even though it’d be difficult to prove at times.

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”, Albert Einstein, The World as I See It, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/14140-coincidence-is-god-s-way-of-remaining-anonymous

Even though much encouragement can be gained from observing these events, make sure your faith rests on the firm foundation of God’s Word. Likewise, looking back at the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus does not reveal whether the Samaritan was there by chance, or by God’s intervention.

Control under the Son of God:

The ultimate control over all is in the process of being handed over by God the Father to God the Son, Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (ESV): 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Because all people have sinned, except for Jesus, all deserve death for their wrongdoing. Jesus’ life & death provided a way for those who were enemies of God, to become God’s friends, and to obtain forgiveness of sins and everlasting life (reference Hebrews 2 (ESV) at BibleGateway.com and Romans 6 (ESV))

God is Sovereign in the Midst of Chance & Choice:

The analogy to use Tic Tac Toe provides a simple way for people to understand these very complex and robust concepts about God’s Sovereignty & Control in the midst of Chance & Choice in our life.

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am optimistic that many who are presently secular will be able to understand this mystery, since a very similar analogy is present in the 1983 science fiction movie War Games. The basic premise is that a self-aware computer gets the codes necessary to start nuclear war, and only by running several simulations of Nuclear War and Tic Tac Toe does the self-aware computer grasp finally that there is no guaranteed way to win.

In the context of religion, understand that there is no way to win against God, yet the way to win, is with God, through his Son Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 54:16-17 (ESV): 16 Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; 17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

God ran the necessary calculations & setup the appropriate controls & contingency plans ahead of time to ensure it, even though the calculations are more complex than Tic Tac Toe or Global Nuclear War scenarios. To understand more how creation & calculations are intertwined, refer to the Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm.

Games like Tic Tac Toe and even more advanced games like Chess are generally understood to lead to ties, if neither side made any mistakes. Satan the Devil will  will face final defeat, having already made a mistake by rebelling against God (Ezekiel 28 (ESV), and by tempting humankind to fall away from God (see Genesis 3 (ESV)). God is Sovereign, and worthy to receive all the honor, power, and glory (see Revelation 4 (ESV))

For those who find chance and choice distasteful, rest in this assurance, that God is Sovereign whether or not you accept the realities of chance and choice. You can also comfort yourself, knowing you are in well-respected company, as even the honored scientist Albert Einstein found that concept distasteful, despite investigations of Our Universe pointing to the conclusion that God does play dice with the Universe. The thought experiments introduced complement scriptural illustrations to show God plays dice with the Universe responsibly. 

Each person has the responsibility to seek God and his righteousness to live in faith, being faithful to God.

Romans 5:1-4 (ESV): 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Seeking always to do what is right out of faith is expected of everyone, regardless of your viewpoints on God’s Sovereignty, Chance, Choice, Predestination, Election, and Calling. While people might want to debate these Paradigms, never miss your own personal responsibility, so you’ll accompany fellow believers in the New Heaven and New Earth for eternity.

The Wise King Solomon recognized that many aspects in life are subject to time & _________________.

Jesus, the Son of God, revealed that ______________ exists in life.

You have the responsibility to ___________ good or evil.

You have a ___________ to seek God’s righteousness.

God plays dice with the Universe _____________.

There is no way to ______ against God, yet the way to ________, is with God, through his Son _______ _______.

Credits:

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The Three GuidesThere are two sets of Three Guides in the visual on the right.  Life presents us with many challenging circumstances to figure out what to do. Consider “What does God guide?“. God provides an instruction manual called “The Bible” and a conscience too, to guide us through life. The Bible teaches the One God consists of three distinct persons of one character:

  • Father
  • Son
  • Holy Spirit

The Three Guides God Father Son Holy SpiritThrough Jesus Christ, the Son of God, believers in God extract guidance from his words and life. After ascending to Heaven, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to provide further lifelong guidance to believers. God the Father watches over all creation, and ensures there are always right ways to handle any circumstances, including all temptations and tribulations.

What further guidance does God provide, when there is latitude on how we are to act?

God provides three more guides through our life:

  • Wisdom
  • Love
  • Faith

Jesus’ teachings, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and elsewhere in the Bible contain numerous insights on how the Wisdom Guide is to be used. To have insight, understanding, knowledge, and discretion to pick the wise course of action is a benefit and a blessing throughout life. Consider “What does Wisdom Guide?

The Three Guides QuestionsGod commands us to Love God totally and to Love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus demonstrated that love by willingly laying down his life as the perfect payment for our sins. The Love Guide is a powerful driver of positive change, leading many to support others emotionally, spiritually, and physically throughout life. Consider “What does Love Guide?

The Bible instructs us that the righteous live by faith, and showed many living out their faith fruitfully. Faith guided King David to defeat the Philistine Goliath, Ester to save the Jews from Haman’s death sentence, Daniel and his companions to triumph over death sentences by lions and fire, and Jesus’ disciplines to spread the Gospel message widely around the world. The Faith Guide enables believers to stand up to seemingly impossible circumstances, and come out victorious, forgiven, and healed, thanks to God’s interventions. Consider “What does Faith Guide?

The Three Guides Work TogetherThe Love Guide, Wisdom Guide, and Faith Guide are meant to all work together to enable us to make proper decisions. Consider Queen Ester’s defeating Haman’s evil genocide plans. She loved her people the Jews, so she wished to save them all. Wisdom lead her to consider the timing and manner in which to appeal to the King. Faith lead her trust in God as she risked her life to intervene and appeal for the life of her people.

Next Steps:

View The Three Guides Presentation on Wisdom, Faith, and Love:

Alternatively, go to the SlideShare site at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/the-three-guides-wisdom-faith-love to view The Three Guides Presentation on Wisdom, Faith, and Love.

Download:

You can also download the presentation at this Three Guides Presentation Download Link.

Three Guides Cover Slide

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Once one accepts and follows the foundational teachings about Jesus Christ the Son of God, what constitutes moving onto maturity?

Hebrews 6:1-3

6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.

