WHY THE TRINITY DELIGHTS AND MATTERS!

It is only when we understand the Triune God that we see how the living God is set apart from the idols of human imagination.

(Mike Reeves)

HOW DOES ONE EXPLAIN THE TRINITY? NOT, REEVES SAYS,

WITH THREE OF THESE EXAMPLES:

A teacher might say, “God is like water — sometimes watery, sometimes icy, and sometime steamy.”

HELP!

Or God might be compared to an egg or an apple!

PLEASE, NO!

THIS WILL NOT DO FOR OUR AWESOME, RELATIONAL, LOVING GOD.

Mike Reeves says:

Far better to go to the baptism of Jesus.

For just as we saw the Trinity dancing over the waters in Genesis,

it is happening again!

For, as we saw last week, here we see the Trinity relating in love.

The Son submitting to the Father.

The Spirit glorifying the Son.

The Father loving the Son.

Each circling around each other: loving, glorifying, and, yes, dancing.

I saw an illustration of the dance of the Trinity in the movie based on the true story of Leslie and Lee Stobel: The Case for Christ.

 Lee reacted violently to Leslie’s conversion. In an interview on World Radio’s program Listening In, Leslie remembered the painful conversation they had in the car when Lee told her he would divorce her if she had not changed back to the old Leslie in two years. This is the scene where she first tells him of her conversion.

It was Leslie’s conversion that sent Lee on a journalistic quest to disprove the claims of Christ.

Meanwhile, Leslie kept praying this verse for Lee:

God the Father heard Leslie’s prayer, but Lee did not want to dance.

He traveled, as a journalist, to talk to experts.

He hoped they would help him disprove the claims of Jesus

to his wife and to the world.

But the Spirit of the Living God began to reveal Christ,

and the love of the Father flowing through Leslie began to melt Lee’s heart,

til finally, with Leslie at his side, he kneels to surrender.

To his surprise, he begins to dance!

For decades since then, Lee has been encouraging others to join into the dance.

God’s love, Puritan Richard Sibbes said, is like the warming sun who

“delights to spread his beams and his influence to inferior things, to make all things fruitful.”

Mike Reeves draws upon Sibbes and Scripture to explain not only the delight of joining in the dance with the Trinity, but why it matters so much.

(I know some of you are eager to talk about The Shack — that is next week!)

SUNDAY

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. Because our God is a TRIUNE God, He has been love from all eternity. He does not need us, He simply gives to us. Share one way you have experienced that love in the last few weeks.

3. Do you agree that three of the four illustrations above or the Trinity fail? Why or why not?

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY

In the message you will hear from Mike Reeve this week, he talks about how music expresses the Trinity (music is one of the good gifts coming down from the Father). The harmony of instruments, voices, and melody reflect the harmony and the dance of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Listen to Holy, Holy, Holy by Audrey Assad to prepare your heart for revelations about our Triune God.

4. According to John 16:7, why does Jesus tell the disciples that it is to their advantage that He leaves?

5. What is the Spirit able to do that the Son, in bodily form, could not do?

6. Read John 17:20-23 (Jesus last prayer before the cross)

A. In verses 20-21, for whom is Jesus praying, what does He pray, and why does He pray this?

B. When you are divided with brothers and sisters in Christ, what should your part be? (This may vary with the situation, so I’m asking you to ask God for wisdom and share. One thing God promises in James is that if we ask Him for wisdom, His Spirit will give it to us!)

C. How can you see, according to verses 22-23, that Jesus wants us to be part of this harmonious dance with the Trinity?

D. What do you think keeps us from dancing?

Last week several of you talked about locking eyes with Jesus in the dance, and allowing Him to lead. This is Scriptural, for we are repeatedly told to keep our eyes on Jesus and to stay in step with the Spirit. Our own Staci shared this song, “We Dance” from Youtube.

7.  Read 1 John 2:18-27

A. What quickens you from the above passage and why?

B. How do you see the importance of the Trinity in this passage?

C. What would you say to someone who says he believes in God but is unsure about Jesus?

8. Share a time in the last week when the Spirit revealed something to you — either about the Son, or about sin in your life, or giving you wisdom for a situation. Share with thanksgiving.

THURSDAY-FRIDAY: FREE MESSAGE FROM MIKE REEVES:

https://deebrestin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2014-worshipgod-west-michael-reeves-1-1.mp3

DELIGHTING IN THE TRINITY AND WHY IT MATTERS

9. What did you learn about the difference between the Triune God and, for example, Allah?

10. What comments or notes do you have from this message?

SATURDAY

11. What is your take-a-way and why?

COMMENTS (117) Post a New Comment ↓
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1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
We went to see the movie and oh the beauty of the Dance! I loved this: God heard her and the Holy Spirit began to reveal Christ and The Father’s love through her melted Lee’s heart.  I remember how she over and over again asked God to remove his heart of stone and give him a heart of flesh, and He heard her. 
 
Instead of trying to describe the Trinity as H2O or the other two ways to go to the Baptism of Jesus for we see the Trinity there as we see it in Genesis-SO good! This came up in my Wed. night middle school group a few weeks ago and one of them explained it like H2O-it is very common and it is what we taught our boys when they were little but OH I see going to the word and showing them the dance is so important for it turns the impersonal to the personal- Each circling around each other: loving, glorifying, and, yes, dancing.  To tell them He died to bring you into the dance is taking them to His love, not merely to an empty intellectual understanding of the Trinity’s physical make up via a word picture of H2O or an egg. 

    Reply

    rebecca–yes! “it turns the impersonal to the personal”–love that!
    I think that is what is SO powerful about the Triune nature of our God–it proves He is personal, He is love–He is not alone, but in loving fellowship with the Spirit and Son–and then with us through them–always!

    Reply

    I like this thought, Rebecca, that taking them to the dance is taking them to His love,

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1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
I love Mike Reeves, and am so excited to hear from him again–his depth and passion for the Lord always really moves my heart. 
We also saw the Case for Christ a few weeks ago and I was so pleasantly surprised by how well it was done! I rarely see movies in the theater these days (and sorry but I’m passing on the Shack), but I was so glad we saw this movie. I was definitely impacted by Leslie’s faithful, consistent prayer for Lee, how she clung to Ezekial 36:26 and prayed it for him.She never gave up, and (at least in the movie) was mostly very self-controlled, not preachy, just continuing to cry out in prayer. I also appreciated the scenes of her with Alfie, and the encouragement of fellowship–the reminder of how desperately we need the support of the Body.

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    Lizzy — I too thought it was so well done. Rare for Christian movies I fear. I always think the true stories are better, so that is part of it.

    I understand your passing on The Shack — I still think it will be an interesting discussion that may increase discernment.

      Reply

      Dee–one of my favorite things about you is how God uses you to stretch me and help me to grow in discernment beyond my comfort zone ;)

        :-) And you have such great discernment I am egging you on to be part of what should be a vibrant discussion!

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I LOVED THAT REPEATED PRAYER IN THE STORY TOO, REBECCA. AM PRAYING IT FOR LOVED ONES.

AND THIS IS SO GOOD: Turns the impersonal to the personal.

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1.  What stood out from the above and why?      
The movie excerpt is powerful, as is the movie.  Les’s poignant appeal to her husband is stirring because I have loved ones that my heart aches over in this same way.    I loved the scenes in the movie that showed her persistently praying this verse, hanging on to what the Lord alone could do in her husband.   I needed this reminder here this morning.
 
Also, the image of the holy trinity dancing in joy captured my attention.   Almost every time I am with my little grandchildren, I get my guitar out and we sing and my precious seven year old granddaughter asks for worship songs.   And they just naturally start dancing just as our Jesus made them to do.   Freely spinning and even closing their eyes in worship as they move across the floor.    No wonder that the Lord desires for us to be as little children, with humility and freedom to worship him.
 
2.  One way I have experienced this love in the last few weeks?    Witnessing the movement of the spirit in my youngest child in a profound way at a very difficult crossroads in his life in this past month.   Witnessing his humility and his hope being renewed.     Which gives me encouragement to keep praying for another of my children.    
 
3. Do you agree that three of the four illustrations above or the Trinity fail? Why or why not?
Well,  I’ve used the water and the egg illustrations for a long time, but have felt that they are inadequate.    It is a mystery.  And a beautiful one.   Still grasping and still slowly making my way through Rankin Wilbourne’s book, “Union with Christ”, Dee.    I really like this from page 42 as Rankin discusses this mysterious union we have with Christ:   
Explaining a mystery is like explaining a joke.  If you do that, you kill it.  So here we have a tension.  I want to be as clear as I can while still holding on to the fact that this is a mysterious reality.  

    Reply

    Nila–I loved that too, “Explaining a mystery is like explaining a joke.  If you do that, you kill it.” It IS a beautiful mystery. Prayers for your son~

    Reply

    Wonderful quote from Wilbourne. :-)

    I can see you playing your guitar and your grandchildren dancing!

