Water Waves and Wisdom Waves

Then He (Jesus) got into the boat and His disciples followed Him.
Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake,
so that the waves swept over the boat.
But Jesus was sleeping.
The disciples went and woke Him, saying,
“Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves,
and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked,
“What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!”
Matthew 8:23-27

As I read this account of Jesus calming the storm, I realize more is happening than the silencing of the sea. Join me as we dive into a deeper understanding.

Jesus and His disciples were in a boat upon the lake. Suddenly they were encountering a storm. Was this supposed to happen when Jesus was with them? They were no longer safe and secure on the shore. Wave after wave of water crashed over them. Turbulence surrounded them. They thought they would drown. Like the disciples, we encounter stormy experiences. Although we have a personal relationship with Jesus, spiritual storms can splash upon us. We are not exempt from turmoil. Jesus says in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Most likely, the disciples questioned how Jesus could sleep through the storm. When we are in stormy situations, we may feel as if Jesus is unaware of what is happening. In other words, we may think He is sleeping and is indifferent to what we are enduring. This was not Jesus’ message to His disciples. Nor is it His message to us. For the disciples, Jesus was the embodiment of peace in their presence. He was fulfilling Isaiah 9:6 that prophesied He would be called the Prince of Peace. Later Jesus would tell these men, “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.” (John 14:27) Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus spoke peace to the waves. He also revealed the spiritual peace He experienced in spite of the surrounding turbulence. Jesus spoke physical peace to the sea. He experienced and portrayed spiritual peace in His soul.

The disciples knew Jesus well enough that they were willing to call upon Him to calm the storm. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Today, we can call upon Jesus through prayer to calm our storms of turmoil and trials. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

In verse 26, Jesus addressed the fact that the disciples were reacting more out of fear than faith. Most of us will occasionally be fearful. Jesus knew what the disciples were feeling. And, He knows our feelings. Consequently, there is a multitude of scriptures telling us not to fear. He will help us overcome our fear just as He helped the disciples in their fearful moments. We have the promise of Isaiah 41:10. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. II Timothy 1:7 NLT reminds us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

The men in the boat were Jesus’ closest friends. They knew Him better than anyone. However, the conclusion of this stormy story reveals that the disciples still had more to learn about Jesus. Although they had just experienced His calming the water waves, they still asked, “What kind of man is this?”

No matter how long we have followed Jesus, we can always grow in our relationship with Him. The exclamation of Mark 9:24 is appropriate for us. I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Water waves may wash over us. However, we can ask for wisdom waves. Proverbs 2:6 tells us, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” When Jesus spoke words to calm the water waves, He was also speaking wisdom waves. May we allow wisdom waves to wash over us today.

This account of Jesus calming the turbulence of a particular storm is more than just His calming water waves. It is about releasing wisdom waves into the disciples’ minds and lives. The body of water in this story is the Sea of Galilee which is the size of a large lake. This is a waterway they would travel many times the remainder of their lives. They needed to know how to navigate these waters. They needed to know how to deal with physical and spiritual waves during the coming days and years.

We, too, will have water waves wash over us – possibly physical, but more likely spiritual. There will be stormy times that suddenly appear even though we have Jesus in our life boats. Wave after wave – we may feel like we could drown in our difficulties. Let’s not stop with this story just giving us information. Let’s allow it to bring transformation in us. When water waves crash upon us, may we plead for wisdom waves. This is how we will experience the peace Jesus extends. Hear and experience Mark 4:39. Then He (Jesus) arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Trinity – Trilogy – Triplet

Trinity – Triune – Trilogy – Triple – Triad – Triplet

All words signifying three.

Let’s begin with Trinity – the term used to describe our God. He is one God yet three persons. God the Father – God the Son – God the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. We skip a few verses and read Genesis 1:26,Let Us make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness.” “Elohim” is the Hebrew word for God in both verses. Elohim reveals that God is the majestic ruler over all. It is a plural word and is used as the first name of God placing Him high above all other gods. It also foreshadows the later revelation of the triune Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

My favorite scripture revealing the trinity of God is Matthew 3:16-17. 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.” These verses specifically name the three persons of the Trinity. Jesus, the Son, is water baptized. The Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, descends upon the Son. God the Father declares Jesus as His Son.

I think of the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy by Reginald Heber.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
who wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,
though the eye made blind by sin thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

I have highlighted “trilogy phrases” within this hymn. It begins with the repetition of “holy” three times. This is a literary form of emphasis that accentuates the holiness of God. There are several other “three phrases” within in the hymn.

““Wort” and “art” and “and “evermore” can be stated in more common terms “was” and “are” and “forever.” Whatever the choice of words, it reminds me of Hebrews 13:8. Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Heber refers to the perfection of God in “power, love and purity.” Another trilogy is found in “earth and sky and sea.” The conclusion of the hymn emphasizes the blessed Trinity of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit – three yet one.