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Reapers Roadmap and Parable of the Sower

The Parable of the Sower directly maps to The Reapers Roadmap (The 9 R’s Roadmap) as the table below shows.  The seeds are God’s Word revealed in the Bible, which contains the Kingdom Message. The Sower (or farmer) is God, who is represented by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who by diverse means is revealing God’s Word. The ground types reflect people’s hearts, minds, and souls, and their receptiveness to God’s Word. The seed falling on the path where the evil one Snatches away the message that is not understood corresponds to an error recognizing and receiving the message on “Blinder’s Boulevard”. The seed that falls among the thorns and was unfruitful represents remaining and reaping errors due to life’s concerns and deceptions corresponds to “Rebel Road”, where resisting and rejecting occur. The seed that falls upon the rocky places corresponds to a person who joyfully receives the message, yet who quickly falls away due to the lack of deep roots, corresponding to rooting and remaining errors on “Rocky Road”.

Table: Parable of the Sower Mapped to The Reapers Roadmap
Symbol Symbolizes Related Roadways Roadmap
Sower / Farmer God Revealing Jesus Christ
Son of God
Seeds God’s Word
Kingdom Message
Revealing The Bible
God’s Word
Ground Types (Path, Rocky Places, Among Thorns, Good Soil) People’s Hearts, Minds, Souls Reasoning
Recognizing

Receiving

Rooting
Remaining
Reaping
Roadways
Path: Birds Ate Lacks Understanding in Heart
Evil One Snatches Away
Reasoning
Recognizing Error
Receiving Error
“Blinders Boulevard”
Recognizing Error
Among Thorns: Choked Plants Deceitfulness of Wealth
Worries of Life &
Concerns of Life Choke
Making Unfruitful
Reasoning
Recognizing

Receiving

Rooting

Remaining Error
Reaping Error
“Rebel Road”
Resisting & Rejecting
Rocky Places: No Roots: Scorched Hears
Receives Joyfully
No Root
Trouble / Persecution
Falls Away Quickly
Reasoning
Recognizing

Receiving
Rooting Error
Remaining Error
“Rocky Road”
No Rooting
Good Soil: Yields Crop Hears the Word
Understands Message

Produces Crop
Yields 100x, 60x, 30x
Reasoning Recognizing
Receiving
Rooting

Remaining

Reaping
Repentance Raceway
Narrow Path to Eternal Life

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

See related “Parable of the Sower Explained” post at https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/parable-of-the-sower-explained-mind-map/

You are invited to learn more about the Parable of the Sower and The Reapers Roadmap by following this link:

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

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Wise rulers know the Son of God is in control, and pay proper homage. Do you do likewise?

Psalms 2:10-12

10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

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Whether you live in the ‘Land of the Free’, or a jurisdiction ranging from dictatorship to republic to democracy, seek the freedom God’s Son Jesus the Savior offers, to be free indeed from sin’s dominion.

John 8:31-32

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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Reapers Roadmap Parables & Parallels Perspectives Visual

Parables & Parallels Perspectives

The Reapers Roadmap (The 9 R’s Roadmap) is based upon the Parable of the Sower, which this visual maps to several Parables & Parallels Perspectives.  Like the original Reapers Roadmap (The 9 R’s Roadmap) visual, this serves as a summary slide with a particular perspective.  To increase your understanding, please review the original Reapers Roadmap (The 9 R’s Roadmap) materials, and the successive materials that elaborate on the revealing, reasoning, recognizing, receiving, rooting, remaining, and reaping focus areas, and the resisting & rejecting focus areas too.

God reveals his word, and we use our reasoning to recognize the truth about God, and his Son Jesus Christ, being careful to have reasonable standards of evidence. As believers who received the word of God, we are responsible to dig deep roots in God’s word in knowledge, faith, and action. God creates in believers a new heart, spirit, and inner creature, causing us to be born again, this time with a new spirit that follows God inwardly, and as a consequence, outwardly too. We can only be born again with God’s intervention, so we must seek God while he is open to being found by us. Building our lives upon Jesus, the Rock, practicing what God preaches, is wise, and causes us to weather the storms of life, standing firm. God keeps the souls of believers safe in his hands, since as we remain with God, God will remain with us.

As stewards of God’s word, we are called to plant, nourish, and care for it in our souls, by reading and practicing it ourselves, and sharing it with others.  God prunes our fruitful branches, and cuts off unfruitful ones, so we can be more productive.  That is, God shows us what we need to improve, to be on righteous path, doing good, following the truth, and being loving, even though these lessons can be challenging to swallow and embrace at the time.  Doing this will cause us to be fruitful, yielding large harvests, thanks to God providing the increase.

You can learn more from a vast array of teachers and preachers at One Place http://www.oneplace.com , which also contains several Bible translations http://bible.oneplace.com/bibles to study.

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

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

 

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Reapers Roadmap Focus on Recognizing and Reasoning Visual

Review and then Focus on Recognizing and Reasoning

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 Recognizing & Reasoning

Recall that many people have difficulty recognizing God when God’s word is revealed. It’s possible people find it inconvenient to learn more when they have others things they’d prefer to be doing. It’s possible prior choices have moved people increasingly further away from the path of life. Their past decisions then make it more difficult to understand God’s word when it is revealed.

Parable of the Sower Explained: Matthew 13:18 & 19 (NIV): 18Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19When 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.

The Stumbling Block

The scriptures identify the pride of human wisdom as a stumbling block to recognizing God, where people too quickly dismiss the truth, thinking what they have learned already makes them wiser, seeking the world’s wisdom rather than God’s. Scripture also explains people reject and ignore it on their own because they find the righteousness of God a discomfort, a stumbling block, compared to their own ideas of how God must be.

1 Corinthians 1:22-24 (NIV): 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

There are tremendous consequences for individuals and groups of people when they fail to recognize God, being too quick to favor their own reasoning and ideas above God’s. Here Jesus laments over Jerusalem, because their failure to recognize God in the present had far-reaching consequences into the future.

Luke 19:41-44 (NIV): 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Because God works through individual people to share his word, the ability to recognize God for most people, involves the skill to discern their beliefs, doctrines and understanding of Jesus as the Christ, the Savior of the World.