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What stood out to you from the above and why?
The scripture verse that Lee Strobel’s wife prayed for him each day from Ezekiel 36:26 – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” This scripture verse is so reassuring to me. Some days, I feel that my heart is made of stone, but then I remember Jesus is there for me. Jesus reminds me that I am a work in progress, and He alone will change my heart. 
Because our God is a TRIUNE God, He has been love from all eternity. He does not need us, He simply gives to us. Share one way you have experienced that love in the last few weeks.
God has given me a new outlook on my husband’s retirement. While my husband is a little apprehensive, I know that God will provide for us. Yes, we have prepared for this, but it is God who opened my eyes to see that my husband needed to retire and that all we needed to do is put our trust in Him in this new season of our lives. 
Do you agree that three of the four illustrations above or the Trinity fail? Why or why not?
I think that the three illustrations give a child a way to understand the Trinity, but in truth, they all fail. While an apple has a skin, a flesh and seeds, it doesn’t do anything other than to serve its function. The skin for protection of the flesh, the flesh as nourishment to our bodies. The seeds to produce more apples. There is no love. However, the Trinity is love. “The Son submitting to the Father. The Spirit glorifying the Son. The Father loving the Son. Each circling around each other: loving, glorifying, and, yes, dancing.” God loved me so much that He invited me to the dance. Hallelujah! 

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This beautiful song entitled Image of God beautifully describes this mysterious work of the Spirit in our lives as He breathes life into our broken, hurting souls and brings his image to bear.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTRSDxEjYeU
 
Bare feet stepping on glass
We break along life’s paths
Our fear and loss,
we bring it all to you
Soul-breather, making all things new
You’re making all things new
 
We come in pieces
We come in fragments
We come discolored
To the foot of the cross
Our Maker sees us
All that we have been
Bonds us together
The Image of God

Clay vessels molded for His own
Shall we question him who holds
And shapes us, for His perfect use
Soul-breather, making all things new
You’re making all things new

Soil breaking for the seed
Seed breaking for the life
His life broken for the soul
We are remade whole, remade whole

    Reply

    Beautiful lyrics, Nila.

      Reply

      Thanks for sharing Nila…I need to record this in my journal 

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1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
 
I would like to see the movie “The Case for Christ” but I seldom get the opportunity to go to movies plus I am not sure if it will ever be in our rural area in sparsely populated Canada. :) Sounds really interesting, though.  I’ll try to search on the internet for bits of video or the story line. 

    Reply

    I know, Diane — I’m in the same situation but happened to be near a city. I’m sure it will come out on DVD!

      Reply

      Thanks, Dee. I am sure I am not the only other one in this situation!

    Reply

    Diane, I haven’t had time to see The Shack- want to see it to see if I can see what everyone else sees both the good and bad. I have heard both from friends. I wish I had more time to read the book.  

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Well Audray Assad stood out above, because last week when I woke up at 3 AM with a song in my head, I kept thinking she sang a song about dancing with the Lord and I could not find it. I find it ironic, more like God that you posted a song by her. I love  moments like that. Also like Diane, Im intrigued with this movie “The Case for Christ”. I think our AFN(military tv) actually had this on and I didnt watch it, I didnt know what it was about. Now I want to see it and see how God transformed this husband’s disbelief into a believer. 

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1).What stands out to me? The video clip from “The Case For Christ”. It brought tears to my eyes, because it brought back painful memories of a very similar conversation I had with my husband a yr after we were married (32 yrs ago). I have not stopped praying, but need to re-ignite my prayers of faith for him. When we almost got divorced 1n 1999, he read Case for Christ, & was impacted by it, but did not respond to the Lord. How I pray for that window in his soul to open up & let the Lord of Life come in! Pls pray for him with me. Now I want to see the movie. 2). How has God shown that He loves me recently? I spose I will say that I have a garden that I planted with the Lord 2 yrs ago. We get a lot of pleasure from seeing it out our back windows, but I haven’t been able to keep up with the weeds! ( a lesson in that I’m sure!)  I asked my husband if he’d be willing to have a landscaper come in & mulch it for us, so that the weeds will be much less & the garden will look so much prettier.I got a quote & prayed about it, asked Jeff &  he said Yes!  I feel like it will be such a gift & I will delight in the garden & my quiet times out there, so much more  :) Thank You Lord.  3).  The egg & water pictures just don’t do justice to the picture of our Triune God…too impersonal & sterile!

    Reply

    Jenny — I will pray for your husband. 32 years is a long time — we will pray. There are others on this blog in your place too — we pray!

    Reply

    Jenny–praying now for your husband –Lord, we ask that You would bring Your light to shine upon Jeff’s heart. We pray according to Your Word, that You will give him a new heart, and a new spirit, and remove the heart of stone and give him a heart of flesh. Amen~

    Reply

    Jenny, 32 years is a long time to pray for your husband. This must be SO HARD! Praying with you for him! May God soften his heart!

    Reply

    Jenny-32 years is a long time. Praying for Jeff.

    Reply

    Jenny, I will pray for your husband too, right now and as God lays him on my heart. 

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    Jenny, LOVE your garden yet I can’t see it! What a sweet kiss from God.  Lord thank you for loving on Jenny giving her this garden where she can be with you more intimately, for being her hope in this long valley-for lifting her face like flint toward you. God soften her husband’s heart-help him see your love in Jenny..turn his heart of stone into a heart of flesh. Only by your power and your Love and your pursuit of him, in Jesus name.  

    Reply

    Jenny, I too will pray for your husband. 
     

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    47 years for me, I can tell you “NEVER give up! it is worth it I prayed for my till a week before he died, and God gave him more years than the Dr. did. :) When we pray for one another, GOD IS ON OUR SIDE!  there is no better prayer partner, HE can move Mountains! :)
     

    Reply

    Jenny, I’ll be praying for your husband.

      Reply

      OOPS I see I left the word (Dad) out of my post. Thank you Jenny, We are so Blessed, he is so much closer, more relaxed in his skin, and able to be the boy he was before, We are packing for Zimbabwe, because his bucket list is full of Hunting! something he dreamed about as a boy. What he wanted to do for a living, but ended up helping his parents keep there land, Now they are both gone, and he is 70 and able to fallow his dream. I can see him coming closer, Loving life and LOVING GOD again. your prayers mean a lot to me. (((HUGS)))

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1.  What stood out – the quote from Sibbes “God…delights to spread His beams and His influence to inferior things, to make all things fruitful”. Oh, yes. I am an inferior thing, a less than thing, but God shed abroad (KJV) His love in my heart (Rom 5:5). He did this by the Holy Spirit, and told me of it through Jesus.  
 
2.  How have you experienced God’s love in the last few weeks? One simple way is spring.  The renewal of all things. The fragrances, the colors, the textures, the hope, the warmth.  All of it a picture of His love. The more complicated answer has to do with my struggle with food. I’ve come to see that God is not frowning at me because I am doing so poorly.  Rather, He is smiling because it makes Him happy that I want to be more pure for Him. He doesn’t love me less because I eat too much, nor will He love me more if I am always on track. He delights (I’m learning to really love that word!) in a heart that takes seriously James 4:17 and wants to please Him.
 
3.  I think all illustrations of the Trinity have some usefulness, and all of them fail at some point for the very reason that our finite human minds can’t really understand the Trinity. He is beyond our experience and our comprehension, not that we shouldn’t try. For that reason, the fourth is the best, in that it starts from a less earthly point and therefore doesn’t get pressed too far so fast.

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i tried tying in the link for the song Staci shared, but it didn’t work.  Can we have the name of the song and artist and search for it that way?

    Reply

    I tried to fix it but have also sent an e-mail to my web guys. It is We Dance and it is on youtube. Sorry!

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Thank you all for your prayers for my husband! It encourages my heart <3   :)  The Lord has perfect timing & is so faithful.

    Reply

    Jenny, I will pray for Jeff. My husbands name is Jeff, too, and he is also not a believer.

      Reply

      Susan: wow, fancy your husband also being called Jeff; will pray for him too. Nothing is too hard for our God. Hard for us to wait, but I believe that day will come! :)

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SUNDAY
1.   What stood out to you from the above and why?
To delight in joining in the dance. I desire to delight in the Trinity.
2. Because our God is a TRIUNE God, He has been love from all eternity. He does not need us, He simply gives to us. Share one way you have experienced that love in the last few weeks.
 
I accumulated medical bills for my shoulder issues and have been a little discouraged about the expense. God reminded me that He is my Provider. The cross of Jesus was ever before me and the fellowship of His suffering has kept me going. The Holy Spirit comforted me during the painful days. Two weeks ago, my director called me to his office and handed me a letter. I was dumbfounded to read the contents that I will be getting supplemental pay for the work that I do for our honor society and my program! I did not expect it at all and the timing couldn’t be anything but so God-ordained. The week after, I saw a physical therapist who gave me some exercises that has tremendously helped my shoulder pain. How can I not feel so loved? I am humbled again by such undeserving grace and generosity. “He make everything beautiful in His time.” Ecclesiastes

    Reply

    Understand about being discouraged by medical bills — but yes, He is our Provider — and praying for you, Bing!

    Reply

    Bing–medical bills are hard, but I love how you see His hand–the unexpected pay for your honors program, PT exercises that are relieving pain-all signs of His tender, personal care for you–so sweet. 

    Reply

    Bing! A kiss from the King! How fortunate 😘

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    Appreciate your testimony to God’s faithfulness in this recent difficult time for you. 

