The Big Picture – Part 21

I have recapped the first 10 Parts in Part 11. Now lets recap Parts 11 through 20 so the Big Picture is not too big.

Part 11 – Repent. That is message that John the Baptist came preaching. He was saying your going the wrong way. Turn around and go back to God. Quit trusting in your Self, serving Self, and doing your own will. Trust God, serve Him and do His will. This takes faith, true belief. Not belief that just agrees but belief that takes action and exhibits faith in what you say.

Part 12 – I will make you fishers of men. We waver at the point of faith. Can we trust God? The proof is in the walk, not the talk. The commitment to follow Him requires, demands, no less than your whole life, past, present and future. If you are there mending your nets and He comes and says, “Follow Me”, you must drop your net (e.g. your entire hope for future security) and follow Him. Any man having put His hand to the plough and looking back is not worthy. Why? Why would anyone drop their net and follow? It is the look into the face of God in Christ that captures us. We know His love instantly and we love Him because He first loved us. It is the deepest, most intense, need of man, every man. And He is the only source that satisfies.

Part 13 – We looked at the heart and thus the motivation for following God and doing His will. What is the desire of the heart? A servant serves most commonly out of fear of what might happen if he does not do the will of his master. The disciple is enticed along by the rewards of following his master and learning his way. But the son, the son has only one motive — love. We are each given the power (not the promise) to become sons of God. It is a matter of the heart. The only thing that will get you there is your love for the Father through Christ. Many serve God, some follow Him, few become sons although it is God greatest desire that He would have many sons with Him in glory. It’s a matter of the heart.

Part 14 – If your heart is the soil and the Word the seed, then the growth and fruit are products of the care and nurture of the soil. The seed of Christ planted in you must be given nourishment and it is God’s will that you produce fruit in keeping with righteousness. Read the parable of the four soils. It is the heart again that tells the story. Of course God waters and gives the increase but we must stretch our ear to hear the Word. We must bend our body toward the Light. We must seek the Son while He may be found. A good heart is full of faith and desire to know and love God. A bad heart, like a bad tree does not produce good fruit.

Part 15 – It is all about the fruit. Gods first mandate was to be fruitful and multiply. God is looking for a return on His investment — Christ Jesus — in the earth. He planted Him before the foundations of the earth and He is returning for a harvest. Yet there are tares, religious counterfeits, that appear to be the real thing, intermixed with the real fruit — the wheat. It is hard to tell from looking. Religion is always selling a form of righteousness to the ready buyer of lies that tickle the ears. We cannot tell which will yield the fruit of godly righteousness till the final harvest. We need to let them alone. He knows how to separate, He looks on the heart while men look on the outside.

Part 16 – There is a joy that is laid up for those who are faithful sons of God. The work of sanctification, of becoming the sons of God, must do its work in us. There is a submission to the will of God out of love for God that keeps you in the fires of sanctification. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Tim. 3:12. To be sure there is a testing of the heart and the mind and the will to see who will endure to the end. But there is also a great and tremendous joy awaiting. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:8. It is for the joy set before us that we endure and suffer many things.

Part 17 – It is our faith that will demonstrate that we are in fact the sons of God. When Satan comes to accuse God of unrighteousness in the redemption of man, God will only have to point at His sons to end the argument (as if God needed to be justified). It is faith working out and through men and women that will prove God and silence the accusation of the enemy and his entourage. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4. “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Rev. 1:17.

Part 18 – The sons of God are fathers-in-training. Just as when and as Christ continually followed His Father, trusted Him, obeyed Him, loved Him and did His will, He continually revealed the Father and His heart to us, so the sons of God will become conformed to the image of Christ and hence God as they submit themselves to the loving, righteous authority and will of both their heavenly and their spiritual father on earth. God wants all of us in spiritual relationship with others. There are those who watch over our souls and travail for us before the throne of God. These are fathers. If you want to know who your spiritual father is you will need to listen very closely with spiritual ears to hear the voice of your heavenly Father. You will find God speaking to you through your spiritual father. You will hear His voice.

Part 19 – God is busy working through His Holy Spirit in cooperation with your submitted will to produce the sons of God. The sons of God are those who have the character and likeness of their heavenly Father. They are not brought there kicking and screaming, but are drawn along through many treacherous and harmful paths by the power of the love of God working in them. The sons of God will overcome many difficult beatings, persecutions, afflictions, trials and temptations to prove that God in fact is in them working to will and do of His good pleasure. In the end it is love for God, unselfish, agape love, the love of God Himself that keeps you in the fires, conforming you to His perfect image. The end product of the obedience you learn by the things you suffer is Christlikeness.

Part 20 – It is the character of Christ that God is after. He is the firstborn among many brethren. He is the first fruit of more to come. Jesus is THE Son of God. God wants many more like Him. The Holy Spirit and the Word (both written and revelatory) are working together to encourage and press us on to maturity in Christ. Christ suffered, we will also suffer. We must allow God to use these outward things to work in us to remove all that is not Christ-like, all that is not the fruit of the Spirit (e.g. Christ Himself) in us. “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2 NLT. Satan, the world and the many enemies and trials they line up before us are Gods agents that He allows to help in the matter of conforming us to His image. So rejoice, you know you are loved.