There is but one!


This morning as I was about to start my devotional, I noticed that my blog dashboard showed me 2 comments it had deemed as SPAM. It may not be something that I would or should allow through and as such I am grateful that technology keeps my site from automatically showing everything that everyone could post and gives me the ability to choose. Sometimes the comment is appropriate, but the website or alias are inappropriate or hoaxes or appear from the name to be risky for me to leave so if I am able to hide/remove those and keep the comment I will and I do. Today’s comment triggered a thought to me and so I thought even though I may not actually let it post that I would speak the truth of it that there is but one!

There is but one what you may be asking. There is but one GOD! We may reference Him in three persons as Father, Son, Holy Spirit, but there is but one GOD! Some may have heard of this as the trinity, one GOD in three persons. Over time, various people has tried to use different metaphors, analogies or examples to help people to see it, hear it, understand it.

St. Patrick as an example use the 3 leaf clover to try and explain it.

“For there is no other God, nor ever was before, nor shall be hereafter, but God the Father, unbegotten and without beginning, in whom all things began, whose are all things, as we have been taught; and his son Jesus Christ, who manifestly always existed with the Father, before the beginning of time in the spirit with the Father, indescribably begotten before all things, and all things visible and invisible were made by him. He was made man, conquered death and was received into Heaven, to the Father who gave him all power over every name in Heaven and on Earth and in Hell, so that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe. And we look to his imminent coming again, the judge of the living and the dead, who will render to each according to his deeds. And he poured out his Holy Spirit on us in abundance, the gift and pledge of immortality, which makes the believers and the obedient into sons of God and co-heirs of Christ who is revealed, and we worship one God in the Trinity of holy name.” — St. Patrick: The Trinity and the Shamrock

TrinityThe Trinity and the Shamrock
Legend has it that St. Patrick was responsible for ridding the Emerald Isle of snakes; but more importantly, it is said that Patrick used the shamrock as a symbol to explain the Trinity to Unbelievers, i.e., how God is One God in Three Persons. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”(Matthew 28:19). Patrick would hold up a shamrock and challenge his hearers, “Is it one leaf or three?” “It is both one leaf and three,” was their reply. “And so it is with God,” he would conclude. 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of Him from The Creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His Eternal Power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). Of course, doctrines such as the Trinity or the Divinity of Jesus Christ can only be received by willing hearts, who have committed themselves to obey whatever the Spirit reveals from the Scriptures. “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine” (John 7:17). St. Patrick, no doubt, was careful not to confuse pagan idolaters with the idea of Polytheism, i.e., the false notion that there are many separate gods; but, his dependence upon the Holy Spirit to give him the illustration of the shamrock to illustrate the Trinity, gave him success in preaching the Gospel. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the Power of God unto Salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16) — St. Patrick: The Trinity and the Shamrock

Some may go looking in the Bible for the word trinity to see where it originated, however, the word itself isn’t there. And since it isn’t there trying to pull it together requires us to look to God and ask Him for faith and wisdom to try and grasp it. So people over the ages have looked for other examples to help explain it. If we start by first looking in the Old and then in the New Testament, we find the following:

  • Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! — Deuteronomy 6:4
  • The religion scholar said, “A wonderful answer, Teacher! So lucid and accurate—that God is one and there is no other. And loving him with all passion and intelligence and energy, and loving others as well as you love yourself. Why, that’s better than all offerings and sacrifices put together!” — Mark 12:32-33
  • Some people say, quite rightly, that idols have no actual existence, that there’s nothing to them, that there is no God other than our one God, that no matter how many of these so-called gods are named and worshiped they still don’t add up to anything but a tall story. They say—again, quite rightly—that there is only one God the Father, that everything comes from him, and that he wants us to live for him. Also, they say that there is only one Master—Jesus the Messiah—and that everything is for his sake, including us. Yes. It’s true.  — 1 Corinthians 8:4-6
  • He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth. — 1 Timothy 2:4-7

So we see they are in agreement that there is one and only God!

Next if we look to see if the three persons are called out in the Bible, we find the following

In Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew plural noun “Elohim” is used.

God’s Word shows how they are three persons and confirms to us that they are but one God! God is so much bigger than we can ever imagine. One day when we get to see Him face to face, we will get the opportunity to ask the questions and understand His fullness. We see that not only are there three persons but there is also a hierarchy (see point 5). We also find that each of them have a specific purpose or role or tasks (see point 6).

