Trt for Tri – Part 1

Try for Tri in Words

I have used “tri” as a word in the title of my blog this week even though I know it is not a legal word.  However, I ask you, my Reader, “What did you first think of when you read ‘tri’ in my title?  What words do you think of that begin with the prefix ‘tri’?”

TRIANGLE – TRICYCLE – TRIPOD
A triangle must have three sides.  If this mathematical figure lacked one of these three sides, it would just be an angle, or if it had four sides it would a rectangle.
A tricycle must have three wheels.  If it had only two wheels it would be a bicycle, and if it had four wheels it could be a wagon or a car.
A tripod must have three legs.  It would not be able to stand if it just had two legs, while if there were four legs it would be a table. 

My favorite “tri” word is TRINITY.   God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The word trinity combines “tri” for three and “unity” for one.  As the words of the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy state, “God in three persons, blessed Trinity.”  

 

 Try for Tri as 3 in 1 Images

Let’s expand our “tri” thinking a bit more.  What images come to your mind when you think of things that are composed of three parts, or are in a sense, 3 in 1?

APPLE – EARTH – EAR
When I think of an apple, I think of a round piece of fruit.  However, if I cut it into two pieces, I see this piece of fruit really has three parts: the skin, the flesh or meat, and the seeds.
When I think of the earth, I visualize the round sphere as one of the planets.  However, if I study science, I learn that the earth is made up of land, sea and sky.

 My favorite “tri” example of a 3 in 1 image is the TRINITY as portrayed in the drawing to the right.  C.S. Lewis said, “One reason I believe in the Trinity is that no human could have thought it up.”

Try for Tri in Me

To find the best example of how God reveals Himself as the Trinity, I look no further than to my body.  In Genesis 1:26, God says, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.”  I notice that when God speaks of Himself in this verse, He uses the pronoun “us.”  This refers to God in three persons as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  So, my Reader, what is the most evident way that we are made in the image of God?  We are created with body, soul and spirit!

 BODY – SOUL – SPIRIT
When thinking of my complete makeup, m
y first impression of myself is that of my body because it is the physical part that is most evident to my eyes.  Next, I think of my soul being defined as being mind, will and emotions.  Here again I see another example of the trinity within the threefold design.  Finally I focus upon my spirit which is my innermost being and the part of me that will live forever after physical death. I find an excellent example of how God perceives my totality in Matthew 9:20-22.  The story is about the woman who has been sick because of bleeding for twelve years.  When she touches the hem of Jesus’ garment, she is told that her faith has made her well.  The Greek work for well that is used here is “sozo” which refers to wholeness.  She was seeking healing for her body and she received it. This is entirely biblical because in Exodus 15:26, God says, “I am the Lord who heals you.” However, she also received spiritual life through faith.  John 3:1-21 is the most familiar scriptural passage about a person’s spirit needing to be born again. Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  When Adam and Eve sinned, the spirit of all people died and that is why I must be born again.  My body may need to be healed while my spirit must be born again. Now I come to the third part of my image in the likeness to God which is my soul. In Psalm 23:3, David says that the Lord restores his soul. To restore my soul means that God works with me to bring back my soul to its proper function.  As I stated earlier, because of the first sin mankind’s spirit died and when that happened the soul tried to take the place of the spirit.  I think of an equilateral triangle that has three equbody,soul,spirit#2fal sides.  God created me to have three equal parts of body, soul, and spirit.  However, when the spirit died, the soul grew to take its place.  The body stayed the same size because the nature of its physical being did not allow for a change of size. So now that the spirit is born again and is growing into its rightful size and purpose, the soul must be diminished. This is why it can be so hard for me to be led by the Holy Spirit because my spirit has not always had its rightful place and I have allowed my mind and will and emotions to rule my thinking and acting.

 Just as the Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit work in unity, so must the parts of my body, soul and spirit work together in unity.  “Tri” in me is evidence that I am made in the image of the Triune God!

As I bring this blog to a conclusion, I want to let you, my Reader, know that this is the first of a trilogy (another “tri” word) of blogs on the Trinity.  You may be asking why I am spending so much time with this topic.? My response is that I wish to glorify God by sharing with you my understanding of this unique concept of the Christian faith.  This week I hope to help you, my Reader, gain a better understanding of the Trinity through encouraging you to become aware of God’s image and presence around you and in you.  God reveals Himself to us in ways that we may easily overlook.  Philippians 2:13 says, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”  Just look around you and see if you can behold a new insight of how God is showing Himself to you.  God may be working in you in ways you do not perceive.