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    Love this, Bing. So wonderful that God provided in your time of financial need. God has been doing a work in my heart and mind about worrying about finances. I can understand the worry!

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    Yay Bing: a hug & kiss for your Father God…what an encouragement for u, & for us!

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    I am reminded of that Fact “HE is my providor”  all the time, I receive, and I give, What a Blessing to be a “conduit” for the Lord! It is His Nature, and I LOVE, that Dance! :)
     

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1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
I liked very much the image of God’s love being like the sun, delighting to make inferior things fruitful. I think that may stay with me :)

2. Because our God is a TRIUNE God, He has been love from all eternity. He does not need us, He simply gives to us. Share one way you have experienced that love in the last few weeks.

Since week before last, when I was impressed that those on the road to Emmaus thought they knew things, I have had some times of prayer and repentance about some things that I think I understand or understood regarding other people. During one of my prayers the sun came through and warmed me, it was a mostly cloudy day, I had been feeling quite low and foolish, I felt so encouraged, loved even because of that sunlight at that moment.
 
3. Do you agree that three of the four illustrations above or the Trinity fail?
Yes
Why or why not?
They seem to me to be weak attempts to illustrate a concept that is a mystery mostly beyond our understanding.

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1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
 
i also like the quote from Sibbes. Sometimes just feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin is like receiving a hug from Him. Even the reliability or faithfulness of the sun rising every morning, dispelling the darkness, reminds me of His faithfulness in that His loving kindness is new every morning.

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I’ll be traveling later this week and returning early next.   Spending a long weekend with our grandkids.  Two of them were  just adopted officially!   I have been buried in a big project of making a photo album/scrapbook for each of them as an adoption gift.   So I do not plan to be commenting here much as i just won’t have time or access.   I hope I can jump in mid week next week for I do want to be a part of the discussion.  
But I do have one question that I put out there last week, but I don’t think anyone responded.  It’s been continuing to be on my mind, so I’ll ask again here.    Do you think the Holy Spirit descended ‘bodily’  (as Luke says)  as a literal dove?   This is how the experience has been portrayed in books and movies but I keep wondering why the Spirit would have taken on flesh and blood of an animal…….I feel it must have been more ‘AS” a dove which is what some passages say.  I can completely understand a ‘likeness’…..a light descending…….coming over Jesus’ shoulder….lighting on Him as a bird would.  But I can’t understand a literal bird.  What would have happened to the bird later?  Jesus was the only member of the Trinity who took on flesh.   Not sure why I’d never wondered about this long ago.  But since last week, I’ve kept wondering.   The word,  ‘bodily’ throws me off.  And I did look up many translations and a couple of articles about it, but didn’t feel I found an answer.  

    Reply

    Great question, Wanda. I am not sure! Other gospels say something like in the form of a dove –but Luke alone says bodily form. In any case, the Spirit looks like a dove or took on the form of a dove — others could see — a visible picture of the Trinity with the voice, the dove, and Christ. Not sure that will satisfy — but it is a good question.

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4. According to John 16:7, why does Jesus tell the disciples that it is to their advantage that He leaves?
 
He is the link between the disciples and God.  If He stays with them, then God won’t come. If He leaves then God comes to them.
 
5. What is the Spirit able to do that the Son, in bodily form, could not do?
 
I read on through verse 13 and I think the Spirit guides them?
 
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
‭‭John‬ ‭16:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/jhn.16.13.esv

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1. What stood out to you from the above and why? 
 
This statement “PLEASE NO! THIS WILL NOT DO FOR OUR AWESOME, RELATIONAL, LOVING GOD.” in response to trying to compare God the Trinity as an apple or water in different forms or an egg.  Far better to go to the baptism of Jesus.  I agree it fails greatly to try and relate inanimate objects to our living and loving, glorifying God of motion (dance).  Our wonderful triune God is so full of majesty and vitality.  
 
2. Because our God is a TRIUNE God, He has been love from all eternity. He does not need us, He simply gives to us. Share one way you have experienced that love in the last few weeks.
 
In the gift of grandkids. They love to come stay with us and since there are 5 of them Mommy & Daddy need an occasional  break from the busyness of them all. The baby still goes with Mommy because she is nursed but the 4 older ones stay with us.  The 3 oldest are boys who are avid sports enthusiasts and keep their grandpa engaged with the latest stats and draft picks.  They bring the rough and tumble back into our home that left so many years ago when our kids became adults. The 4th child,   Aerilyn Kate,  is a little dark haired beauty almost 4 years old who has special physical needs because of Spina Bifida.  She has a child sized walker and in the last few months she has begun to walk more on her own.  We are praising God for ygat because we just didn’t k ow when she was born what use she would have of her legs. She is also incontinent and therefore we have lots of diaper changes. So between that and carrying her we get lots of interaction at the personal level.  She is one sharp little cookie and very articulate and conversant.  It makes me kind of sad when people are sorry about her condition because we are all better because of Aerilyn.  God made her exactly the way she is and she brings so much delight to our lives by who she is.  We have all learned so much because of her.  The kids stayed overnight last night and so this morning as Aerilyn sat on my counter and talked my leg off as I fixed breakfast I was blessed and loved by God in great measure because of this child.  
 
3. Do you agree that three of the four illustrations above or the Trinity fail? Why or why not?
 
I guess I pretty much answered this question in # 1.  (-: 

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    Bev, your post made me tear up! I love this:
     
    “…It makes me kind of sad people are sorry about her condition because we are all better because of Aerilyn.”
     
    She sounds like a great kid!

      Reply

      Yes Laura , She is a child that delights hearts. (-:  

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    Bev, your Aerilyn sounds so precious. Sometimes the kids with disabilities  teach us the most, & bring the most joy  :)

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4. According to John 16:7, why does Jesus tell the disciples that it is to their advantage that He leaves?
When Jesus left the earth, He sent the Holy Spirit as our “Helper”.
 
5. What is the Spirit able to do that the Son, in bodily form, could not do?
The Spirit dwells within us. He is with all believers, at all times. Jesus could only be in one place at one time, but the Spirit is with us, in us, always.
 
6. Read John 17:20-23 (Jesus last prayer before the cross)
A. In verses 20-21, for whom is Jesus praying, what does He pray, and why does He pray this?
Jesus prays for future Believers. He prays for unity among them and their union with Christ and the Father, so that they may bear witness to others. 
 
B. When you are divided with brothers and sisters in Christ, what should your part be? (This may vary with the situation, so I’m asking you to ask God for wisdom and share. One thing God promises in James is that if we ask Him for wisdom, His Spirit will give it to us!)
I think it’s always helpful to remember what’s “essential” and “non” about our faith, and not get in hurtful disagreements about the non-essentials. This is something the Lord has really worked on in me over the years. I tend to be pretty black & white and have difficulty seeing beyond my own views, but that is often rooted in pride and wanting others to agree with or understand my views. I have learned a lot about accepting differences in the small areas within the Body of Christ. I am writing out James by hand and just recently came to this verse in 4:1–“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”–I think it is fitting here. I believe the enemy tempts us in our passions about certain beliefs and our pride leads us to argue and divide ourselves with others–I believe it is one of the enemy’s favorite tactics for hurting the Body. But we are called to seek common ground, to hold on to the Truth and seek peace, unity. “those who plan peace have joy”-proverbs 12:20
C. How can you see, according to verses 22-23, that Jesus wants us to be part of this harmonious dance with the Trinity? 
He wants us to share in His glory, He wants us to enjoy true fellowship with one another, united through Him, as one Body, reflecting the unity of the Trinity.
 

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1. What stood out to you from the above and why? 
I am answering out of order because I thought these 3 questions were way too hard for me this morning! I didn’t get to the blog yesterday because we were on the road traveling.
 
I LOVE the sun! I love to be outside with a nice wind on a sunny day 🌞🌞🌞. So, I agree with others here about Sibbes’ quote.
 
2. Because our God is a TRIUNE God, He has been love from all eternity. He does not need us, He simply gives to us. Share one way you have experienced that love in the last few weeks.
Well, since my spring break was last week, I didn’t plan on grading any papers or doing anything extra for school. I usually do when I’m on break. I kind of put myself in a “pickle” for a class today because I allowed the students to pick their assessment for an end of unit exam, and 3 people actually picked a test instead of a project! It meant I had to create a new test because I didn’t think anyone would pick that choice out of 4!! I decided to leave it for last night and prayed that God would help me locate already completed test questions from some of my other tests in another class. I was calm, but definitely pressed for time. I worked a couple of hours last night and managed to pull it mostly together, and then did the rest this morning before I had to admister the test at 11:00! No problems printing either! I knew I had other important work to accomplish apart from this test, and somehow stayed calm and pointed in my execution of the busy schedule. I know He was there guiding me and pushing me to think clearly and carefully as I worked. I felt Him with me through it all.
 
3. Do you agree that three of the four illustrations above or the Trinity fail? Why or why not?
 
I’m not sure I get the analogies of the three pictures. I’m not understanding what they would have to do with God? The egg has three “layers,” I guess, but that’s just weird; so is any comparison to food! I have always said that water is life though, so that one makes a little more sense to me, but, again, what does it mean? The vapor is the spirit? Then what do the ice and liquid represent? I don’t get it at all! I don’t like them…

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    I so agree with you Laura; I have heard these Trinity “Like the egg….. ” etc, all my life and I have never liked, Especially around Easter! and I don’t like them either.
     