1 John 4:1-3 (NIV): 1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Lazarus and Rich Man

To recognize Jesus Christ, it’s critical that one also believes what has been recorded in the Bible prior to his coming, by the prophets and teachers like Moses, Abraham, King David, Solomon, Isaiah, Micah, and likewise other witnesses of God, the Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  God explains that evidence provided over thousands of years as to what to look for in the Savior Jesus Christ is absolutely abundantly adequate for people who are open to believing.  For those who wish to use their reasoning to disbelieve, to follow their own ways, and ignore God, even more fantastic evidence would just be discarded.  That is, if after so much evidence and miracles and prophesies, they are too little for a person’s impossible standards, well, their standards, methods, approaches, and motives to reasoning need serious review.

Luke 16:19-31 (NIV): 19 There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 ” ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ “

Star and Birth in Bethlehem

How is it that Jesus is understood and recognized as the way to God, as the Savior of the World?  The promises of God to send a savior involved several specifics, such as the birthplace as Bethlehem in the land of Judah.

Matthew 2:1-7 (NIV): 1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

The quote the Jewish people offered to King Herod was from the Jewish book of Micah 5:2.  Further examining the prophesy in Micah 5:2 reveals clues to recognize the identity and origins of the savior as from ancient times.

Micah 5:2 (NIV): 2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

The wise from the east, likely from the territory we’d name as the middle east today, travelled a long distance to give gifts to the savior Jesus, while still just a baby under the protective hand of God the Father, because they reverently recognized his importance.

Matthew 2:9-12 (NIV): 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Crucifixion & Burial & Resurrection Prophesies

The ancient prophesies about Jesus started to be fulfilled before his birth, then as a baby, and later into adulthood, followed also by his death, burial, and resurrection.  If you are open to evidence to help you use your reason to recognize God, there are 300 different prophecies about Jesus, The Christ, covered at the website http://bibleprobe.com/300great.htm , and several prophecies about Jesus as the Son of God come as on of us available at http://www.100prophecies.org/evidence.htm , and a yet another list of prophesies at the website http://www.aboutbibleprophecy.com/messianic.htm .

Beyond prophesies, the disciples of Jesus performed miracles in his name after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascent to heaven.  To understand how miracles are consistent with the science of world’s, visit the CreationOpia website at http://CreationOpia.WordPress.com to learn about that paradigm, to overcome limitations narrow science often portrays, by ignoring a broader spectrum of fields like computer science.

In Acts 4:9-14 is just one account of the miracles performed by the disciple Peter and John after Jesus’s death and resurrection to help you recognize Jesus Christ’s divinity, his ancient heavenly origins.

Acts 4:9-14 (NIV): 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is ” ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

Sow & Seek & Learn

As you seek to recognize the righteousness of God as revealed through Jesus Christ, follow through.  Do your part to learn God’s word, to plant the seeds of eternal life by being disciples who learn God’s word in the Bible.  Be open to letting go of grudges, forgiving others, and caring for others.  Show God you wish to turn from doing evil and repent from hating others.  This is summarized eloquently by the prophet Hosea in Hosea 10:12.

Hosea 10:12 (NIV): 12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.

You of your own reasoning can never fully know God.  Yet, God calls you to seek him while he can be recognized and found by you.  God wishes to see you searching for him, as yet another avenue for God to elect you to know him intimately, which is impossible to do unless God’s votes to elect you into his private circle.

Matthew 6:33 (NIV): 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Isaiah 55:5-9 (NIV): 5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.” 6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

So, once you are ordained into God’s favor, make your calling and election sure, through these guidelines the apostle Peter instructs us to follow to properly build upon our faith in Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-11 (NIV): 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Before this happens, recognize that God looks to see who will search for him, and who will turn to the Lord.

Psalm 53:2 (NIV): 2 God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

Unfortunately, without guidance from God or from those who know God, no one is wise to seek God on their own.

Psalm 53:3 (NIV): 3 Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

So, God choses to inform people we know about God and the wisdom of God.  This is so they can reflect that wisdom and knowledge to us.  The reflecting provides us a reasonable option, the choice, the chance to recognize and come to know God.  God sent prophets and other messengers to inform us of God’s will, wisdom, and ways.  The apostle Paul, whom God blinded, restored vision, and revealed his word, was chosen by God for this purpose from birth.

Galations 1:13-17 (NIV): 13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.

Righteousness by Faith

The apostle Paul sought to teach others to recognize the correct view of God, that can only be known through the redemptive faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  It is so important to have the correct view of God.  Those teaching a different gospel will be eternally condemned by God!  Wow!  So, search deeply the scriptures contained in The Bible, join a church that teaches that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, and watch out, be on guard for any false teachings that are contrary to the written revealed word of The Bible.

Galations 1:6-10 (NIV): 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

What is the message to which the apostle Paul speaks to have us recognize? It is the message that, although we are undeserving, God has promised grace to those who believe, whom Jesus Christ will justify by paying the penalty of death required of sinners. Jesus Christ is able to pay the penalty, because he bore the cost for us when he was unjustly crucified on the cross for our sins.

Galations 2:15-21 (NIV): 15 “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. 17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

True Faith Accompanied by Actions

Because we are justified by faith rather than works, does this mean that faith is without works? Quite the contrary, faith is perfected by works. Works are evidence of faith. Yet, works can never justify those who sinned already. True faith is accompanied by works. Faith without works is dead. Recognize that doing good never justifies any wrong we’ve done.

James 2:14-18 (NIV): 14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

There are many people who honestly believe there is one God, even acknowledge and recognize Jesus Christ as God.  Does that mean they are saved?  During Jesus’ life work, several demons recognized Jesus as the holy one, yet they were not saved.  So, what type of faith are we talking about?  Academic faith that acknowledges and recognizes who the one true God is only?  No, much more than an academic faith.  True faith is strong enough to manifest itself in action and in heartfelt obedience to God.  True faith loves and forgives and repents and obeys.  True faith envelops ones mind, heart, and figuratively, one’s hands.

James 2:19-26 (NIV): 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

True faith relies upon God’s promises to those who are sincere and faithful.

Romans 10:6-13 (NIV): 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Ask God to Increase Belief & Decrease Unbelief

In what category is your faith?  Ask God to help you to recognize him and have faith accompanied by works and to help you both to bolster your belief and to overcome your unbelief.

