A Trinity Quilt

Previously, I shared about the beautiful human quilt God is creating.  (see post for January 29) As I continued to mediate upon the craft of quilting, another possible spiritual quilt came to mind. Last week, I described God as the Master Quilter. This week, I envision God being the quilt. How about a Trinity quilt?

Like most quilts, I visualize the Trinity quilt having three layers. One layer is God the Father. Another layer is God the Son. The third layer is God the Holy Spirit. I think of the hymn Holy, Holy Holy by Reginald Heber. The last line of the first verse declares, “God in three persons, blessed Trinity.”

Genesis 1:26 is the first scripture that reveals there could be such a thing as a Trinity quilt. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.’” The pronoun “us” reveals the triune nature of God. Then, in His image, He created mankind with a spirit, soul and body.

Matthew 10:16-17 says, “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’” God the Father reveals Jesus as His Son and the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus. The perfect picture of a Trinity quilt!

Let’s take time to examine in depth each layer of our quilt.

Here are a few verses that highlight God as Father.

One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all
Ephesians 4:6
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the
Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,
Matthew 6:9
(Jesus’ words when teaching the disciples how to pray.)

We move on to a few verses denoting Jesus as the Son of God.

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.
John 3:16
For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son
also to have life in
Himself.
John 5:26
And I will do whatever you ask in My name,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:13
(Jesus’ role as God’s Son.)
He (Jesus) is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Colossians 1:17

The Holy Spirit is described in the following verses.

And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter,
that He may abide with you for ever.
John 14:16 KJV
(Words spoken by Jesus)
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name,
will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I
(Jesus) have said to you.
John 14:26
He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Titus 3:6 NLT

More scriptures help develop a symbolic Trinity quilt. The following reveal a few possible quilt qualities.

Psalm 91:4 says, “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” In earlier days, feathers were often used as the batting to add warmth to a quilt.

In Exodus 12, we read about the Israelites placing the blood of a lamb on the door frames of their homes so the death angel would pass over their dwellings. Hebrews 9 tells how much more powerful is the blood of Jesus Christ. Today, we can plead of blood of Jesus over our lives. We can be covered by the blood of Jesus just as we can be covered by a quilt. In both instances, we receive protection.

In John 14 and 16, various translations use different words to describe the Holy Spirit. The Old King James Version refers to the Holy Spirit as the Comforter. A comforter is another term for a quilt.

I particularly like Jesus’ words in John 15:26 as a description of the Trinity quilt. “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, He will testify about Me.

We are still in the middle of winter. Cuddling under a cozy quilt is very inviting. However, no matter what the weather, we can abide under the warmth and protection of the Trinity quilt. Scripture encourages us to do so.

I believe I Peter 1:2 offers us this unique quilt.  “Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

II Corinthians 13:14 invites us to curl up under the quilt of the Trinity by saying, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

However, we are to do more than huddle under this quilt. Matthew 28:19 encourages us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

When we nestle under the Trinity quilt, something special happens. Spiritually, we become one with God. Beth Moore describes it by saying, “when the will of the Father and the will of the child converge as one, the cloudy pillar of God’s glory settles on her shoulders like a down comforter.”

May you be enfolded in the Trinity quilt!

Children of God

My favorite TV program is “Long Lost Family”. This program shares stories of individuals seeking to be reunited with biological relatives. It may be a birth parent trying to reconnect with a biological child he/she put up for adoption. Or, it may be an adopted child searching for answers from a biological parent.

My heart is touched with each episode. Love is always a key. Frequently, a birth mom has given up her child because she wanted him/her to have a better life than she could provide. Although many adopted children become a part of a loving family, they still desire to know why they were not kept by their biological parents. Something is missing. They need to hear that they have been loved by the mom and/or dad who conceived them.

The theme of this program leads me to think about our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Although most of us have earthly parents who love us, God has planted a deeper desire within us to know Him as our Heavenly Father.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

The Hebrew word for eternity is olam. It refers to an eternal longing that God has placed in the human heart. I believe we have an internal yearning for eternity. It is like an innate knowledge that feels there is more to life than what we currently experience. I do not think we will ever be content with just earthly things.

According to Genesis 1:27, we are created in God’s image. God is spirit. So, we desire things of the spirit that only our eternal Heavenly Father can satisfy. I like the descriptive words used by the blogger Soulspartan.  He says, “Our hollow cave-hearts still have the echo of eternity, still have the echo that God is real.”

Today we live as human beings. We are part of human imperfect families. The spiritual hole in our hearts longs to be filled with the love of God – our Heavenly Father.