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It is lovely to see how Sibbes ministered to so many of you!

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6. Read John 17:20-23 (Jesus last prayer before the cross) 
A. In verses 20-21, for whom is Jesus praying, what does He pray, and why does He pray this?
 
He prays for anyone who believes in Him. He prays that they will be One with the Father and Son. He prays this so the world knows He was sent.

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1. What stood out to you from the above and why?    It is what I have been living for the past 47 years, Actually all my life, My Dad also a Marine, was not one to go to Church, but a week before he died the Lord worked a miracle for me, and I lead him in the Sinners Prayer, and he received Christ. For my Husband, I am still praying and the Lord is leading me to find some one who can speak to him, So many of our Military either come home in love with God! or hating Him! Helping Dad find the LOVE of GOD was life giving to both of us. One day I KNOW I will see my husband Join the Dance as well.  I KNOW IT. because when the Dr. gave my Dad 3 months to live. I stepped out of the room, and cried to God! “It will not be heaven if he isn’t there, You have got to do something” My Dad lived 3 more years. My cousin came to his last Birthday Party and brought him a bible with his name on it. And he prayed for my Dad, and he Prophesied over him. I was so grateful, Dad kept telling me take him and do something with him, I don’t want this, I just grinned at him and said this is my last day here dad you know I always finish cleaning up for MOM. And Blessed the Lord for sending him to help push Dad to Jesus before he died. But what god did was Amazing. That winter I heard a sermon on the Radio over and over, and I had it memorized from hearing it. over and over. I got on the buss to go out to see dad like I did every 3 mo. that  last year.  I did “Therapeutic Touch” (#1 I had learned at a Monetary, from a God Loving Woman just a year before Dad was diagnosed) with him and he would feel much better!  (he believe because he could FELL the LORD helping him) This last time I walked in the house and Dad told me. “I don’t want any more of that, I am ready to die, I am tired of living like this” (#2. I said “but are you ready to go to God” He said “ya I BEEN GOOD!” The words that started that sermon I had memorized) I Laffed, I recognized that Dad would love this, he is a joker and this little sermon is tong and cheek FUNNY. I told it to him, and he listened! after i was through he asked so how can get my name in THE BOOK. (#3. I had looked around for something to read on the long buss ride 1000 miles. I picked up a 1/2 dozen little magazines I was getting back then. they where just pocket size, and all the way out there as I read one, I would leave it at a buss stop, for some else to read. But in pocket I had just one left the one I had just read. and the Sinners Prayer was on the back page! )  We prayed together, and the next morning Dad got up and called his family, and told them he loved them. That generation wasn’t big on doing that! and after his funeral that next week, his brother came up to my Mom and told her when he called, we hadn’t spoken in months, (his wife didn’t like Dad, so when Dad would call him she would just puck it up and hang it up. but that morning she wasn’t home and the visited for an hour. He told mom He told me he loved me, NO ONE in our family ever said that EVER, and he was in tears. but it was an out ward sign of what had happened in his heart the day before my Dad made all those calls to say good by, when we prayed for Jesus to come in and be with Dad through his last “valley” in 2001 I see one of his cousins, that got (that call) he is now in a rest home near here, every time I go there, the nurses take me to his room and tell me he won’t know you. But He always does! and he tells me again how much it meant to him, to get that call from my Dad. I know God can reach my husbands heart again too. I am almost excited to as he just turned 70 and  I can see him tolerating my Christian Videos, and favorite TV shows. He will “go with GOD” one day too! I know he will.
#2    My husband is taking me Hunting with him in Zimbabwe next Mon. He LOVES hunting! since he retired 5 years ago, we have been to Africa twice, Spent our anniversary in Alaska last May. Now that we are leasing the land, and we don’t have any cows, The load is off his shoulders, He manages the lease now. he went hunting 3 times last year, He is filling his Trophy Room, something he dreamed of all his life. He is so happy and relaxed now, our retirement has been one long honey moon! He is SO HAPPY, he even tells me he loves me, (not often, but more than ever before, it is not an easy word for him either! I am Trilled for him and when he gets what he is after,he has this little boy grin, I love to be there to see his joy! I just know Jesus is wooing him and he is listening!
 

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4. According to John 16:7, why does Jesus tell the disciples that it is to their advantage that He leaves?
 
He says it is because if He does not go away the  Holy Spirit Who he calls the “Helper”  will not come to them.  I had never thought deeper about that question in the context of the passage and reading it here frankly I wasn’t sure why. One of my favorite commentators is Warren Wiersbe and his teaching is often simple and helpful.  These were his initial comments at the start of John 16.  
“The disciples could not understand why Christ had to leave them, so He showed them that His return to the Father made possible greater blessings because of the coming of the Spirit. The Christian life cannot be lived in the energy of the flesh. We need the Spirit of God if we are going to live lives that glorify Christ.”
Wiersbe also says the world is no friend to the Christian and since Jesus was going to leave them  He gave them this Word to encourage them.  
 
5. What is the Spirit able to do that the Son, in bodily form, could not do? 
 
He is able to indwell us.
 
I think of those verses that say we are “sealed” by the Holy Spirit.
 
“and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:22‬ ‭ESV‬‬
 
 
“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬
 
 
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I have some more thoughts but my husband needs breakfast before he heads off to a meeting. Will come back to this later (-:

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From my earlier post Weirsbe’s comment “The Christian life cannot be lived in the energy of the flesh. We need the Spirit of God if we are going to live lives that glorify Christ.”  stood out to me. Oh how often I have tried to live my life in the energy of the flesh. Yet the precious Holy Spirit lives within my very being and if I will submit to Him and dance with Him my life will glorify Christ and I will be pleasing to my gracious Heavenly  Father. That is so my desire. 
The song Holy Spirit sung by Francesca Battistelli comes to my mind. 
http://youtu.be/UvBBC7-PSHo

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    Dear Jenny, 47 years for me, I can tell you “NEVER give up! it is worth it I prayed for my till a week before he died, and God gave him more years than the Dr. did. :) When we pray for one another, GOD IS ON OUR SIDE!  there is no better prayer partner, HE can move Mountains! :)
     

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    I so agree Bev from Broken Bow <3
     

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4.  It was to their advantage that Jesus left.  That was the only way for the Counselor to come to us.  I understand that Jesus couldn’t do bodily what the Spirit can do, to be in each of us continuously and simultaneously , but I don’t understand why the Spirit couldn’t come until Jesus left.  My mind sees a relay race, with Jesus returning to heaven and handing the baton to the Spirit.  But since God is omnipresent, why did that transfer need to happen?  I know that in another place it says that Christ now is at the Father’s side to intercede for us, but that still doesn’t explain to me why Jesus and the Spirit couldn’t be here at the same time.
 
6.D.  Why is the dance so hard?  What keeps us from dancing?  A lack of trust.  In a physical dance, you need to trust your partner, that they want this to succeed.  Spiritually, I sometimes heed the devil’s voice telling me that God will drop me.  That He won’t come through for me.  That He just wants to take from me.  All that plays into my own sin nature, expecting and wanting to be the center of it all and guarding my selfishness zealously.  O Lord.  The music continues, but as I sit out it gets further away from me.  I want to come into Your dance.  To allow You to lead and shine and have it be all about You

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#4 John 16:7 Why is it to my advantage He had to leave?  So I can hear him and receive His Counsel “THE WORD” is living in me! He can do all things, but what He wants to do is COMFORT me! Dance with Me! I Cherish his Council, I NEED HIM every moment and He is with me! every moment. that is ASTOUNDING to me, I am shore He has so much to do, but HE wants to spend His LIFE on me. “THANK YOU” is hardly enough, but it is all I have, and He says it is ENOUGH!
#5 What can the Spirit do Jesus could not do? He is the Worker! HE WORKS MIRACLES, in my life, I just have to ask Jesus, and The HOLY SPIRIT gets right on it! putting it all together, over YEARS some times, something will happen, I had not even thought about for so long I almost don’t recognize it, but then I realize I was dreaming this up years ago. and here IT is! Wow! some times HE Blows me away with His LOVE! the smallest thing is just as important to him and the BIG things! Awesome is OUR GOD
#6. John 17:20-23    He Prayed for ALL those who believe and those who will Believe! “May They be 1 with God, Like you and I are,. May they be in US. So the World will Believe in ME” By his dying HE has given US.the GLORY! And like children we play with it, and that is OK, because we become used to having it, and as we Grow, in His leading, we can be very helpful to God! It is a WOW!!! thing, with the GLORY, we are a part of the DANCE and it is MAGNIFICENT when it all comes together!
A. Verse 20-21   This is WHO HE IS in US to bring US in to the DANCE! to work with Him, on EVERYTHING! AMAZING what LOVE!!!! like a Father for his kids, here on the Ranch we all work together, and hope our kids will like it enough to keep it. But they don’t always, it is disappointing but it doesn’t lesson our LOVE for them. WHAT LOVE!
B. I am asking!!!
 

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1. What stood out to you from the above and why?
 