Matthew 9:24 (NIV): 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Recognizing & Reasoning: Further Study

To recognize God correctly, requires your reasoning, and recurring reading and reflection upon God’s Word found in The Bible at websites like The Bible Gateway http://www.biblegateway.com and an audio bible at http://www.audio-bible.com/nasb .  You can help your reasoning and recognizing skills by listening to preachers like Miles McPherson at the http://www.therocksandiego.org and Pastor Chris Rowney at http://www.tcfnet.org.au , who entertain, educate, and edify, and use multimedia  formats like Apple iTunes.  Finding a local church that follows Jesus and recognizes his divinity can also help you to better learn more about Jesus.

Key Points: Recognizing & Reasoning

  1. Without God reaching out to people, people would never __________ God and would instead pursue their own fallen ways. Even when God reaches out and _______ his word, many people experience difficulty recognizing it. The pride of human _______ can be a stumbling block to recognizing God’s wisdom. Failure to recognize God in the present has far-reaching ___________ into the future.
  2. The account of Lazarus and the rich man teaches us that the scriptural _________ over thousands of years are sufficient for the open-minded to recognize Jesus Christ, and even more evidence would be ________ by the close-minded.
  3. The _______ men recognized Jesus even as an infant, reasoning from scriptural prophesies. Hundreds of specific scriptural ________ testify that Jesus is the promised messiah by announcing beforehand Jesus’ life, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The ________ by the Apostles in Jesus’ name further showcase God’s continued witness.
  4. God wishes to see people _______ for him, for him to show them _______.  The only way to reach God’s righteousness is through _______ in Jesus Christ rather than the _____ of the law.
  5. True _____ confesses Jesus is Lord. It loves, forgives, repents, and obeys. It is perfected and accompanied by ______ emanating from heartfelt obedience to God and a _______ that God raised Jesus from the dead.
  6. You are responsible to make your ______ and ______ sure” by making every effort to add in increasing measure to your faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love as scriptures prescribe. “If you do these things, you will never _____” and “you will receive a ______ welcome into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
  7. When you have doubts, recognize your current _______ level and pray to God to help you overcome your ________, to be most effective in recognizing and following God.

Discussion Questions: Recognizing & Reasoning

(1) When you learned about the religious leader (the Pharisee) and the tax collector, what does that tell you about the dangers of religiosity, and the importance to be humble before God and ask forgiveness for your sins?

(2) What in life do you believe in despite your doubts? How come you still believe? How does that relate to your beliefs & doubts about God?

(3) Were you surprised to learn that God expected you to responsibly tend to the quality of your soil? What can you do to make yourself to have “ground” receptive to God’s words which are designed to benefit you?

(4) Often time early impressions are difficult to overcome despite being inaccurate. Does your early impression about Jesus’ life offend you or those you know? How so? Are you or they able to suspend their offense long enough to learn more about God to overcome this early impression?

(5) What evidence standards do you apply for believing in past events? What are your evidence standards for identifying whether to believe in God and his Son Jesus based upon God’s historical interventions? What is reasonable?

(6) Does it make sense for an eternal God to prophesy thousands of years ahead of time about the sending a Savior? What is the benefit to using symbols in the sky to accompany prophesies? Would it surprise you to know scientific astronomy software showed the Star of Bethlehem occurred historically? (Learn more at the website http://www.bethlehemstar.net/ about the Star of Bethlehem DVD)

(7) How many Prophesies about Jesus our Savior are you aware of? What are the key Prophesies for you? Why?

(8) Is it more important who you are becoming, who you follow, or what you do? How would you expect who you are becoming and who you follow to result in what you do? What things can you learn about what a person is following by observing what they do? What are the limits of observation and how does hypocrisy manifest those limits?

Next Steps

Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

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

Hand Drawn Recognizing & Reasoning Roadmap

Reapers Roadmap 9 R's Focus on Recognizing and Reasoning Hand Drawn

Key Points: Recognizing & Reasoning: Answers

  1. Without God reaching out to people, people would never    recognize    God and would instead pursue their own fallen ways. Even when God reaches out and    reveals    his word, many people experience difficulty recognizing it. The pride of human    wisdom   can be a stumbling block to recognizing God’s wisdom. Failure to recognize God in the present has far-reaching    consequences    into the future.
  2. The account of Lazarus and the rich man teaches us that the scriptural    evidence    over thousands of years are sufficient for the open-minded to recognize Jesus Christ, and even more evidence would be    discarded / rejected    by the close-minded.
  3. The    wise    men recognized Jesus even as an infant, reasoning from scriptural prophesies. Hundreds of specific scriptural    prophesies    testify that Jesus is the promised messiah by announcing beforehand Jesus’ life, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The    miracles    by the Apostles in Jesus’ name further showcase God’s continued witness.
  4. God wishes to see people    searching    for him, for him to show them    mercy   .  The only way to reach God’s righteousness is through    faith    in Jesus Christ rather than the    works    of the law.
  5. True    faith    confesses Jesus is Lord. It loves, forgives, repents, and obeys. It is perfected and accompanied by    actions / works / deeds    emanating from heartfelt obedience to God and a    belief    that God raised Jesus from the dead.
  6. You are responsible to make your     calling    and    election    sure” by making every effort to add in increasing measure to your faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love as scriptures prescribe. “If you do these things, you will never    fail   ” and “you will receive a    rich    welcome into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
  7. When you have doubts, recognize your current    belief    level and pray to God to help you overcome your    unbelief   , to be most effective in recognizing and following God.


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Reapers Roadmap Focus on Receiving and Rooting Visual

Review and then Focus on Receiving & Rooting

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 Receiving & Rooting

It’d be great if everyone believed and received the word of God for their own eternal benefit. This opens the door for God to work to improve their hearts. It’d be great if all people nourished this belief diligently, a process we’ll call rooting here based on the Parable of the Sower. God calls us to seek his kingdom and righteousness as the top priority, showing the high importance to create roots in God’s world, words, and ways.

Matthew 6:33 (NIV): 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

God is asking you to seek his kingdom and righteousness, because God is willing to help you find it, to search and discover what is good, right, and holy.