In John 14:18 Jesus promised, ““I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” We are not left without a spiritual family. He says in verse 20, “I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” God is our Father just as he is Jesus’ Father. Jesus assures us in verse 23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” Jesus goes on to say in verse 26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

The TV hosts, Lisa Joyner and Chris Jacobs, often take a letter written by the person searching for a biological relative. If a family member is located, they will share the letter with that individual. This letter becomes an introduction to a biological family member not previously known. It is very touching to hear their written words read aloud. Often these are the first words a biological mother has ever heard by a child she gave up for adoption 20 or 30 years earlier.

Adopted children long to hear “I love you” from a biological parent. We also long to hear our Heavenly Father express His love to us.

Spiritually, God sends letters to His children through scripture. Listen to what a letter written to you by your Heavenly Father might sound like.

My Child, before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Your frame was not hidden from Me when you were made in secret, when you were woven together in the depths of the earth. My eyes saw your unformed body; all your days were written in My book and ordained for you before one of them came to be. I chose you before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in My sight. In love I predestined you to be adopted as My son/daughter through Jesus Christ, in accordance with My pleasure and will. For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. You will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. You will find Me and I will restore you. I have always loved you. (taken from Jeremiah 1:5, Jeremiah 31:3, Psalm 139:15-16, Ephesians 1:4-5, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Malachi 1:2)

The “Long Lost Family” program concludes with the uniting of biological family members. Adopted families remain intact for adopted children. However, now these adopted individuals also have new family connections with biological relatives.

Today, we share love within our earthly families. We are blessed by these relationships. However, there is more awaiting us. We will spend eternity in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Jesus promises in Revelation 3:21, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.John records in Revelation 21:3-4, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

In Revelation 21:5, Jesus promises,I am making everything new!I remember the beginning words of Ecclesiastes 3:11, “God makes all things beautiful in its time. This TV program shows how biological and adopted family members are united to create beautiful new relationships. Spiritually, Revelation 21:7 gives us a beautiful promise,He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

Yes, God has set eternity in our hearts and His promises will be fulfilled when Christ returns. Revelation 22:20 concludes by saying, “’Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

Just Like Dad

You are just like your father!”

These are six powerful words. Have you ever spoken them? Have you ever heard these words spoken to you? They can create either positive or negative feelings. Since we will be honoring fathers this coming Sunday, let’s think about the potential meanings of this proclamation.

You are just like your father!”

These words may refer to a likeness in physical appearance or emotional temperament or spiritual beliefs. If there is a good father-child relationship, this phrase can be received as a compliment. The father may be fulfilling Proverbs 22:6 NKJV, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.A father’s positive influence is invaluable.

The same words have painful potential if the father and child do not have a good rapport. A dad’s behavior by words and actions greatly influences his children. Colossians 3:17 is a good reminder for all fathers, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

You are just like your father!”

This statement may be one of the best compliments anyone can receive! Genesis 1:27 tells us, “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.This gives everyone the privilege of being just like their father – their Heavenly Father of whom they can be proud. I John 4:8 says, “God is love.” Love is the nature of our Heavenly Father. We have the potential to love if we are like our Father. I John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.Fathers love children and children love fathers.

Jesus sets a good example of a loving father in Mark 10:13-16. In verse 14, Jesus says, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.And in verse 16 “He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

Fathers, you have the potential and the privilege of being just like your Heavenly Father. However, this trait is not something to be taken lightly. Galatians 6:7 warns, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Unless an earthly father is a positive role model for his children, he will not be known as being just like his Heavenly Father.

Fathers, you have the best role model for fulfilling your responsibilities of being a dandy dad. Be “just like your Heavenly Father” so your children will be honored to hear the phrase “you are just like your father” spoken to them.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads!

The Arms of a Father


A man
understands the meaning of being a father when he holds his first newborn baby. His arms will never be the same. His arms are filled with a new responsibility. He embraces a role that can only be filled by a man. Dad is his new name.

How does a man learn to become a father? By following the example of his Heavenly Father.

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemies before you, saying, ‘Destroy them!’”
Deuteronomy 33:27

I remember my husband holding our first-born child. Our baby looked so small in the arms of his father. Gary lovingly supported this little eight pound bundle of boy. I saw both gentleness and strength in this new dad’s arms. Daddy was not going to drop his son. He would take care of him. He would protect him. This new father desired to follow the example of God, his Heavenly Father.

The years advanced. My husband was still Dad but his hands and arms had a new purpose. Our baby boy no longer depended upon his father’s arms to be held. However, the growing boy still needed guidance. A helping hand was required – and often requested by our son.

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13

A father holds his child’s hand so he/she will not run away. Otherwise, he or she might get lost in the crowd. I can still see Gary extending his arm down toward Greg’s little upheld arm. They clasped their hands together. Greg held tightly to his dad’s hand as the three of us maneuvered our way through a crowd of people at a local parade. Many things can crowd into the life of a growing child.