 In closing, I want you, my Reader, to remember that Deuteronomy 6:4 says that our is one.  Yet, He has chosen to reveal Himself as three in one to us.  With these thoughts in mind, here is one last “tri” image from scripture that I would like to share with you.  It is found in Matthew 3: 16&17,:

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.
 At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Joyfully,
Cheryl

Challenge for the week: Please respond to me other “tri” images or words that you become aware of this week. Watch next week for the responses that I receive.

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Remember Boston – April 15, 2013

REMEMBER GOD as you REMEMBER BOSTON April 15, 2013

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Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
Psalm 46:10
Currently there is much turmoil, but we must quiet our minds and rely on God.
Some questions may never be answered but that does not mean God is not in control.

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Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
Psalm 126:5
Go ahead and cry.  God knows how you feel.

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Put my tears in Your bottle; are they not in Your book?
Psalm 56:8
God is aware of every tear that is being shed.

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Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper! Psalm 39:10
Cry out to the Lord for help.  He will meet your every need.

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And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Revelation 7:17
Feel the hand of God reaching out and wiping away the tears.

free daisyTrust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
We cannot understand but we can trust God.

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Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us
. Ephesians 3:20
 He has the whole world in His powerful hands.

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Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
We have the promise of a glorious eternal day yet to come.

Joyfully, Cheryl

Challenge for the week:  Pray for everyone personally touched by this tragedy in Boston.

PEACE that does not CEASE

Even though I have read a specific scripture many times, I can always discover something new about a passage! Since we just celebrated Easter less than two weeks ago, I have still been reading about the events during this period of sacred history. Today the verse that stands out for me is John 20:19.   These are the first words Jesus speaks to his disciples after his resurrection: “Peace be with you!”  He didn’t say, “Hi!” or “Glad to see you!”  This must have been a pressing message that Jesus wanted to share with these men.  I can identify with this sense of urgency.  If I want to share something exciting with my daughter, I will call her and probably the first thing I will say is, “Guess what!” and then go on to share whatever is on my mind.  At a time like this, I most likely forget the phone etiquette of asking how she is or what she is doing before sharing my news with her.  Now back to Jesus, he simply said, “Peace be with you!”  The setting for this statement is in a locked room where the disciples were hiding from the Jews.   I think about how reassuring these words must have been to these eleven men. The end of verse 20 records that the disciples were overjoyed with this message.

FREEDOVE31

  What is this peace that Jesus is so excited about sharing with his disciples?  According to the definition in the Spirit Filled Life Bible, peace comes from the Greek word “eirene” and is defined as being a state of rest, quietness, and calmness; an absence of strife; tranquility.  It can refer to a harmonious relationship between God and men or among people.  When Jesus spoke these words, the disciples needed peace in both of these respects. They needed peace with God because they did not understand everything that had happened over the last few days and their minds were in turmoil.  They needed peace regarding their relationships with other people because their fear of the Jews resulted in their hiding in a locked room.  However, this is not the first time Jesus shared with his disciples about their need for peace.  in John 16:33 Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

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Is Jesus still speaking these words of peace to me today?   Jesus says in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  If these words of Jesus have been preserved in scripture for me, then Jesus must have known there would be times when I would feel afraid. He is still offering me His peace for these times!  (An interesting study to do by oneself would be to look up scriptural references of  God telling various people not to be afraid.)

FREEDOVE31I have been reading Steve Fry’s book, I AM.  Steve points out that peace is the only fruit of the Spirit that cannot be cultivated by choice. (p. 185)  I cannot choose to simply be peaceful, but peace is a byproduct of other choices.  Peace is not just a feeling that is the opposite of being anxious.  Peace permeates me when I am in the presence of the Prince of Peace. Psalm 29:11 says, “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”  Then Paul tells me in Colossians 3:15 to let the peace of Christ rule in my heart.  The Lord chooses to bless me with peace, but I must choose to let this peace be in my heart through multiple choices I make regarding how I live my life. 