From GotQuestions.org, they show the following image as the best representation:

There is so much information available and you will see two references I used for today’s post. If you search you can find more links too.

References:

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What are you going to do about it? It’s all around you!


There are many who are feeling down! There are many who are looking for hope! There are many who are having a hard time believing that something good will come of their situation! There are many of these people who are around you! So what are you doing or going to do to encourage them, to let them know there is hope, to let them know that things may look or feel bad, but they don’t have to be and don’t have to stay that way!

Are you sharing testimonies to encourage others?

HopeYou may not be able to understand the fullness of what they are feeling. You may not be able to grasp the situation that they have been going through. You may not have gone through their situation or challenges. But do you have a testimony, a story about when things were really back and how God turned them around? Do you have stories of when you went through a valley and God helped you through it? Do you have stories of when you were in the valley and God helped you climb out? Do you have stories of when you felt despair, feeling down and out and then God helped you out? How do you share it? Do you share it? You may not even realize it, but there are people in every part of your day who are looking to you and hoping there is something that can help them or encourage them right where they are at. There are people need a word of hope. There are people who need a word of encouragement. There are people who need a word of love. And they are right around you… at work, in your neighborhood, at church, at the coffee shops, at the grocery stores, at the … places you come and go. Do you ask others how they are doing? Do you take time to show that you care? Do you come into a conversation focused on them or on you? Do you come into conversations wanting to hear yourself speak or speaking love, life, hope, encouragement to others because it’s not the end.

When I consider this blog, I share some highs and some lows. I know God isn’t done with me yet. I know that He has helped me walk through some valley times and will help you too. I know that He has helped me learn the power of forgiveness and can help you too. I know that He helped me to realize the benefits of being obedient to His prompting and how life challenges can be actually be opportunities when we will be sensitive and responsive to the Word and His calling. By spending time in God’s Word, He can speak to us. Be a message about trials (Job), a message about faith (Peter – get out of the boat), a message about hope for the future (Job 42:12), a message about love (John 3:16), a message about comfort (Psalm 23), a message about the future and plans (Joseph).

God’s Word has been able to speak right into my very situation. To the point where people at work were asking me how I was picking my readings because they were so applicable to my situation. The interesting testimony I shared was that I didn’t pick them. I was just going through the scheduled devotionals for each day, it was a miracle of God that His Word knows right where I am at and can speak to me daily. It can do the same for you too. When we seek God, His Word tells us:

12“When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.13-14“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.“I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—God’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it. — Jeremiah 29:12-14

God doesn’t want us to be walking out life in fear, paralyzed from the fullness He desires for us:

7-8The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart. Day and night I’ll stick with God;
I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go. 9-10I’m happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed. You canceled my ticket to hell— that’s not my destination! 11Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way. — Psalm 16:7-11
I have stories and testimonies – stories about the tests I have faced throughout this blog. God’s the answer. God’s Word is alive and can speak into your very situation. Even when I read something that I have read many times before, it has something special for me because of where I am at today or that day. So start your day with God’s Word. If you want to start with a devotional to keep it easier to get the routine, the rhythm, the day going you can do that and there are many options (ex. Today God Is First, Spurgeon’s Morning Devotional, etc.). If you want to try one verse per week there are devotionals like that too (ex. More Than, …). Or you can start with the New Testament of the Bible in Matthew and read through it. Or you can start with different options like you can find on http://bible.com – where you can pick the topic or the type you would like to use.
So today as you are about to begin or from where you are at. What are you going to do with what you have? How will you impact the lives of those you will come into contact with? And how will God be glorified in and through it all? The choice is yours!

Happy Thanksgiving!


As begin this day I think to what day it is and all that I have or don’t have that I should and am thankful for.

As you start today, what are you thankful for? Have you told anyone? Have you shared it with anyone? Have you spoke it or typed it or posted it or tweeted it? If not and feel compelled that maybe you should, feel free to put it in the comments and I will get them up on my blog.

First I must Thank God who took me from a place where I felt I needed change and brought me to a place filled with opportunity and hope! I Thank God for my incredible wife who has been there through the highs and the lows and has supported and encouraged me throughout them. I Thank God for my incredible and talented kids who keep us busy and bless us with their excitement, energy, love for God, and shining lives that impact their friends and their worlds. I Thank God for my new job, it has been over 6 months now and wow has it been incredible – Great leadership, Great management, Great teams, Great people that I get to spend many hours of my day with. I thank God for a Great church with Great pastors and Great group of volunteers. I thank God for everyone who has come into my life, my friends from long ago, my friends from just yesterday, people I meet wherever I go that I am able to meet and connect with, my doctors, my neighbors, my tax lady, the people who serve day in and day out at stores and restaurants. I thank God for meeting my needs. I thank God that when it seems hard He is there and He helps me to walk through it. I thank God that He grants me wisdom and then the courage to do what is necessary.

