Beginning, middle and end
POWER OF THREE…is highly acclaimed as one of the most significant strategies and powerful truths in our universe. We see it in math, science, art, marketing, writing, speaking, religious beliefs and yes, a great Presbyterian sermon which has three points, many times with the same first letter. It really impacts every part of our lives. Sun, moon, stars; water, steam, ice; I love you; a,b,c; 1st, 2nd, 3rd; 1, 2, 3; do re mi; see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil; go for broke; tried and true; triangles; CBS, NBC, ABC; red, white and blue. You get the point.
Joanne and I are attending an art-spirit series at our church. One of the presentations was on this subject. While I had known and heard this over the years, I had never focused quite like I have during and since. As a writer, this intrigued me. I had never actually thought about how I was setting up my messages but as I looked back on a few, I had actually applied this. There is always a beginning, a middle and an end. You have all heard this. “Tell them what you were going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you have told them.” Our brain is structured this way.
The number three points us to what is real, essential, perfect, substantial, complete, and Divine. When I thought about God’s kingdom and his word, I saw so much of the power of three. Try these—faith, hope love—love, joy, peace—Holy, Holy, Holy. The number three is completeness. The three-fold nature of man is—body, spirit and soul. But even in the temptation, three was present. God had told Adam what would happen if he disobeyed and ate. But Satan showed him and Eve these three things— good for food, pleasant to the eyes, to be desired to make one wise. They succumbed to the threefold nature of temptation—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
God ordained three annual festivals for Israel to journey to Jerusalem. Jesus said to the disciples and those listening that he would destroy the temple, but in three days it would be rebuilt. He was crucified and three days later he rose from the dead, fulfilling these words.
There are countless others, but all of these emanate from the very nature of God. He is triune—Father, Son, Holy Spirit. In Genesis 2 the Trinity said; “let us make man in our own image.” Thus the family was formed. And we see the results. Man, woman, child. God is one, but three persons. Families are one, but three persons. We are the most prominent witness to the triune God. We were created to fulfill the ultimate plan for humanity as designed by God. “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, subdue it and rule over it.”
The power of three
Fathers, can you grasp the significance of the powerful witness you can have to point your children and countless other families to the heavenly Father?
The power of three—you, your wife and your children! And to accomplish this you need to invest in the ‘power of three’. Let’s look at Ecclesiastes 4.9-12. “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Dads, you cannot become an abiding father with all its demands unless you have the support structure of other godly men. Yes, your wife is a vital part of your team, but men who have your back; praying, counseling, listening and generally walking with you is so critical. Most men think independently and pride will not allow them to reach out to others, showing weakness. “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Prov. 15.22). Discipling your children for the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a one man job. The ‘power of three’ works! Let it work for you.