FREEDOVE#2 In Isaiah 26:3, the prophet says that God will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in God.  So, my Reader, may you and I keep our minds upon the Prince of Peace and trust Him as much as possible.  The result will be our receiving the same peace into our lives that Jesus offered to the disciples the first time he saw them after his resurrection.  Remember, today Jesus still says, “Peace be with you!”

Joyfully,
Cheryl

 Thought for the week:  You will not know peace by only giving God a piece of your life.
Challenge for the week:  Extend the peace of God to someone else this week by sharing this blog with them.

Ponder the Power

freeressurection Last Sunday we celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Along with many other Christians, I proclaimed, “He is risen!  He is risen indeed!”  But do I, or you my Reader, fully comprehend the strength of the power that was exhibited by God the Father to bring His Son, Jesus, back to life after he had died on the cross?  From the human perspective, dead is dead, no life exists, and a finality occurs.  If I swat a fly, it is dead and it does not come back to life.  However, on the third day after Jesus was placed in the tomb, he was no longer in the tomb and he was alive again.

frrlightbulb What I am thinking about, and what I want you, my Reader, to think about, is that this power of God is available for us today.  Many years ago I read an article that described resurrection power as being “the electrifying power that raised Jesus from the dead.”  This brings to my mind the image of an electric light bulb.  If a lamp with a light bulb is plugged into an electrical outlet, all I need to do is turn on the switch and light appears.  However, if there is no connection to the source of the power, there will be no light.  The author of this article I read, (I’m sorry, but I do not have any record of who is the author) said that when we speak the Word of God into our lives or over a particular situation we are releasing the same power into our lives that raised Jesus from the grave.  So, my speaking aloud scripture releases God’s power into my life just as turning on the switch  gives power to light the bulb in the lamp .  If I want the power of God in my life, I must stay connected to God and His Word.  I must believe the scriptures I read to be true, speak aloud God’s Word and expect God to do what He says.  I must not waver in my faith if I expect to see manifestations of resurrection power.

 defibulatorAnother image that comes to my mind is the type of treatment used for some heart attack victims known as defibrillation.  This treatment sends a therapeutic dose of electrical energy to the damaged heart with the intent of reestablishing a normal rhythm.  I need the electrifying power of God released into my life in order for me to be functioning in alignment with God’s will.  I can only be anointed with the Lord’s power when I am doing the Lord’s will.

freelightningcracks Okay, so this power is available to me.  How do I receive this power?  What do the scriptures say that will be helpful? The first scripture that comes to mind is Philippians 3:10&11. In the NIV Paul states,I want to know Christ, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  Does this mean that Paul is setting an example through his life that I can follow in order to know this same power in my life?  I think it does! The Amplified Bible says “to know Christ” is “to progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly.”  For me to know Christ is not a one time experience, it is an ongoing revelation throughout my life! The Amplified Bible expands the meaning of “power” to be “the power outflowing from His resurrection.”  I like this concept, but do I really want to embrace what Paul says in verse 11 about my sharing in the sufferings of Christ?  Ouch!  I don’t like the thought of suffering!  However, I must admit, there are times I feel pain even though not to the extent that Paul or Christ suffered. Although my discomfort may be minimal, I realize that when I am afflicted I become aware of how helpless I truly am.  So, suffering can cause me to be more dependent upon the Lord. This is turn gives me the chance to experience more of Christ’s power in my life.

 I now come upon another scripture that is helpful to me.  Romans 8:2&11 says, “through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” I again turn to the Amplified Bible and like verse 11, “And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.”  Here is what I am looking for!  It is the work of the Holy Spirit in me who has the energizing power to restore my life to do what God desires. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be a recipient of this resurrection power! 

 My Reader, I hope you have followed my ponderings down the pathway to power today.   I pray you will be challenged to take the celebration of Easter and resurrection power to a deeper, more personal level throughout the coming days and weeks.  This electrifying power is not something just to be celebrated because of its manifestation in the life of Jesus, but it is something available to us through the power of the Holy Spirit in our own lives.  I encourage you to daily proclaim, “He is risen! He is risen indeed!”

 Joyfully,
Cheryl     

Challenge for the week:  Resurrection power can be manifested in various ways.  According to John 8:12, Jesus is the Light of the World.  So, stay connected to the Source in order to be able to fulfill the command given in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”