Matthew 7:7-12 (NIV): 7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Dig Deep Roots

We know that God calls us to seek his kingdom and righteousness as our first priority.  God is watching us, and as a result of us seeking the kingdom and righteousness of God as a first priority, God will provide our life essentials like food and clothes.  For those who receive the word of God and aim to dig deep roots, God commits to keep the worries of life and deceitfulness of wealth from interfering, even though it is self-inflicted by those who use their reason to reject God’s ways.

Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV): 24 “No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money. 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

To find God’s kingdom, though, the believer needs to be born again of the Spirit of God as children of God.

John 3:3 (NIV): 3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” 4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

As we seek God’s righteousness and his kingdom, it is important to ask God to help repair our eyes, so we can properly live in the light, receive the Holy Spirit, and recognize the truth.

Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV): 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

By believing and receiving God’s word, we are given the right to become children of God. This is a right for our soul to be born again by the Holy Spirit of God. We are unable of our own power to do this, since this way of life is naturally foreign to us. We are unable to do what is right all the time due to our sinful nature. We are unable to completely change our own heart and ways ourselves. We are only able to be born again by God’s divine intervention, and hence by God’s divine choice for this to take place, a choice God made after our belief.

John 1:9-13 (NIV): 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.

Our journey to become children of God starts with faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God and continues to be fulfilled in faith.  While the faith manifests itself in works, our works never earn us the title of righteousness, though a lack of works is evidence of a lack of faith.  Putting your trust, your faith, in Jesus, is the only solid foundation, the only solid rock, as the scriptures say.

Romans 9:30-33 (NIV): 30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” 33 As it is written:
“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

The righteousness of God that we seek to guide our lives is a righteousness rooted deeply in faith in Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:16-17 (NIV):16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

God is gracious and sees our belief and our effort to know him better. God uses our belief and helps us with our unbelief to work his word and will in our lives, souls, and mind. God causes changes by giving us a new heart and adopting us as his children through his divine intervention.

1 John 3:1-3 (NIV): 1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

Regardless of how we come to receive the Son of God, God is generous, and will reward people who receive him, his apostles, and his disciples.

Matthew 10:40-42 (NIV): 40 “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41 Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

As children of God, we are in the process of becoming more like God, as the Holy Spirt reveals God to us through his Son Jesus Christ.  Yet, we must be careful to avoid self-deception as people who are quick to stroke their self-esteem and place themselves in the prized category of the righteous as children of God.  Scripture challenges us on this, calling us to back up this self-view with actions, and exhibit the faith internally in our hearts, by caring for others, even those who mean us harm.

1 John 3:7-10 (NIV): 7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

We are called to reach out to communicate with God through prayer to help us through our life’s journey in a manner worthy of the honor to be called the children of God.  Jesus teaches us how to pray.

Matthew 6: 5-15 (NIV): 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
” ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Store Up Treasures in Heaven

As we seek God’s kingdom and righteousness, we must remember God’s children primary focus of their heart is to form roots that reach to heaven to eternity, rather than on the transitory treasures of this creation.

Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV): 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Branches of Belief Grafted to God’s Tree

There are similar analogies to receiving and rooting repeated throughout scriptures, such as a branch being grafted onto an olive tree, connected to its’ nourishing roots.  The Apostle Paul in the Book of Romans calls upon believers to remain in the kindness of God.  This is a call to remain in the grace of God, which was received through the faith that results in our being credited with righteousness.  The analogy is to a plant being grafted to a tree.  The believers in the Son of God are the plant that is grafted to the olive tree.  Each believer must decide to remain grafted into the tree.  Likewise, some who are currently unbelievers are given a chance to be grafted to the olive tree.  The olive tree is a metaphor for God’s source of nourishment for believers.

Romans 11:22-24 (NIV): 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

House on Rock Stands

Another similar analogy to having deep roots is a person building their house upon the rock.  In the desert area near Israel there are parts where the ground is hard like rock when it was dry, but then becomes unstable when the rains come.  Builders needed to dig deep enough to have their foundation on the rock deep below the grounds’ surface.  Likewise, the believer must dig deeply, so their faith is firmly resting upon a rock solid foundation, a foundation on the Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the rock, the foundation and cornerstone.  Jesus Christ shares here that “playing church” with only “surface deep” superficial worship is a completely unreliable foundation.  Those who truly receive, also root their faith to be strong enough to sincerely do what God commands.

Matthew 7:21-27 (NIV): 21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’  24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Key Points: Receiving & Rooting

  1. God asks you to seek his kingdom and righteousness, because God is willing to help you _______ it, to search and discover what is good, right, and holy. While you do this, God will provide life essentials like ______ and ______.
  2. God rewards people who _________ him, his apostles, and his disciples.
  3. Focus your heart to store up treasures ________ in heaven for eternity rather than earthly treasures in things that ______ and go _______.
  4. To be like a plant in _____ soil that produces abundantly, dig deep ______ in God’s word, way, and will. God _______ believers to his tree to be nourished by the roots, and ________ off unbelievers.
  5. Like a wise builder, each believer must dig deep enough to lay their faith firmly upon a rock solid _________, which is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to both hear God’s word and put them into ________.
  6. To see the Kingdom of God, you must be _____ again by water and the Spirit to receive a new ______ and be ________ as children, which only happens through _______ intervention after our _______.
  7. Children of God stop ______, do what is ______, _____ for others, and _____ all people, even those who mean them harm.
  8. Both the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Wise Builder show the importance to dig _______ to make one’s faith resilient to life’s storms, a process The Reapers Roadmap calls _________.

Discussion Questions: Receiving & Rooting

(1) What are your most prized treasures? How do you currently value God, friends, family, your possessions, power, health, and others? What is the proper way to value these in relation to each other?

(2) When the metaphoric storms of life present their challenges, where ultimately do you place your trust? Why? Will this lead to disappointment?

(3) What are your natural tendencies for behavior and thinking patterns? Are they good or bad?

(4) What can you do to facilitate the process to dig deep roots in the Lord? How can those around you help you in doing this? What is the risk if you omit this important step?

(5) How have you received the Word of God? How do continue to do so with increasing depth in knowledge and application?

