ALL IN ONE


INTRODUCTION

Shaundra loves to walk in the forest. It started when she was a young girl and her farther took her for long walks in the woods near their house. Shaundra’s father, Cliff, spent many hours teaching her how to identify different types of trees. He taught her to look at the bark, the leaves, the nuts or fruit (if there was any), and with all the information available analyzed, identify the type of tree. Because of these lessons, and the time and effort Cliff put into teaching Shaundra many other things, she grew up to be very analytical and very intelligent. Now in her 40’s, her father gone, Shaundra still makes time for her walks in the forest (though not as often as she would like to). She spends some time thinking of her father, some time looking at the different types of trees, but mostly she prays. Shaundra always says, “Each step I take deeper into a forest always seems to bring me one step closer to God.” Today as Shaundra walked on a trail she had never been on before, she was thinking about one of her favorite Bible verses, John 15:5 (I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing.) She loved to think of abiding in Christ and Christ abiding in her and it showing in the way she lived her life. As she walked, with the sun just starting to dip in the late afternoon sky, she caught sight of a beautiful tree set off the west side of the trail somewhat to itself. It was one of the largest pecan trees she had ever seen. Still reciting the verse in her head, Shaundra reached down and picked up a pecan. Looking up, out of habit she began to analyze the different parts of the tree (the texture and shape of the bark, the shape and color of the leaves, the distinctive brown and nearly black pattern on the shell of the nut in her hand). Walking, deep in thought, trying desperately to classify exactly the type of pecan tree, she turned to examine it again. But as she looked up, with the sun now directly behind the tree, all she saw was a silhouette. Not pieces, not parts, but everything together as one. “I am the vine,” she said out loud. After a short pause, “What are You trying to show me Lord?” she prayed. Suddenly she found herself deep in thought about the Trinity. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. The Godhead. Separate Persons but One God. A concept she had always struggled with. Shaundra closed her eyes, breathed in the fresh air and began to pray, “Father, may Your Holy Spirit reveal Your truth to me.” Then she got it. One tree is made up of distinct parts just as One God is made up of three distinct Persons. She smiled a beautiful big smile realizing she had just had an encounter with God.


SCRIPTURE

Focus Verse: 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Additional Verses: John 8:58, Exodus 3:14, John 10:30, 2 Corinthians 3:17, John 14:15-23


DISCUSSION

Using John 15:5, God planted the idea in Shaundra’s mind of God as a vine, then more generally as a plant, and finally as a tree. God used this image to reveal the nature of the Holy Trinity to Shaundra. With all the separate parts of the tree floating through her head, as Shaundra turned and saw the parts silhouetted together as one tree, this is what God illustrated for her. Imagine a magnificent tree. Think of the trunk, the bark, the limbs, the roots, the leaves. These comprise the structure of the tree. Without the structure, there is no tree. In this illustration, the structure of the tree represents God the Father. Fully grown, majestic, awesome! Now think about the sap in a tree. Distinctly separate from the structure, but every bit as much a part of the tree as the structure and absolutely necessary for the tree to exist. The sap represents Jesus Christ, the Life Blood of the Trinity. Our Lord and Savior. By the shedding of His blood, we can be saved. And finally, the fruit of the tree. The Fruit of The Spirit. The Holy Spirit. Again, clearly part of the tree, but distinctly separate. The means by which we are indwelled by God and His Spirit is shared with Christians. Providing spiritual nourishment for us. So do you see it? Three distinct parts to One Awesome God.


PRAYER

Holy Father in heaven, I pray that your Holy Spirit will reveal to me the truth of You as One God comprised of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. May this understanding bring me closer to you and continue to help me more completely understand what You have chosen to reveal to us through Your Word. I love You Lord. I praise Your holy name. May the love of Jesus Christ show through me as a light in this dark world. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.