There are times when a helping hand is advantageous. Our kitchen table was the scene of various school projects for father and son. Dad’s wisdom was appreciated. A father helps, but does not do everything for the youngster. A good father relies on the Holy Spirit to be his Helper as he helps his family.

Now our son is a man. He is a father. However, he still returns to spend time with his dad.

So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still
a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him,
and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
Luke 15:20

This scripture is part of the parable of the lost son. Our son is not, and never has been, a wayward son. However, this verse is another example of a father’s arms. When Greg comes to visit his dad, a hand shake is not an adequate greeting. Father and son’s arms become entwined in a hug. The strength of their arms draws them close. There is a bond between a father and his kids regardless of their ages. This embrace is an expression of affection. I think of an acronym for hug: Heartfelt Unconditional Gesture.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he,
I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Isaiah 46:4

Through the prophet Isaiah, our Heavenly Father assures all earthly fathers that He extends His arms to them no matter their age. In addition to setting the example for earthly fathers, God desires to be the Heavenly Father of all dads. His everlasting arms offer affection, protection, guidance and strength to all His kids.

Happy Father’s Day!

Childlike or Childish?

Childlike    Childish    Childlike   Childish    Childlike   Childish  Childlike   Childish    Childlike

children-2

(Click on images to find the credit for appropriate images.)

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
Galatians 3:26

Through faith in God, I became part of His family and now I am known as a child of God. Daily, it is my choice as to how I behave as His child. I can be childlike or I can be childish. Childlike is defined as resembling a child showing pleasing qualities such as innocence and trust. In contrast, childish is described as being marked by immaturity and a lack of poise.

Most young children trust their father and run to him with open arms ready to receive his love. They are not consumed with cares and worries because they know Dad will provide. As a child of God, I have the same privileges from a spiritual perspective. My Heavenly Father desires a personal loving relationship with me. My thoughts and actions reveal whether I am childlike or childish. If I am childlike, I will love my Heavenly Father and trust Him with my life. If I am childish, I will demand my way and I may cry if I do not feel like I have my Father’s complete attention. Yes, I desire to be childlike, but if I am honest, there have been times when I not felt loved by my Heavenly Father. There have been times when I have cried out to God in my prayers asking “Why?” or “Where are You?”

Young children grow up and eventually leave their childhood homes to become independent adults. However, as a child of God, I do not want to grow up and move away – I only want to grow deeper and closer to Him.

But Jesus called the children to him and said,
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Luke 18:16

In this section of scripture, people were bringing their children to Jesus desiring Him to bless their little ones while the disciples felt this was an imposition upon Jesus and they told the people to leave. Jesus contradicted His disciples and reached out to the children surrounding Him. Oh, how I appreciate the privilege of coming into the presence of Jesus and receiving His blessings because I am a child of God!

Truly I say to you, unless you change and become like children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore,
whoever then humbles himself like this child, he is the
greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:3-4

This chapter of Matthew begins with the disciples asking Jesus who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus responds by pointing out the characteristic of humility – not necessarily a quality of the disciples at this time. James 4:6 says, “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” I desire to be a humble King’s kid!

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct,
in love, in faith and in purity.
I Timothy 4:12

Being a child of God does not mean that I just get to play – that would be childish. John 6:1-13 tells of Jesus feeding the 5000 because a boy offered Him five small barley loaves and two small fish. This child did something no one else did that day. He was not worried about what Jesus would do with what he had, he just gave it trustingly. I want to follow the example of this young boy and set an example by my speech and conduct as to how to live as a child of God.

But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’
You must go to everyone I send you to and say
whatever I command you.
Jeremiah 1:7

Jeremiah was a young boy when the Lord touched his lips with a coal to prepare him to speak. As a child of God, I can expect my Heavenly Father to equip me to do whatever He calls me to do. If I am afraid, I would be more childish than childlike. In Psalm 139:13, David tells about his Heavenly Father creating his inmost being and knitting him together in his mother’s womb. Then in Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord tells Jeremiah of His plans and purposes that would give him a hope and a future. Exodus 2:1-10 gives the account of how Moses as a baby was left in a basket in the river, but God took care of him. Neither will God neglect me because He has a plan for me just as He had plans for David and Jeremiah and Moses.

Then you will call on Me
and come and pray to Me,
and I will listen to you.
Jeremiah 29:12

When reading this verse from Jeremiah, I picture myself as a child of God climbing into the lap of my Heavenly Father and having a two-way conversation with Him. This is known as prayer! Our Heavenly Father wants to embrace all of us as His sons and daughters. No matter what our biological age, we can be His spiritual children. Most of us may tend to have times when we act childish if things do not go the way we want physically or spiritually. However, our Holy Father is always ready to help us be more childlike in both respects. My Reader, do you live as a child of God? Your Heavenly Father is waiting for you.