I think God knew it would be hard for us to grasp the concept of His being “three yet one.” Consequently, He has surrounded us with examples of “threes.” Let’s look at numerous triad references found in scripture and our surroundings. Although none of the following triplets give us a 100% accurate description of God, they are helpful reminders of His nature.

Remembering that God said He made us in His image, we find our first illustration of “three in one” within our makeup. Human beings have a body, soul and spirit. Another triad is reflected when we describe our soul as being our mind, will and emotions. Even our ears have three parts: outer ear, middle ear and inner ear.

When explaining the Trinity concept of God to children, we often refer to an apple. An apple is one piece of fruit yet it has three parts. The peal, the flesh and the core or seeds. These three parts are found in all fruits.

A family is a unit of a father, mother and child/children. One group with three individual identities.

Within the Holy Trinity, the Son is known as Lord Jesus Christ. Lord is His title. Jesus is His name. Christ, Anointed One, is His role. Philippians 2:10-11 says, “so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow,, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.One person with three names. Most of us have a first, middle and last name.

Every 24 hours we encounter triplets. Morning – Noon – Night. Or, we might prefer to say Morning – Afternoon – Evening. One time period yet three parts.

The government of our country, reveals a triad through the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the one government over one nation. As I look at our nation’s flag, I see three colors. Red, white and blue.

Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.

In music, a triplet is three notes given one count or rhythmic beat.

As a child, I remember having a puzzle with three pieces. Each piece was a primary shape: square, triangle or circle. One puzzle. Three pieces. Three in one. Even the triangle piece was formed of three lines.

I see a triad symbol when I look at the lights above our bathroom mirror. One light with three bulbs. 

A traffic light is comprised of three separate lights.  Each light gives a different directive.  Green tells us to go. Yellow wars us to slow down. Red commands us to stop. One traffic light with three colors giving three instructions.

Deuteronomy 6:4 that says, “The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” The word “one” comes from the Hebrew word “echad” that means “united one.” This supports the fact that God is three in one.

None of my illustrations are perfect. They are simply reminders of the Holy Trinity. My list is certainly incomplete. I challenge you to look for your own triplets in your surroundings and scripture. Whenever you find a “three in one” symbol, take time to remember the unique nature of our God. Take time to praise God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit!

Immortal but became Mortal – Invisible but became Visible

I woke up singing Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise with lyrics written by Walter Chalmers Smith. The first two lines of the first verse declare, “Immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible hid from our eyes.” The last verse concludes, “Great Father of glory, pure Father of light…, O help us to see ’tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee!”

My Reader, please join me in worshiping God and meditating upon His divine attributes. I want to focus upon God being immortal and invisible.

Exodus 33 records a conversation between the Lord and Moses. Ultimately, Moses asks to see God’s glory. In verse 20, the Lord responds, “You cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.” However, the Lord tells Moses in verses 22-23, “When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove My hand and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen.” No mortal can see an immortal God.

Job 36:23 says, “The Almighty is beyond our reach; He is exalted in power! In His justice and great righteousness He does not oppress.”

One of my favorite verses regarding God’s attributes is I Timothy 1:17. “Now to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

I Timothy 6:15 highlights God as “the blessed and only Sovereign One—the King of kings and Lord of lord.” Verse 16 continues, “He alone is immortal and dwells in unapproachable light. No one has ever seen Him, nor can anyone see Him. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”

Psalm 1042:2 tells us, “He wraps Himself in light as with a garment; He stretches out the heavens like a tent.”

Humans, who are mortal, cannot see God, who is immortal and invisible. However, God chose to reveal Himself by sending His Son, Jesus, to earth.

John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” John 1:14 continues, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus is the Son of God and Son of man. Colossians 1:15-16 says, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:19 NLT continues, “For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ.”

Paul describes the mindset of Christ Jesus in Philippians 2:6-8. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

Jesus lived 33 ½ years in a mortal body. Ultimately, He was arrested and crucified. In Matthew 26, Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin. Verse 63 records, “Then the high priest said to Him, ‘I charge You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.’” Verse 64 continues, “’You have said it yourself,’ Jesus answered. ‘But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’” Jesus interacted with the high priest as a visible mortal. However, He was referring to His spiritual place as the invisible, immortal Son of God.

Romans 6:10 tells us, “The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.” Paul goes on to say in Romans 14:9, “For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”

Hebrews 13:1 NLT declares, “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.”

Let’s remember John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.”

It amazes me that our immortal and invisible God wrapped Himself in flesh and walked the earth for 33 ½ years as a visible mortal. However, we must not diminish God to a physical being who can be experienced only with our senses. We meet Him in the spiritual realm separate from our physical senses. The spiritual realm is invisible yet real, hidden yet active. John 4:24 says, “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” It has been said that worship is the response of our spirits to God’s revelation of Himself.

My Reader, we now conclude our time of worship and meditation regarding our immortal and invisible God who is not inanimate or inactive. May we remember I John 4:12. “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”

Pop for Pop

Sunday will be the day we set aside to honor fathers. Fathers are known by various names: Father – Dad – Daddy – Papa. Our son-in-law often referred to his father as Pop. Pop, known to me as Dan, was a wonderful godly man. He went home to be with Jesus 22 years ago because of multiple sclerosis. However, Jamey still sets aside special time to honor his dad in a unique way every Father’s Day.