Faith isn’t the absence of fear,
Allow your faith to swallow your fear. Allow the courage created through faith to allow you to step up and step out!
faith is the courage to do what you are supposed to do.

I thank God that He has helped me to develop a pattern where I wake up early in order to start my day in His presence and in His Word so that I can be set, I can get a reset, I can fill up the tank for the day so that His Spirit can be in me and filled with the good news from His Word, the wisdom necessary for the day that is ahead of me, the wisdom to prepare me in advance for the good work that He has already prepared for me to do. I thank God for the incredible time to not only celebrate Him in my life, but also to go through and see whose birthday it is and celebrate them. I thank God for time to take a look and see what’s going on in the lives of those around me who use social media so that I celebrate with them in their joy and pray for those who are being faced with challenges. I thank God that people like you come and read this posting because it was His plan for me to start this blog because He knew that today you were going to come and read this and possibly other posting that I put on the site since I started blogging back in 2005. I thank God for a hope, a plan, and a future that He put into motion for each of us. I thank God for the book of Revelation where I know that He will win and that I and each one of us who are following after Jesus will spend eternity with Him.

This morning was interesting as I read through 365 Fear Nots: Verse of the Day and read:

Do not rebel against the LORD, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the LORD is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!

Numbers 14:09 (NLT)

Biblical Truth: No matter how tough things appear do not be afraid or lose faith, for God is with you.

This morning was interesting as I was checking out LinkedIn and saw an article that spoke to how many people are stuck where they are at out of fear. Fear of change. Fear of loss. Fear of the unknown. The article was speaking to the reality and the point that life is supposed to be fulfilling – “How to Find a Fulfilling Career” by  Richard Branson.

My morning Bible readings as always interesting between my 365 day through the Bible (where I alternate version (front to back, chronological, etc) and translations(King James, New King James, NIV, NLT, MSG, etc)) and my fairly new devotional – Spurgeon’s Morning Devotional.

  • Is there life after death? – Job 14 brings to the forefront. Knowing the rest of the story, the answer is yes. And the type of life after death depends on our choice – Do we follow Jesus, do we give up our lives so that we have His, do we ask Him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior so that we get to spend the after life with God. Do we do the opposite, do we deny Him, do we try to do it all on our own and will end up apart from God in the after life? — Matthew 10 tells us how much God cares for us and how when we give our lives into His hands, He is able to make a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way, He has a plan that is to give us a hope and a future, He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine.
    • 38-39“If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me. – Matthew 10:38-39
  • When we start into self-pity, we can miss out on all that God really wants and has planned for our lives. Our thoughts and our ways aren’t God’s. His ways are higher than our ways and so much better. When we start to throw our own pity party, we end up starting a downward spiral. There is a way up and a way out and it requires that we turn back to God and ask Him into our very situation. Without God, things feel helpless. With God, all things are possible. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine!
  • We see Job come to the question and the hope. The question of “if humans die, will we live again?“. The hope of “resurrection“.
  • An interesting question comes up in Job 15:
    • Are God’s promises not enough for you, spoken so gently and tenderly?Why do you let your emotions take over, lashing out and spitting fire, Pitting your whole being against God by letting words like this come out of your mouth? Do you think it’s possible for any mere mortal to be sinless in God’s sight, for anyone born of a human mother to get it all together? Job 15
  • Don’t go through life shaking your fist at God, but turn to Him and begin a life of fellowship with Him. Don’t walk out this day or any day filled with fear because you are out of the will of God, but rather turn back to Him and ask Him to help you and forgive you. Rather than walking around out of the cover of God’s hand, let’s get back on track so that we stay in alignment with His will, we stay on the narrow path that leads to eternal life with God rather than ending up who knows where worried about what’s next and what to do.
  • What we sow is what we will reap. If you plant fruit seeds, you will get fruit. If you plan weeds, they will take over the garden. If you plant seeds in good soil it will grow good roots, getting good nutrition, and blossom and produce a good crop. If you plant seeds on rocks or within the weeds, they will either end up drying out and dying or getting choked out by the weeds. So consider in your life how your attitude, your actions, your words, your expressions, your thoughts are being planted and where you are planting them. What kind of fruit can you expect? You get to choose the seeds. You get to choose the soil. And God’s Word tells us:
    • 7-8Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. — Galatians 6:7-8
    • 8Whoever sows sin reaps weeds, and bullying anger sputters into nothing. 9Generous hands are blessed hands
      because they give bread to the poor. — Proverbs 22:8-9
    • 6-7Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. — 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
  • And this set of readings ends each day with Psalms and today’s helps me to celebrate God’s greatness as we celebrate Thanksgiving today.