 
The clip from the movie was very impact-ful (evidently that is not a word, but you all know what I mean!)   You can’t help but feel so bad for Leslie.   It is so heart-rending when someone close to you cannot understand or even goes so far as to tell you to snap out of your conversion!   I have not seen the movie, but now I want to – it is actually playing this week.  I hope it hangs on long enough for us to get to it.   Sometimes religious movies don’t last more than a week.   The Shack held on quite awhile.  I’m looking forward to the discussion next week!
 
2. Because our God is a TRIUNE God, He has been love from all eternity. He does not need us, He simply gives to us. Share one way you have experienced that love in the last few weeks.
 
I have been so busy that I have found myself talking to the Lord about my schedule.  Last week it seemed as if everyone I knew and every organization I belonged to was expecting something from me!    I had to make some difficult choices about which things I would attend.   One day, as I set out in my car, I was praying as I drove.  “God, things are shoved in so close to one another and events seem to have to squeak past one another – how am I supposed to do it all?”    Just then a cloud pulled out of the way and allowed the sun to come rushing in through the drivers-side car window, warming my face..   It was as if the Lord was reminding me that He was capable even if I was not!  So, yes, I enjoyed the Sibbes quote about the sunshine also!   
 
3. Do you agree that three of the four illustrations above or the Trinity fail? Why or why not?
 
Wonder where I have been hiding for most of my life?!!   I was totally unaware of any of those other three illustrations of the Trinity.    Of course, the Trinity is so awesome that there is not one worldly thing that would adequately explain it.   So, yes, I feel three out of the four illustrations DO FAIL!    

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B. When you are divided with brothers and sisters in Christ, what should your part be? (This may vary with the situation, so I’m asking you to ask God for wisdom and share. One thing God promises in James is that if we ask Him for wisdom, His Spirit will give it to us!)
 
Well, I think a good place to start is to pray for the right words, if anything is spoken. Then wait for an “answer;” discernment.  If speaking is the right course of action, then you will know. If speaking is not the correct action, then an “answer” may not come to you initially (this is my clue to keep my mouth shut!). It could be an action should be taken that has nothing to do with speaking. Maybe you need to invite the person to an outing to be with them in company, or such. I’m not quite sure I understand why this question is included here. Am I missing something? Is it because Jesus prayed for those who killed Him as it was occurring?
 
C. What would you say to someone who says he believes in God but is unsure about Jesus?
 
Well, if you believe is God then you would believe what the Bible says; God’s true account. However, Jewish people think that Jesus was just a prophet. This is why I bought the book “Christianity Explained” that someone we studied (Keller?) spoke of as a very good source. I need to read it! Incidently, one of my students asked me if I was “religious” yesterday. I answered okay, but it was long and not polished 😕. I need to be better at this!
 
 

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    Thank you Laura – dancer  reading your B. helped me, It just popped in to my head, Philippians 3:13 Brothers, …..” this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before”, I love it when He just drops it on me! I think one reason It wasn’t coming to me is because I am VERY GOOD AT FORGETTING :)
     

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6. Read John 17:20-23 (Jesus last prayer before the cross)
 In verses 20-21, for whom is Jesus praying

For the disciples and all who will make up the church.

What does He pray, and why does He pray this?

That we would be sanctified- set apart, made holy by the Word That we be one, and that our unity would guide the world to convinced and believe.

 
B. When you are divided with brothers and sisters in Christ, what should your part be? (This may vary with the situation, so I’m asking you to ask God for wisdom and share. One thing God promises in James is that if we ask Him for wisdom, His Spirit will give it to us!)

I have been convicted recently that I should be humble in my thought life regarding the other person/persons. I can have a tendency towards making negative assumptions and then retreating.
I am not omniscient, I don’t really know what is going on in that other person, but the Lord does, I can pray for them and for me.  
I have made some progress in confessing what is going on in my head and asking the Lord to guide me to think rightly. I have work to do. I want to move in the direction of the command in Philippians 2:3 of considering others as better than myself.

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C. How can you see, according to verses 22-23, that Jesus wants us to be part of this harmonious dance with the Trinity?
 
It always blows my mind that Jesus lets us share in the glory and honor given to him by the father!
His desire is perfect unity for us, with each other and with God, that the world will recognize who he is and the love of God
 
D. What do you think keeps us from dancing?
 
I am weak and often stubborn, I am scared of more suffering in this life.
I take my eyes off of him I look to earthly comfort when I feel overwhelmed.
This life is hard sometimes. I forget what my true hope is.

I went looking for stuff on Louis Smedes because of a quote from him in a Keller sermon. I thought of this quote as I thought about this dance question:

“This is where I find myself now on the journey that God and I have been on, at the station called hope, the one that comes right after gratitude and somewhere not far from journey’s end. It has been “God and I” the whole way. Not so much because he has always been pleasant company. Not because I could always feel his presence when I got up in the morning or when I was afraid to sleep at night. It was because he did not trust me to travel alone. Personally I liked the last miles of the journey better than the first. But, since I could not have the ending without first having the beginning, I thank God for getting me going and bringing me home. And sticking with me all the way.” 
 
Lewis B. Smedes, My God and I: A Spiritual Memoir

I also thought about this song:

He Will Hold Me Fast
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4tTPDyEtPE

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    Love Smedes, this song, and you! :-)

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As I pondered my list of whys it occurred to me that all that makes me sort of a sympathetic figure- I think an uglier truth is I want to be in charge- I don’t trust enough to really, fully, be led.

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6. Read John 17:20-23 (Jesus last prayer before the cross) 
A. In verses 20-21, for whom is Jesus praying, what does He pray, and why does He pray this?
 
He prays for all future believers which includes us. Includes me. Christ was praying for me!  He asks that we be joined and share in the Oneness that the Trinity enjoys. The reason being so that the world may know and see Him revealed by our oneness with Him. So they might believe God sent Him. 
 
B. When you are divided with brothers and sisters in Christ, what should your part be? (This may vary with the situation, so I’m asking you to ask God for wisdom and share. One thing God promises in James is that if we ask Him for wisdom, His Spirit will give it to us!)
I need to accept them as brothers and sisters in Christ. We should be able to have unity in Christ by the Holy Spirit. The reality may be that we won’t have uniformity in practice or even thinking but if we are true believers in Christ we share in the same Triune God and if I submit to the leading of his Holy Spirit we can have unity of heart because of Christ.  I can think specifically of some fellow Christians who I have had struggles with. But I have learned that I have to let God soften my heart towards them. If I back up and try to see them in their need often I find I end up not feeling so hard toward them. The beauty of Christian unity is when I walk close to my Lord and a fellow believer also walks close to Him we end up walking closer to each other. Jesus draws us together in his love and fellowship. He brings us into the dance and orchestrates it all for good. 
I have a daughter-in-law who I am divided from right now. We live several states apart and maybe see each other once a year. She is a believer but isn’t walking with God. For the most part she is polite to me but has hurt me in the past with her very sharp tongue and undermining ways of keeping our family apart. I have had to work at not having a root of bitterness grow because of her hindering us having a relationship with our son and 3 of our grandchildren.  But God spoke directly to my heart a few months ago that I needed to look for ways to speak and apply love to her life. I told Him He will have to show me how because of her hardness I don’t know where to begin. But we will go to our granddaughters high school graduation the first of June and will be together for the first time in over a year. I am looking to Him for direction and a loving heart. 
 
C. How can you see, according to verses 22-23, that Jesus wants us to be part of this harmonious dance with the Trinity?
 
He has given us his glory. As a result of salvation we enter into his glory. Through the Cross Jesus was glorified and as believers we have been been given His glory. He desires that we see Him in his glory and some day that will be fully realized but for now as we enter into the dance by having unity with Him we are getting wonderful glimpses of that glory. 
Psalm 105:3 NIV
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 
Rejoicing is cause for dancing.
 
 
D. What do you think keeps us from dancing?
Actually it would seem to me it is selfishness. We think of ourselves first. Instead our focus has to be on Him. As was said “locking eyes with Him”  Letting Him draw us into the oneness of the relationship and letting Him lead. Trusting Him. My self focus and my doubts of his love for me kept me from dancing. He challenged my thinking and spoke love to me. I am so very grateful. 
 
 
 
 

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    Will pray for you with your daughter-in-law. So hard!

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4. According to John 16:7, why does Jesus tell the disciples that it is to their advantage that He leaves?
 
Jesus is saying when he goes away, He will send the Holy Spirit (Advocate)
 
5. What is the Spirit able to do that the Son, in bodily form, could not do?
 
.  Christ’s presence on earth was limited as he could only be in one place at one time, but if He left the world and the Holy Spirit came, He could be with the whole world at once.  
 
 
6. Read John 17:20-23 (Jesus last prayer before the cross)
 
 
 
A. In verses 20-21, for whom is Jesus praying, what does He pray, and why does He pray this?
 
Jesus prays for His disciples – and all who believe because of their message (that would include us!)  He wanted all of his followers to be united with Him and the rest of the Trinity.  He wanted them to give a united witness to the love of God. 
 
B. When you are divided with brothers and sisters in Christ, what should your part be? (This may vary with the situation, so I’m asking you to ask God for wisdom and share. One thing God promises in James is that if we ask Him for wisdom, His Spirit will give it to us!)
 