Receiving & Rooting: Further Study

To dig roots deeper into the faith, read the bible at the Bible Gateway http://www.biblegateway.com and at the Net Bible Online http://net.bible.org/home.php .  You can also hear sermons online at the Mars Hill Church http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/sermons , and look for a Christian Church to join locally.

Next Steps

Continue your studies on the Parable of the Sower:

Invitation to Delve Deeply into the Parable of the Sower

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

Hand Drawn Receiving & Rooting Roadmap

Reapers Roadmap 9 R's Focus on Receiving and Rooting Hand Drawn

Key Points: Receiving & Rooting: Answers

  1. God asks you to seek his kingdom and righteousness, because God is willing to help you    find    it, to search and discover what is good, right, and holy. While you do this, God will provide life essentials like    food    and    clothing   .
  2. God rewards people who     receive    him, his apostles, and his disciples.
  3. Focus your heart to store up treasures    rooted    in heaven for eternity rather than earthly treasures in things that    decay    and go    away   .
  4. To be like a plant in    good    soil that produces abundantly, dig deep    roots    in God’s word, way, and will. God    grafts    believers to his tree to be nourished by the roots, and    cuts / breaks    off unbelievers.
  5. Like a wise builder, each believer must dig deep enough to lay their faith firmly upon a rock solid    foundation   , which is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to both hear God’s word and put them into    practice   .
  6. To see the Kingdom of God, you must be    born    again by water and the Spirit to receive a new    heart    and be    adopted    as children, which only happens through    divine    intervention after our    belief   .
  7. Children of God stop    sinning   , do what is    right   ,    care    for others, and    love    all people, even those who mean them harm.
  8. Both the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Wise Builder show the importance to dig    deep / deeply    to make one’s faith resilient to life’s storms, a process The Reapers Roadmap calls    Rooting   .


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Reapers Roadmap Focus on Resisting and Reasoning Visual

Reapers Roadmap Review (The 9 R’s Roadmap) and then Focus on Resisting & Reasoning

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.

Resisting & Reasoning Review

Many people know and have heard God’s word is good, yet resist and ignore it to their own present and eternal detriment. Some suspect obeying God will mean turning from their sinful ways and lifestyles that they want to continue. Some fear society will impart a cost like rejection and reduced influence in life. Some are worried their wealth outlook in life will be reduced by choosing what is right. Similarly, the parable of the sower presents the worries of life and deceitfulness of wealth as the reasons. These people use their reasoning capability to decide it’s better to focus on other things in life, so they’d rather ignore, resist, and reject God’s word, than to seek it out with their whole heart, mind, and body.

Parable of the Sower Explained: 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.

We see God’s sorrow for Israel, as they resist God, and willingly forgo God’s generous grace and mercy, that God’s will prefers, and longs for them to embrace.

Matthew 23:37 (NIV): 37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.

The time each person has to search for and recognize God and God’s word is limited, while God can be found, as the scripture reveals in Isaiah 55:6, so it’s important to learn the truth when the opportunity presents itself.

Isaiah 55:6 (NASB): 6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

Focus on Resisting & Reasoning

Jesus has authorized his followers to reveal to the world what he shared in secret, even though the world often resists and rejects it.

Matthew 10:27 (NIV): 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

Those who resist God’s word have been known to resort to name calling, physical abuse, betrayal, hatred, and killing too.

Matthew 10:17-25 (NIV): 17 “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!

Those who resist and reject God’s good news of grace through belief are subjected to God’s law, which exposes their guilt, obligations, and condemnation.  It is much better to receive God’s word and sincerely seek to understand it, so as to receive God’s grace and mercy guaranteed by his promises, rather than judgement.

1 Timothy 1:8-11 (NIV): 8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

When opposed, Jesus the Son of God stressed the importance to believe in the miracles, to come to know the truth of his identity, even for those who were currently not of his flock.

John 14:11 (NIV): 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

Because of this, it’s important to learn more about Jesus’ miracles, and how those miracles mirror and match the work God performed prior to his coming.  The Bible shows several prophets who worked through God to perform miracles and also shows Jesus the Son of God performing similar miracles.  For those who are scientifically inclined, and wish to know how science is consistent with miracles, you can later read the CreationOpia blog at http://CreationOpia.WordPress.com to understand a paradigm that provides a scientific vantage point on God’s performing miracles.

Miracles: God and the Son of God

There are several miracles that God performed prior to sending the Son of God, Jesus Christ who performed similar miracles according to God’s will.  These miracles include resurrections, healings, controlling nature, and feeding people.

Resurrections

The prophet Elijah asked God and the boy was raised back to life by God.

1 Kings 17: 17-24 (NIV): 17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” 19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 20 Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” 22 The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

Likewise, Jesus the Son of God raised Jairus’ daughter back to life.

Mark 5:35-43 (NIV): 35 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?” 36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” ). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

A widow’s son was made alive again by Jesus the Son of God.

Luke 7:11-17 (NIV): 11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.14 Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

Jesus the Son of God also restored Lazarus’ life after he’d already been dead four days.

John 11:38-43 (NIV): 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.

Healings

Prior to Jesus, Elisha, a prophet and messenger from the Lord, healed Naaman, the commander of King Aram’s army, of a skin disease.

2 Kings 5:9-16 (NIV): 9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”  11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. 13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. 15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant.” 16 The prophet answered, “As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

Likewise, Jesus the Son of God cured people of their skin disease too.

Luke 5:12-16 (NIV): 12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.

Luke 17:11-19 (NIV): 11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosymet him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.

Controlling Nature

Jonah was sent by God to preach to the great city Nineveh about their upcoming destruction because of their wickedness, in a place located in the middle east today.  The great city contained 120,000 people, plus many animals, and usually took 3 days to travel from end-to-end.  Jonah was disobedient and went the other way on a ship headed for Spain.  God sent a storm by Jonah was sleeping.  God calmed the storm after Jonah was thrown into the sea.

Jonah 1:11-17 (NIV): 11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”  12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” 13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried to the LORD, “O LORD, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O LORD, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him. 17 But the LORD provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

At Jesus’ the Son of God’s word the storms calmed.

Luke 8: 22-25 (NIV): 22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Feedings

God provided food called manna in the desert for Israel on their way to the promised land.