Dan’s favorite soft drink (sometimes known as pop) was Dr. Pepper. On Father’s Day, Jamey takes his children to the cemetery where his dad is buried. They sit by his gravestone and share a can of Dr. Pepper while Jamey shares memories of his dad. It is a time for Jamey to remember his father and a time for his children to get acquainted with the grandpa they never met in person.

Jamey is not the only person to share insight of his father through story telling. While dwelling on the earth, Jesus revealed His Heavenly Father through His words and actions. He told stories about His Father. He is the Son of God and Son of Man. Jesus and Philip have a conversation in John 14:6-11. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

Jamey is a son of Dad Dan. His children now know Grandpa Dan through stories their dad has shared. However, they have also come to know Grandpa Dan through the lifestyle of their dad. Jamey honors his Pop not only when he shares a soda and a story with his children but also through the life he lives every day. Having known Dan and now knowing Jamey, I know fatherhood is honored in this family. This is true physically and spiritually. Jamey also shares about his Heavenly Father with his children.

God spoke to Moses about honoring fathers when He gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

In Psalm 145, David gives us an example of verbally honoring our Heavenly Father. Verse 4 says, “One generation commends Your works to another; they tell of Your mighty acts.” In verse 21, he concludes, “My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever.”

I encourage you to honor your biological father this Sunday on Father’s Day. If possible, spend time with him in person. Maybe a phone call or a Zoom chat if personal contact is not an option. If he has passed on, take a few moments to remember his place in your life. Share your memories with your family. Tell stories. I also encourage you to spend time with your spiritual father. Your Heavenly Father is only a prayer away. Thank Him for what He has done in your life. Prioritize time with Him so you will have the father/son or daughter relationship of being one with Him as exemplified by Jesus. Jesus prayed in John 17:20-21 for all believers. I am not asking on behalf of them alone, but also on behalf of those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

This coming Sunday, uniquely celebrate Father’s Day. Find your own way to have pop with your Pop.

Happy Father’s Day to all men who have the privilege of being a dad. We honor you while we also honor our Heavenly Father.

More Sunshine and Sonshine!

Springtime brings more sunlight. Springtime brings flowers.

The sun’s warmth encourages perennial flowers to pop out of the ground and burst into bloom. Daffodils – tulips – hyacinths. Rays of sunshine draw us out of our home’s winter seclusion. We are ready to plant some annuals. Pansies – geraniums – petunias.

Each ray of sunshine is like a warm finger gently persuading the flower petals to open and display their beauty.

Each spiritual ray of Sonshine from the hand of God unlocks His hidden beauty within us.

In Coming into Alignment, Graham Cooke writes, “When people open up to the radiant nature of Jesus, they begin to shrug off complacency. Like a flower cannot resist opening up to the sun, we cannot resist the joy and love of God.”

The Son shines on a couple of Bible blossoms. Psalm 16:11 NKJV declares, “In Your presence is fullness of joy. I Corinthians13:1 says, “Love never fails.

Cooke goes on to say, “Jesus is irresistible; and when we magnify Him, we create space for glory.” As I think about the glory of God, a specific flower comes to my mind – the morning glory. These trumpet-shaped blossoms yawn into existence early in the morning as the sun peaks over the horizon. Delicate petals unravel their ravishing beauty to reveal the glory of God.

Isaiah 60:1 is an invitation for us to crawl out of bed and open our eyes to God’s beauty and glory. “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

Psalm 72:19 says, “Praise be to His glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.Floral blossoms springing from terra firma help to fill the earth with the Lord’s glory. May we glorify Him with hearts overflowing with praise.

Paul writes in Ephesians 1:17-19, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might.We can bloom where we are planted when these words become a reality in our lives. Our personality petals will reflect the radiance of God’s glory.

The hymn Let the Beauty of Jesus be Seen in Me by Albert Orsborn comes to mind. “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, All His wonderful passion and purity, Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.” May our eyes be open to see the beauty of Jesus is the spring flowers surrounding us. And, may our lives portray Jesus’ beauty. May everything and everyone reflect the glory of God.

It is April. Spring flowers are coming alive. Because of sufficient sunshine, floral gardens exhibit a bouquet of beauty. In addition to the abundance of flower blossoms, a fragrant aroma fills the air. A sweet scented perfume is emitted from pretty petals.

Let us learn a lesson from these plantings. II Corinthians 2:15 NLT says, “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.

May we come alive with awe and wonder as we stroll through springtime floral gardens. Let us savor the beauty of nature as we walk and talk with the Lord in the light of His presence.

Whether we are thinking about sunshine or Sonshine, there is a warmth descending upon us.

Hear Jesus speak the following words through the pen of Sarah Young. “My Light shines warmly into your mind, helping you live in My Peace.”