My part should be to seek reconciliation and unity, not contribute to the division.   I thought Lizzy nailed it in her answer to this question.  “I think it’s always helpful to remember what’s “essential” and “non” about our faith, and not get in hurtful disagreements about the non-essentials.”   I also have to watch my need to be “right” and have others agree with my views.     We can follow Christ’s example and pray for unity.   
 
.  I am presently walking a tightrope as a church board member.   I don’t think our church should run raffles to make money.   Mostly I think it is sending a mixed message, as we allow Gambler’s Anonymous to use our facilities for their meetings. I think we shouldn’t provide a temptation to gamble.    We are a struggling congregation, which means struggling financially as well as attendance-wise.   We used to have a policy of not allowing raffles in the church.   However, in the last year it came up for review again, as one member gave an expensive item to the church, and the donor suggested they raffle it off to make the most money out of it.   When the vote came up in board meeting, my vote was the only one against running the raffle.  In the discussion preceding the vote, the prevalent view was that “we shouldn’t do anything that would limit our making money.” A second opportunity to raffle an item came up again in the last board meeting, and they tried to reassure me that last time  no one went into the Gambler’s Anonymous meeting  to sell raffle tickets, and that the profits were going to help the Swaddler’s ministry.     I am trying so hard to maintain friendships with those who opposed me on the vote.   At the same time, whenever the subject comes up, I keep expressing my view, as I feel called to do that. 
 

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Wow, the song “We Dance” is so powerful and so on-target for our present study!    Good job, Staci!

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#7 B. thanks to Laura :) Philippians 3:13 Brothers, …..” this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before”, I have learned Years ago I could not live dragging my hatred behind me every where I went, it was ruining my life, I was so Sarcastic, I was ashamed how I could cut some one down. I Gave it all to God! and left it on the alter! that day! Since then I have been FREE! the Lord has taught me to (Matthew 10:14) “Shake the sand from my shoes and walk away” with Him!  I think that is why I forgot what to do I just do it automatically now. I don’t want ANYTHING BETWEEN me GOD!
C. I love how he talks to GOD like a Son, and I can do that too. I can tell God what I want, and in this scripture I feel he is telling GOD this is MY PLAN, and I am so Grateful Jesus gave us the Glory! and made us all Children of GOD. Sadly the Church is not United :( “the spoiler” has divided us. and make us weak, I PRAY for the Christian Church to UNITE like Jesus has believed we would.
D. The thing that keeps me from dancing is: being DISTRACTED with the THINGS OF THE WORLD. it is like today, here I sit doing this because I want too! but I SHOULD BE; getting the house ready for company a week after I get back from going to Africa with my husband, and working to get the house ready to leave for 3 weeks. I am getting calls all the time; What should I do?  I can tell them “take care of yourself, and the stuff sill take care of itself,” but I don’t listen to that myself very often, But that is why I am doing this instead of what (LIFE) tells me I should be doing. I am no longer “Susy housekeeper” and my company will find that out when they get here, I am not ashamed of it It isn’t that bad, but it is not up the standard I used to hold over ME!
#7  A. L.O.L. what I was saying before, Life is a Distraction from what I want to do, I want to “Dance with the Trinity all the time” but when I do my house piles up around me and my husband feels neglected. :(
B. it is our enemy that keeps us distracted, from our purpose, in this world, Our Enemy is disguised as BEING; Busy, Helpful, a Good Wife, a Good House Keeper, a Good Employee. Climbing the Ladder of Success. Succeeding, The Winner, etc.   Christians who spend time with GOD in the Dance, are considered, SLACKERS , I have heard people talk about taking Sunday off of work, when there is money to be made, even Christians, go out for Lunch after Church, Are then not thinking that there where people working to make that lunch while they where in Church? or are they thinking well there are a lot of Services in the day, they must attend a different timed service, like they can get it in just any time.  I remember when the town was CLOSED on SUNDAY you couldn’t get anything. You had to be prepared for Sunday, on Saturday you had to make shore there was gas in the car so you could go to Church, and back to work on Monday. because NOTHING was OPEN on Sunday! And Wives make shore they had a Shepard’s pie ready to eat on Sunday so they didn’t have to do much on the Lords Day either. One Sunday we where at my Great Grandmothers house on Sunday and a person cake to the door “It is Honey Sunday: do you have a donation for us” My Grandmother told him all about SUNDAY and FILTHY LUCRE :) I was so proud of her, but my Dad laughed, the World laughs and scorns. What used to be Pious, is now ridiculous. :( It is so SAD, but as this is How it is coming in, seeking in They are Denying that Jesus is Christ! Oh they will say no Jesus is LOVE! and it is love to work on Sunday, and for those who worship on Sunday, you can worship on another day! :) then Every one is Happy! and it is ALL OK! as we slide in to the soft trap of,Verse 26; “Those who would deceive you,{seduce and lead you astray} Verse 27;BUT AS FOR YOU, THE ANOINTING (THE SACRED APPOINTMENT, THE UNCTION) witch you received from Him Abides {Permanently} in you. So then you have no need that any one should instruct you.,,,,”We are Sealed”, as my Great Grandmother would say “and they can’t take that away”! :)
C. Jesus: is the “WORD” he was and has always been with GOD, just as the Holy Spirit is a Part of the Trinity! Jesus came to give us, His Glory that we might abide with Him in Eternity. Psalms 33: 6 By the WORD of the Lord the heavens were made,and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
#8 Question #6B has been on my mind, this week, I am still helping my husbands cousin put together a service for her Mother, here in Arthur a week after we get back, she is going through what we all do, missing her Mother (they where very close) and having her (deceased) sisters husband, and 1 daughter come in to the house and help themselves, before she got there. etc, they had a funeral service back in Bethesda, and it was a disaster, she is just so upset! with it all, I send her scripture, and try to help her, but she is 1000 miles away. she needs a hug, there seems to be no one around her that sees that. This last week It came to me ( I LOVE YOU LORD) to send her music, I wrote on the email ” Always remember The Joy of the Lord is your Strength” that hit a chord with her, now she is making progress. Getting the Where, When, and Why, down on paper and sending out new emails to every one, so they all know what is happening, and can make up their minds what they want to participate in. Most of them are coming a 1000, miles to get here, I have always felt NE. is the perfect place to live, In the MIDDLE or everywhere! and Arthur is 40 miles to anywhere! the Perfect place for me. :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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    I lived 25 years in Nebraska and I don’t even know where Arthur is! You are in the middle of nowhere — but so glad it s the perfect place for you!

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      I drove 4 hours one time to see you in McCook NE. I never have liked to drive. I have asked GOD what am I doing out here in the middle of Everywhere, and I don’t like to drive. Then the love of my life comes to mind and I know he needs me, and now that he is retired he does all the driving when I get behind the wheel, I have to go over where everything is again :)  Always God will make a way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zo3fJYtS-o&list=RD1zo3fJYtS-o
       

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2. Because our God is a TRIUNE God, He has been love from all eternity. He does not need us, He simply gives to us. Share one way you have experienced that love in the last few weeks.
 
I’ll admit I was stumped by this question, because when asked for an example of how I have experienced God’s love, I immediately search my mind for some sort of supernatural experience, some emotional, powerful, “spiritual moment” in which I felt His love, and I can’t think of anything, and then I feel rather lacking spiritually. However, I believe I have discovered my answer. To explain, let me begin by saying that I was a committed listener to the radio show Midday Connection, and though it was taken off the air, I continue to listen to the former host’s Anita Lustrea’s podcast, called Faith Conversations. I also follow Friends of Midday on FB. Anita’s husband, Mike Murphy, who was a pastor, shares what he calls his “weekly rumblings”, which are thoughts, ideas, things he’s heard that are food for thought – things to ponder, talk about with others. So I read one of his rumblings a few days ago: “I believe faith needs to inform my life. But life also informs my faith. When you listen to your life you’re also listening to a surprisingly engaging God who speaks in and through the ordinary.”
 
That’s it – a God who speaks in and through the ordinary. I realize now that I don’t have to try to come up with some earth-shattering, mind-blowing, spiritual mountaintop experience of God’s love, and feel left out in some way if I don’t have anything like that. So my ordinary experience happened yesterday. My 23 year old son who is at college in PA and who graduates tomorrow has a very kind doctor who has taken care of him his five years at school. He first met him his freshman year when he got sick, and once he saw him, this man became his assigned doctor for the duration of his time there. I remember his freshman year when he got pneumonia, and this doctor took very good care of him and even spoke with me on the phone to reassure me, and Ryan told me how his doctor would call him and check on him. Ryan has been having some health issues this spring and has once again been under this man’s care. Ryan tells me how his doctor has given him his personal cell number to call whenever he needs him, and how he spends 30 minutes or more talking on the phone with him. I knew Ryan had another appointment with his doctor yesterday, and so last week, I told Ryan that I wanted to mail his doctor a card and write him, thanking him for his good care, and I did. Ryan told me yesterday that his doctor came in holding that card, and saying how he almost cried when he read it. Then, I had a voicemail on my cell phone when I got off work last evening from the doctor, and I almost cried listening to the things he said about my son…..what a wonderful son I have and “good job mom and dad for making such a beautiful boy”. And from hearing that, I felt loved by God, that He sent this doctor into my son’s life while he was in college to care not only for him, but about him. And to let me hear those words which I now treasure in my heart. And further reflecting on it this morning, I believe God showed love to my son through this wonderful man and doctor with whom he developed such a special relationship.