Exodus 16:4-5 (NIV): 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

Exodus 16:31-32 (NIV): 31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the desert when I brought you out of Egypt.’ “

Jesus fed 5,000 men plus women and children, starting with only 5 bread loaves and 2 fishes.

Luke 9:13-17 (NIV): 13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

More Miracles Ahead

Jesus performed many miracles.  Further miracles performed include healing a paralytic (see Luke 5:17-26), healing a shrivelled hand (see Luke 6:6-11), curing a centurion’s servant (see Luke 7:1-9), and more that you can learn about further in the Bible in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John at the Net Bible Online http://www.netbible.org , which also contains information on the original Greek words with translators notes.  For those who are scientifically inclined, and wish to know how science is consistent with miracles, you can later read the CreationOpia blog at http://CreationOpia.WordPress.com to understand a paradigm that provides a scientific vantage point on God’s performing miracles.

Keep Reasoning to Question Any Resisting Before It’s Too Late

Jesus, the Son of God, intercedes with the God the Father, on our behalf, to provide us the opportunity to learn more about God, so we can believe and repent from our wrongdoing.  Be happy that God has provided you an opportunity to learn more, consider your ways, learn about God’s ways, and to repent.

Luke 13:1-9 (NIV): 1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” 6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 ” ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’

Go and learn more, knowing the time each person has to search for and recognize God and God’s word is limited, while God can be found, as the scripture reveals in Isaiah 55:6.

Isaiah 55:6 (NASB): 6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

The website http://www.biblica.com/bible/audio contains audio versions of the bible in the New International Version (NIV) and Today’s NIV (TNIV) translations, while the website http://www.biblegateway.com contains various textual translations, plus links to audio too.  As the bible can be difficult to understand clearly, recommend you listen to preachers at http://www.sermonaudio.com .  You can also reference sermon audio, books, and articles online at http://www.desiringgod.org too.

Key Points: Resisting & Reasoning

  1. Because God cares for how people turn out, God is ________ when people are unwilling to follow his wise council since God knows the disastrous eternal consequences.
  2. Excessively _______ about life and obsessively pursuing the deceitfulness of _______ causes many to _______ and _______ God’s life plans personally.
  3. People who ______ and ______ God’s will personally are often found oppressing God’s people collectively.
  4. Believe Jesus’ ______ directly or believe the evidence of the _________, to come to know the truth about Jesus’ identity.
  5. Recorded __________ miracles teach us God’s power over death, like when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter and the widow’s son and Lazarus, and Elijah raising the woman’s son.
  6. Amazing ________ miracles demonstrate God’s supremacy over our human body like when Elisha and Jesus cured skin diseases.
  7. Shocking miracles controlling ________ exhibit God’s dominance over creations’ physical elements, like the storm resting when Jonah was thrown overboard, and Jesus calming the fierce lake storm with his rebuke.
  8. God’s ________ miracles showcase the extremes God goes to provide, like when God provided _______ in the desert for Israel and Jesus provided for thousands, with only 5 bread loaves and 2 fishes.
  9. Jesus’ miracles ______ and ______ those performed by God previously, adding credibility to believing Jesus’ identity as the Son of God the Father.
  10. Use your _________ to question any resisting and rejecting before it is too late by _______ for God while he can be found and _________ so you will not perish.

Discussion Questions: Resisting & Reasoning

(1) Have you ever stubbornly ignored wise advice that you later regretted ignoring? When did you come to realize it? How could you have been more open minded to wise advice?

(2) Have you or a friend ever resisted or rejected Jesus? What insights do you have into why? What happened? Is God still tugging at the person’s heart? Is it too late for the person? In what ways is the person open or closed minded?

(3) What concerns and desires in this life distract from focusing on the eternal prize God offers?

(4) Why did Jesus perform miracles? Was that his primary mission? How are Jesus’ miracles like those God performed via earlier messengers?

(5) What witness do Jesus’ miracles show about his character, his origins, and his endorsement by God the Father?

(6) Do you have difficulty understanding miracles? Does your lack of understanding hinder your belief or strengthen your belief, knowing God is beyond us?

(7) What questions do you want God to grant you to find & share insights about as you investigate scriptures and learn from his people?

(8) If you could perform miracles like healings, feedings, controlling nature, and resurrections, what would you do? How would you aim to influence others’ belief’s when asking God to perform miracles through you? What can you accomplish in your lifetime to help others just by applying worldly tools like charity and medicine and influence? What will you do?

(9) What can you offer from your journey to know God that will be helpful to those with you who are struggling to know if God is, who God is, and whether to follow 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

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

 

Hand Drawn Resisting & Reasoning

Reapers Roadmap 9 R's Focus on Resisting and Reasoning Hand Drawn


Key Points: Resisting & Reasoning: Answers

  1. Because God cares for how people turn out, God is    sorrowful    when people are unwilling to follow his wise council since God knows the disastrous eternal consequences.
  2. Excessively    worrying    about life and obsessively pursuing the deceitfulness of    wealth    causes many to    resist    and    reject    God’s life plans personally.
  3. People who    resist    and    reject    God’s will personally are often found oppressing God’s people collectively.
  4. Believe Jesus’    words    directly or believe the evidence of the    miracles   , to come to know the truth about Jesus’ identity.
  5. Recorded    resurrection    miracles teach us God’s power over death, like when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter and the widow’s son and Lazarus, and Elijah raising the woman’s son.
  6. Amazing    healing    miracles demonstrate God’s supremacy over our human body like when Elisha and Jesus cured skin diseases.
  7. Shocking miracles controlling    nature    exhibit God’s dominance over creations’ physical elements, like the storm resting when Jonah was thrown overboard, and Jesus calming the fierce lake storm with his rebuke.
  8. God’s    feeding    miracles showcase the extremes God goes to provide, like when God provided    manna    in the desert for Israel and Jesus provided for thousands, with only 5 bread loaves and 2 fishes.
  9. Jesus’ miracles    match    and    mirror    those performed by God previously, adding credibility to believing Jesus’ identity as the Son of God the Father.
  10. Use your    reasoning    to question any resisting and rejecting before it is too late by    searching    for God while he can be found and    repenting    so you will not perish.