 

God has a purpose and reason for everything we go through. He is more interested in our character than in our comfort and will allow us to walk through things that will build up our character and our faith so that with the way we live our lives, He will receive the praise the honor, and the glory. Are you willing to ask God for what you have need of and then to allow His will to be done? Consider Jesus just before He went to the cross:

39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” — Matthew 26:39

Let’s make sure we make our relationship with God personal. It’s not just family prayer at meals. It’s not just corporate prayer at church. It needs to be private time prayers with just you and God, calling on the power of Jesus in the situations we are in, at the start of our days to prepare us, throughout our days to help us, and at the end of our days to thank Him.

Purpose!


Why are you here? How are you to live? What are you to be living for?

Why? — It’s not an accident. You were created for a purpose. God had a plan from the moment you were consummated to the day you were born and to this very day and beyond. God created you with a purpose. Are you living each day with purpose? Don’t just be coasting or bobbing up and down in the waves of life. Step up! Step out! Stand firm! Pursue after the things God has gone before you in advance to prepare so that you can accomplish these good works.

How? — With purpose, on purpose! God gives us an instruction manual for how to live through His Word. God gives us wisdom about how to face situations in His Word. God calls us to be better than average through Jesus Christ who took the old law and calls us to an even higher calling. God wants the average to go up, so He is calling us to live lives that shine for Him and that glorify Him in ways that will change the temperature of the situations around us. Let’s live lives where people see them and glorify our Father in Heaven!

What? — Are you living for yourself? Are you living to please others? Are you living to consume? Are you living to build up? Are you living to tear down? Are you living to help others? Are you living to give those in need a hand up? Are you living to make Jesus known through your words, your actions, your time? Are you living to help others?

There was a great study I got to be a part of where we went through the book A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It not only spoke of how we aren’t accidents, we aren’t just here and gone with no purpose, but it also speaks to God’s love for us and how God created each of us with a purpose. When there is purpose life is worth living. And the reality is you were created with a purpose, for a purpose. No whoops, He knew when you were being created in your mother’s womb and already had plans and a purpose for you and your life.  Take time with God to understand. Take time with God to look into it. And be transformed because of God’s Great Love for you!

Are you facing a mess? Are you facing troubles?


God doesn’t mess up. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are better than our thoughts. He has a plan that will give you a hope and a future!

We can get right with God! Turn to Jesus and ask Him into your life. He gave it all so that we could be reconciled to God!

God’s grace vs. God’s wrath! Restores/Reset rather than toasted.

Do you know the arbitrator who sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for you? His name is Jesus!

When you are feeling down and out there is only one place to turn! Turn back to God! He is able to exceedingly abundantly more than we can ever ask or imagine! All things are possible for those who believe! Nothing is impossible for God! How far will you have to fall before you look up? If you are in a downward spiral, will you look up and cry out to God for help? Do you have to hit rock bottom first? We all have choices to make. We all get to make them. And the consequences of our choice direct us either down the right path or off the beaten path.

God’s strong name is our help! He won’t go off and leave us. He won’t abandon us defenseless. When everything else seems against us, God is for us. So turn to Him. Ask Him for wisdom and guidance! Call on Him for He will answer you when you seek Him with all of your heart, all your mind, and all your strength.

When we ask God into our lives and we allow Him to reign in our lives, it changes things. It changes how we act, how we think, how we speak. When we give God the wheel of our lives, it puts our hearts in a position where we no longer have a desire to wrong someone else. We are in a position where we have no desire to take advantage of others personal gain nor vengeance. This is why in Leviticus, God’s Word says:

Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 25:17 (KJV)

Others may leave us. Others may abandon us. But just as we have come to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it is Jesus who is living in us. And as Jesus lives in us, just when everyone scattered and left Him, God the Father was with Him the rest of the way!