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    Susan, what a sweet story about the doctor and your son! I would have cried as well, and you are right; God is with us in those normal, everyday things that happen in our lives. Thanks for sharing with us!

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    Yes Susan — often in simple ways. I will forward this to Anita.

    Also — so good about your son!

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    This is so true, I find people who don’t think they can see God or hear from God, but they over look the flowers that bloom in there yard, or the rain at just the right time, to save their crop, or that phone call that made their day, or all the Good friends He has lined up for them, even this Bible Study, is a real Blessing from God and every one that is taking part in it, it helping each of us to Look at Who God is and What God does, He is obviously very involved in our lives, or we would not have found this Study! I find God all around me. but I do live in the middle of EVERY WHERE! but for me Heaven is very close, each day I look out my window and See God’s hand in my life. being a 4th generation farmer gives me that perspective I suppose. My Great Grandmother once asked my Dad “Why do you Gamble”? he looked at her and said “I was born a Farmer there is NO bigger gamble than that”!

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      How neat is that! You’re a fourth generation farmer!

        Yes the Pound name helped to Found NE. My Great Grandfathers siblings, like Rosco Pound, was in the First Graduating Class of the NE University, he went on to be the Dean at Harvard for 20 years!  and his Sister Louisa Pound was an English Professor/writer at UNL, Pound Hall was named after her.  My Husband is 3rd Generation NE. Rancher, The Sandhils of NE was called The Great American Dessert by Luis and Clark. so no one lived up here for years until a Blizzard pushed the cattle that had gotten away from the Texas Cattle drives to Ogallala, “the end of the Old Texas Cattle Drive” they brought them up here to put them on the Train and sell them back east. The strays ran N. and disappeared in to the rolling hills of sand! People where afraid of getting lost up here, as many did. The Kincaid act brought them up here too because President Kincaid realized there was far to much empty land, he decided to give those brave enough to go into the wilds of America and tame it, so he them an entire Section of that stuff, so they would do it.  The Homestead act only gave the homesteader a 1/4 of a section. That worked for the farmer, but the Rancher needs a lot more. especially the kind that only grows Yucks, and grass, there is only 3/4 of a inch of top soil in these Sandhills. the Eastern Farmers tried farming but it played out in 3 years. and laid waist all the valleys up here. Luckily all the valleys up here are closer to water and they survived but the hills where still just sand, until the Dirty 30’s blew up more Top soil and more seeds :) the one good thing that came from the Dirty 30’s tells me that God heard the plight of those trying to make the Sandhills work for them, and He brought them more dirt and seed. And the rest of the World didn’t see any good at all in all that wind and dirt blowing it blew all the way to Washington! It was BAD, but it did not hurt the Heart Land of America, there is miles of good soil S. of the Platte River and that Wind distributed it to places than needed more of it. like the Sandhills. :) I like to think God honored the prayers of the people living here, and brought them A Good Top Soil, and better grasses to cover these hills of Sand. that where formed after the Glaishers That  had ground all that rock in to sand, then blue this Inland Sea full of Sand and made the Sandhills of NE. It is called sugar sand because that is the consistency of it. Makes wonderful beaches at Lake Mac. I have cousins from California that cant believe how fine the sand is here. ;) I just love tracing God’s hand, through the centuries, He delights in making his people happy. On the earth. I always say if you want something to change Ask GOD He can do it !!!! History proves it, to me!

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    Oh Susan, that is such a beautiful picture of God’s love in action, & His tender care of you & your son. He covered all the bases. You are so right about God speaking thro the ordinary things of life. Lord open our eyes to see Your hand every day  :)

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C. How can you see, according to verses 22-23, that Jesus wants us to be part of this harmonious dance with the Trinity?
 
Jesus speaks of being “One” together, as He is with God.
 
 
D. What do you think keeps us from dancing?
 
I usually don’t read others comments prior to answering myself, but I messed up the questions’ order yesterday and ended up reading  Bev’s answer to this question. I agree with her answer which is “selfishness.” I want what I want and it appears that God interferes with that at times. I forget that He is leading and I need to follow. It’s not the other way around! Please Lord, lead me. Amen.

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3. Do you agree that three of the four illustrations above of the Trinity fail? Why or why not?
 
I think we used to have a children’s book that explained the Trinity in terms of the apple. It might be helpful to young children in the way that it helps to describe that though we say Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we aren’t talking about three separate “gods”, but ONE GOD who is “separate” in three Persons but yet of One essence. So the apple or egg illustration shows that there are three parts to each, but we say we have one egg or one apple. Yet as we grow and mature, those examples are rather flat and one dimensional. But even thinking about the Trinity quickly points out to me that my little mind can’t really grasp it! It is something truly mysterious, and I like the imagery of a dance of fellowship that we are invited into.

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    This really helps me understand! Thanks Susan!

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7.  Read 1 John 2:18-27
A. What quickens you from the above passage and why? 
 
I see that the Trinity is clearly present in this passage.  Verse 20 and 27 speak to our anointing as believers by the Holy One (Holy Spirit). And verses 22-24  speak clearly of the Father and the Son.  Anyone who is anti-Christ or demonstrates beliefs that are against Christ and the triune God are liars about this all important truth of Who God is. 
 
 
B. How do you see the importance of the Trinity in this passage? 
 
In this passage John is writing to God’s children. Believers. the Holy Spirit anoints (indwells) those who are God’s children.  From verses 20 & 27 we see by the Holy Spirit’s anointing believers are given knowledge to understand and are taught Who God is and the truth about the Trinity. The Trinity is completely woven into this passage. 
The case for Christ hinges on Jesus as the son of God and Jesus as God as proven by the resurrection. Verse 22 says antichrists will deny that Jesus is the Son of God and will go out from association with true believers. 
 
C. What would you say to someone who says he believes in God but is unsure about Jesus? 
 
I would probably encourage them to go see the movie “The Case For Christ” (-: We just saw it last night. It is as Dee said so well done and so clear in the end.   But actually in a discussion of Jesus I would seek to understand what was in their thinking about Him to cause reservations where Jesus is concerned. I would want to direct them to consider from the gospels what Jesus says about Himself. God’s Word is powerful and speaks for itself about Jesus. I would probably encourage them to read the gospel of John. 
 
8. Share a time in the last week when the Spirit revealed something to you — either about the Son, or about sin in your life, or giving you wisdom for a situation. Share with thanksgiving.
 
I shared yesterday about my daughter-in-law who I am praying for and the strained relationship we have with her. I need God’s wisdom on how to reach out and speak love into her life.   I am trusting God to walk me through that when we go to Texas in a few weeks for our granddaughters high school graduation. Over the recent years I have pretty much withdrawn from any significant interaction with her. But I am thanking God for what I believe He will do in answer to prayer. 
 
Thank you Dee for praying. 

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    Bev–praying for you in your relationship with your daughter in law and for the upcoming visit. Praying for God to work and provide opportunities for you to speak love in her life, as you said. Love your desire to reach out to her and I will pray for God to bless it. 

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      Thankyou lizzy. I really value your prayers. 

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    I’m sorry for your strained relationship with your daughter-in-law. That must be very discouraging. I’m a very new mother-in-law myself…about two weeks, and my son and his wife will be moving in a couple weeks to Florida, and I’m already wondering how I will continue to get to know her and be close to her. So I can imagine what it must be like to be in your shoes. I will pray that you and she might have a new beginning and real change in your relationship.

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      Susan thankyou for your prayer. a new beginning is what I need with Steph and I appreciate your putting it in that context. 

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9. What did you learn about the difference between the Triune God and, for example, Allah?  Other gods are made up in order to dominate the people, they are NOT LOVE! and they are only 1 that stands off, and makes Demands.
We must begin help others realize our Triune God is the Only Loving God who cares about them just as they are He wants them to join in with Him!, and let it be known we serve a LOVING GOD who wants Unity! for His CHIDLREN, He wants us to be with HIM!
Not like the other god’s that are Above love, and wants nothing to do with their people but to be given too. In order to spare their lives.

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7.A.  What quickened was vs18, ‘this is the last hour’. We have been living in the last hour for close to 2000 yrs. That makes it even more true, not less. The epistles are written to encourage and ground believers so that they can face the challenges of their world.  So that ‘what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If is does, you will remain in the Son and in the Father.’ I need that encouragement and grounding on a moment by moment basis.
B.  The importance of the Trinity in this passage. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equally essential. We need to be in Them and allow Them to be in us. 
C.  Jesus is God. You can’t have God the Father without having God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  People want to make it about God only because it keeps Him at arms length, instead of in your face, messing with your life. Even as a believer, I struggle with wanting my own way all the time. Jesus calls us to die to that.
 