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Reapers Roadmap Focus on Revealing

Focus on Revealing

The Bible’s Gospel of John 1:9-13 and the “Parable of the Sower” in Matthew 13:1-9 shows the way redemption generally happens, or regretfully fails to happen. The parable shows how people come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, or chose another course both for their life on earth and more importantly for eternity. God prefers that all will come to know him and offers the adoption right to become children of God to all who come to believe in him (John 1:9-13 (NIV): 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10He 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.)

Revealing Review

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 call 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.

God Revealing Word Like Farmer Sowing Seed

Jesus revealed in the related Parable of the Weeds, that the one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, who is Jesus, also known as the Son of God. Like the Parable of the Sower, the Parable of the Weeds instructs us that God Revealing his Word is like a Farmer Sowing Seeds.

Matthew 13:36-37: 36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

Look and Be Healed

God revealed his word many times to the Israelites through messengers granted grace from God to instruct his people. As the prophets predicted, God sent his Son Jesus Christ to be our savior and an example to us by his life and words, clarifying the way to God the Father.

John 3:14-18 (NIV): 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Revealing Faith: Abraham & Sarah’s Son by Faith

God reveals those trusting in his resurrected Son Jesus Christ have his promises, the right to be children of God, their sins forgiven, and righteousness credited to their account.

Romans 4:18-25 (NIV): 18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Revealing Promises by Faith

God calls us to believe, so God’s promises and guarantees can be ours.  To illustrate this key point, let’s say people committed evil atrocities, yet God grants them another chance to find him. Even though they deserve death and punishment, God will grant forgiveness, if they repent from your past ways and sincerely believe. Claim your right to become a child of God, through your faith, without turning back.

Romans 4:16-17 (NIV): 16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

Revealing Righteousness by Faith

King David of Israel elaborated upon the blessings of righteousness available through faith. Without God, works are futile. With faith in God works performed are evidence of your faith, and flow from your faith. Faith in God leads to forgiveness of believers sins. This is a blessing from God.

Romans 4:4-8 (NIV): 4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

Kiss the Son

King David in Psalms 2:10-12 reveals that people believed in the Son and knew his power prior to the Son of God’s coming. We are advantaged to believe in the Son after he authoritatively brought God’s cleansing word, endorsed by powerful merciful miracles.

Psalms 2: 10-12 (NIV): 10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.  Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Revealing Jesus the Way: Jesus & Cross, Faith & Forgiven

The Holy Scripture clearly reveals the only true way to God the Father is through God the Son, as the Bible witnesses several times. To reject the Son of God is to reject God the Father and to fall outside God’s eternal life promises. By presenting this challenging truth, God reveals our choice and its’ consequences. Use your reason to consider and choose carefully where you’ll place your belief.

John 3:31-36 (NIV): 31 “The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

Revealing Jesus’ Burial Preparations

Jesus Christ the Son of God entered our world to live a sinless life and die unjustly. Since he did not deserve to die, that death penalty payment Jesus is free to apply to forgive sins of believers, who are instructed to live righteous lives. Shortly prior to Jesus’ death, a woman prepared his live body for burial with expensive perform, as recounted in the Bible’s Gospel of Mark 14:3-9, emphasizing the centrality of Jesus’ death.

Mark 14: 3-9 (NIV): 3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. 4 Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. 6 Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. 8 She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. 9 I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.

Revealing: Further Study

The Bible reveals much more about God and about his Son Jesus Christ.  To learn more, read the bible at the Bible Gateway http://www.biblegateway.com or use the Net Bible Translation at http://www.netbible.org .  Learn more listening to audio sermons and reviewing instructional materials, courtesy of preachers like David Legge at http://www.preachtheword.com .

Key Points: Revealing

  1. God sent his Son Jesus Christ to be our ________.
  2. Like a farmer ______ seeds, Jesus Christ has been ________ God’s Words.
  3. As the Lord instructed Moses to put a bronze ______ on a pole for all to look to _____, similarly the Lord Jesus Christ was placed on the cross for all ________ to have eternal ______.
  4. Abraham’s ______ in God was credited to him as righteousness, like God will credit righteousness to _________ in Jesus Christ.
  5. Righteousness is by a sincere ______, from which flows external _______ as evidence to one’s internal faith.
  6. The only true way to God the Father is through God the _____, who is Jesus Christ.
  7. All kings and rulers in authority are wisely advised to _______ the Son.
  8. The woman poured very expensive ________ on Jesus’ head to prepare his body beforehand for _________.

Discussion Questions

(1) Who is Jesus? What do you think? What does the Bible say about Jesus?

(2) Why did God the Father send his Son Jesus on a mission that included his Son being killed via crucifixion?

(3) How is Jesus as Savior like Moses’ Snake on the Pole?

(4) What role does faith and belief have in being saved for eternal life?

(5) Why is it best for even kings and rulers in authority to “kiss the Son”?

(6) If God made a promise to you that defied your understanding of nature would you believe like Abraham did?

(7) Who else in scriptures exhibited faith against the odds and how did it turn out?

(8) Who is ultimately responsible behind the scenes for you hearing God’s word? Who is ultimately responsible for your accepting & following God’s word?

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

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

 

Hand Drawn Revealing Roadmap

Reapers Roadmap 9 R's Focus on Revealing Hand Drawn

Key Points: Revealing: Answers

  1. God sent his Son Jesus Christ to be our    Savior   .
  2. Like a farmer    sowing    seeds, Jesus Christ has been    revealing    God’s Words.
  3. As the Lord instructed Moses to put a bronze    snake    on a pole for all to look to    live   , similarly the Lord Jesus Christ was placed on the cross for all    believers / followers    to have eternal    life   .
  4. Abraham’s    faith    in God was credited to him as righteousness, like God will credit righteousness to    believers / followers    in Jesus Christ.
  5. Righteousness is by a sincere    faith   , from which flows external    works    as evidence to one’s internal faith.
  6. The only true way to God the Father is through God the    Son   , who is Jesus Christ.
  7. All kings and rulers in authority are wisely advised to    Kiss    the Son.
  8. The woman poured very expensive    perfume / cologne   / fragrance    on Jesus’ head to prepare his body beforehand for    burial   .

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