I have a bargain for you to consider, a really great deal on a new tripod. It is top of the line, weather resistant, and lightweight. It folds up to fit in a backpack. It adjusts to secure any type of camera. This tripod can be a treasure that you pass down to all future photographers in your family. Interested? I’m offering it one-third off the regular price. It’s only fair that I do since this tripod is missing one-third of its legs. Yes, this is a two-legged tripod. Imagine the convenience of one fewer legs to fold up and pack. No wonder it is so lightweight. Besides, who needs all three legs?
What’s that? You do? You’re unconvinced of the value? You’d rather wait for a three-legged tripod?
Well, okay. Then let me move on to bargain number two, a tricycle. Just think of the joy your youngster will have riding up and down the sidewalk on this spectacular trike. Fire-engine red. Tassels that dangle from the handles. And, listen to this, a little bell that sits on the handle bar. Again, a great bargain. I’m offering it at one-third the original price. With these savings you can take the entire family out to dinner! There is, however, the small matter of one missing wheel. But the trike still has two. Little Johnny will eventually need to ride a two-wheeler anyway. Might as well start him out right. Buy him this two-wheeled trike.
You’re giving me that look again. You’re rolling your eyes at me the way Denalyn does. Now you are sighing. Come on, don’t walk away. Okay, the two-legged tripod is no good. The two-legged tricycle falls short of your expectations. But I have one more bargain for you to consider.
Have you ever seen a prism? Nothing captures the radiance of sunlight like a triangular prism. You’ll spend hours caught up in rapt fascination with the refractions of this simple tool. Entertain the kids. Impress your date. Get a good grade in science class. No home is complete without a triangular prism. This one is particularly suited for the budget-minded consumer. A slight factory defect has left one side of the triangle opaque. The other two sides work fine, mind you. But one third resists the light rather than refracts it. Granted, the flaw is a slight disadvantage, but on the other hand who else on your block owns a two-sided prism? Of course, I’ll lower the price by one-third to compensate for the defect.
Don’t be so quick to shake your head. Think about it. One-third off the price for a tripod that is missing a leg, a trike that is missing a wheel, or a prism that is missing a side. Do you not see the value here?
Of course you don’t, and I don’t blame you. Who settles for two-thirds when you can have the whole?
Many Christians do. Ask a believer to answer the question “Who is God the Father?” He has a reply. Or “Describe God the Son.” She will not hesitate. But if you want to see believers hem, haw, and search for words, ask, “Who is the Holy Spirit?”
Many believers settle for a two-thirds God. They rely on the Father and the Son but overlook the Holy Spirit. You wouldn’t make that mistake with a tripod, trike, or prism. You certainly don’t want to make that mistake with the Trinity. Your Bible refers more than a hundred times to the Holy Spirit. Jesus says more about the Holy Spirit than he does about the church or marriage. In fact, on the eve of his death, as he prepared his followers to face the future without him, he made this great and precious promise: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8).
Imagine all the promises Jesus could have made to the disciples but didn’t. He didn’t promise immediate success. He didn’t promise the absence of disease or struggles. He never guaranteed a level of income or popularity. But he did promise the perpetual, empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is central to the life of the Christian. Everything that happens from the book of Acts to the end of the book of Revelation is a result of the work of the Holy Spirit of Christ. The Spirit came alongside the disciples, indwelled them, and gave the early church the push they needed to face the challenges ahead.
Max Lucado, Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2018).
I have just completed a 7 Week Bible Study Lesson Series on Max Lucado’s book Unshakable Hope. It is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription plan. The idea is to invite each participant to purchase their own book.