8.  In the last week, the Spirit revealed to me that I am a lot more talk than action, intentions more than deeds. I am so grateful that He cares so much for me that He will confront me and challenge me to let him do scary things in and thru me.  In three weeks, it it the birthday of the MD I work for. She is not a believer, and her world view is very much that way. I have some sermons on CD that I plan to share with her.  They are on Ecclesiastes and the search for meaning. But it is very scary for me, and I know that a lot of what I am feeling now is the devil trying to beat me down. I would appreciate your prayers. Not so much for me, but for a receptive and softened heart in her.

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    L.O.L :) Mary B , My Grandfather used to tell me “don’t worry about THE END OF TIME! it ends for some one every second.” every hour is the Last hour for some one.
    Precious Heavenly Father Our Triune God of Love. we know You love “the MD” Mary is working for. Mary has heard You ask her, to help the MD, to find You! I Thank You Father God for inviting Mary to come in to the Dance with you, and reach out to, Your Dater; the MD to draw near to You and Believe in you. Bless Mary B with Your words, Your plan, and Your knowledge to do this, afraid! give her the courage to step outside her comfort zone, and Bless your Dater the MD to the Dance. In the Power of the Blood Jesus given to us, the Glory, to strengthen us and teach us in the way we should go. Amen.

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7.  Read 1 John 2:18-27
A. What quickens you from the above passage and why? 
 
These two verses quicken me:
 
 “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.
 
No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:18, 23‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/1jn.2.18,23.esv
 
I am am curious about the first one. I especially want to understand the context also. I am not that familiar with this book of the Bible. It is kind of scary that “…many antichrists have come.” Of whom are they speaking?
The second verse is comforting. The Trinity is with us.
 
B. How do you see the importance of the Trinity in this passage? 
 
As I said above the importance is that we are not alone as long as we don’t deny Him.

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    Hi Laura,
    Little anti-Christs reflect their father, someone who is prophesied to come before Christ returns, who is the embodiment of Satan. They deceive — you see them in all the false teachers. 1 John gives many characteristics of them if you read through the whole letter.
     

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9.  The Trinity compared to Allah.  Allah is one, not three.  There is a difference in the motivation and behavior. Allah gives nothing; he demands.  He is solitary, with no one to love from all eternity. He had to have a creation to have something to love, and is therefore dependent on people.  Allah is both the source of good and of evil.  He is proud, he is the destroyer, he is the best of deceivers. followers cannot have assurance because Allah cannot be trusted. The Triune God has loved for all eternity.  He tells the truth, He shows grace and love.  He is sufficient in Himself.  The Trinity is the rationale for music; the why of it. The supreme harmony is the Trinity. The Trinity is a life of joy.  Only the Trinity can be gracious.
 
10.  Notes on Mike Reeves. People believe in God not because of an explanation of the Trinity, but because of Jesus.  There can’t be a Father without a Son, without giving out life. God doesn’t hoard His life, He gives it away. This makes Him unique. Other gods require things from their worshippers. Our God does not need us or our offerings, but He loves us.  If you are bored with Jesus, then you are blind to Him.  The Father and the Spirit have been satisfied with Him for eternity.  God in all three forms is always shining out.  There is no grace without the Trinity. 
john Dreydend wrote: from heavenly harmony, the Trinity this universal frame began, it’s tuneful voice was heard on high.  The Word is not dissident, but beautiful. 
They created a whole world in harmony to echo Themselves. The supreme harmony is the Trinity.
Bach’s goal was in some way to sound out the character of God and His beauty, His harmony.

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DELIGHTING IN THE TRINITY AND WHY IT MATTERS
 
9. What did you learn about the difference between the Triune God and, for example, Allah?
 
Allah and all other gods are solitary. They require worshipping for their being. They demand to be worshipped. They are taking gods not giving. The Triune God does not need anyone for He is not lonely. He is forever loving and giving because of his eternal relationship with his Son. 
 
10. What comments or notes do you have from this message?
 
Reeves says that unfortunately Christians tend to minimize or avoid discussion of the Trinity because of their discomfort and lack of understanding about Who the Trinity really is. They tend to promote the gospel when it is the Trinity that gives the gospel power and meaning. Reeves says we should be proud of the Trinity and acknowledge clearly that we serve a Triune God. He makes a wonderful case for the richness and value of the Trinity.  The reality is that from all eternity our God has been a life giving, out going God, a loving God. The Father loving his Son and giving His life to Him and in turn the Son giving his life all in tune with the Holy Spirit. 
I have come to appreciate more fully the best example of the Trinity being the baptism of Jesus. Reeves enlarges on that beautifully. 
I also appreciate his take on the importance and value of music. He says the Trinity is the rationale for music. I have always felt music is intricately a God thing by the very nature of it’s power to soothe, inspire and affect our souls. Music naturally flows out of the harmony of the Trinity. The Trinity is the very source of music. No wonder we are always posting songs that have meaning for us and Dee that you use music again and again in these lessons.  Thank you for that piece of beauty you use to draw us to God. The triune God. 
 
SATURDAY
 
11. What is your take-a-way and why?
 
This weeks study has been enlightening and encouraging in so many ways in relationship to the Trinity.  As a result I feel like I have a better understanding and deeper appreciation of my wonderful triune God. 

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I liked what Susan said about the book about the apple being good for children but as we mature we need something close to the reality — it just may be too profound for children.

Pray for tomorrow as I post about The Shack. Have had several e-mails from bloggers and silent bloggers concerned about my theology — I have tried to reassure them. However it is a tricky subject and I certainly don’t want the enemy to get in so appreciate prayer!

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    Dee–praying for tomorrow’s post. I am sorry you have had people concerned about your theology. I’m so thankful for your wise teaching and gift of discernment. Thankful for your example in approaching hard topics with truth and grace, and courage!

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      Oh Lizzy — didn’t mean to say I was upset. I completely understand. The Shack and its author are controversial for certain. And I am not above being led astray — though not permanently, for He has me! :-)

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      Amen to what Lizzy said, Dee!   I think you do a wonderful job of leading us through some really hard stuff!    

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    Dee, Praying for next week’s post about The Shack and next week’s discussion. Lord, may you be honored and made beautiful in all that takes place. May we be drawn to You and not distracted or discouraged by the enemy!
     
    Every week I resolve again to be more involved but each day gets filled with so much. I would ask for prayer as I have an important decision that will definitely affect my schedule. 

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      Praying for wisdom for you, Diana.

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    Dear Dee you are in my prayers. First I wan to Thank you for having the courage to do what you do! and remind you God has your back.
    “Christ through my faith dwells in my heart! I am rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, I have the power and strength to apprehend and grasp with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth; to know the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge; I am filled unto all the fullness of God. – EPHESIANS 3:17-19
    Precious Lord, I ask that you show Dee your Love, that she may know You are with her abiding in her guiding and protecting her, through what she is doing today, and every moment of her life. Show her You are” well pleased” in her. Amen

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      Thanks Cfe!

        Dee, thanks for being bold & willing to go outside the lines! Our God loves to surprise us, so may He move you with wisdom, love & clarity.   :)

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8. Share a time in the last week when the Spirit revealed something to you — either about the Son, or about sin in your life, or giving you wisdom for a situation. Share with thanksgiving.
 
Thank you Dear Jesus. You have a way of gently reminding me of just who is in charge. I am thankful that I can now recognize these moments and adjust as necessary. This week there have been times when I knew He was in charge by giving me the wisdom to do the right thing. One such situation was with my husband, another was with my daughter’s boyfriend, and the third was with a colleague. In each case, I quietly spoke (prayers) to myself to “buffer” the conversation and to try (very hard) to say the right thing (or not). I think I handled each conversation well; not to draw attention to me, but to listen well and speak the words the Holy Spirit wanted me to say. Thank You, oh Lord, for being my guide in what seems so difficult at times; life.

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I listened to Mike Reeves yesterday & loved what he had to say, & with such passion! I’ve never heard him before. As he said “We need to be proud of Who our God is”. The Lord is so desirable & beautiful. Knowledge of God will be shallow & veer into idolatory, unless we press into the Triune God. Our God is Love eternally & gives His life away. Other gods are needy & solitary…can’t be trusted. Our God is so sufficient, beyond all idols of human imagination. Our God gives grace & kindness. Everything was created by Him, to live in harmony , just as He is harmony of Father, Son & Spirit. Harmony in music is a reflection of the Trinity & its heavenly harmony!

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    Thank you Jenny, I have listened to this 4 times and I could not put words to all I was learning. I knew it was all true, but it was still sinking in I guess, I jsut could not pull it together to make the kind of sense you have about it. I am so Happy with this Study but I have to leave on Monday. I will be able to read it, and perhaps reply a little but on the phone it isn’t real easy. I will be praying with you all from Zimbabwe for the next 2 weeks. <3
     

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    Thanks for your encouragement, Jenny — and so glad you liked Mike Reeves –for more of him is coming!

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9. What did you learn about the difference between the Triune God and, for example, Allah?
 
the Triune God has never been lonely. The Father bore the Son and the Holy Spirit linked the two together. Allah could not be whole without his creation, so he has always been alone. The Triune God doesn’t need us;  but delights in us. Allah wants his followers to cater to him.
 
 

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    that rely struck me this morning, Laura – dancer. I will carry that with me to Africa leaving today!  I loved doing this while resting from my work in getting things ready for when I get home. God Bless you all! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYY8n3Uq3oI
     

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