The Smile of God

Dr. Tom Pace, Dr. Tom Pace lll, Senior Pastor St. Lukes UMC, Sr Pastor St Lukes

A PERSONAL PRAYER

God,

I read all my old prayers to you, God, and recognize how often they are filled with contrition and confession. I continually remind you of how far short I fall. I try to be honest before you, approaching you with humility. And I know that such contrition and confession is appropriate – my sin is real. But I also can see how unbalanced that prayer life is, and how weary you must get of hearing me apologize to you. It is as if your attitude toward me is primarily disappointment. 

When I read your Bible, I see that disappointment, even anger sometimes. But when I meet there the man Jesus, the one who is the ultimate and perfect revelation of who you are, what I find in him is gospel, good news! I don’t see so much disappointment and sadness, but love! In the cross, you showed me how much you love me. You respond to the disciples’ shortcomings by demonstrating the right way to live, teaching by example, and you answer my sins with forgiveness and a reminder of the joys of living the pattern of life you showed me in the gospels. You cheer for me when I succeed and grieve with me when I fail. Your call me your beloved son, and you smile when I come into your presence. You take delight in me. I am so blessed to be your son. 

God, all around me I meet people who, just like me, struggle to know just how much they are loved by you. By your Holy Spirit, melt away the ice of their defenses, and help them to know at their very core that your love for them is immeasurable, so great that you sent Jesus to show us that love on the cross. Remind me of your unmerited love for me. Make that foundation of love so firm and sure that I can turn my attention to loving others, and grow to be even more like you each day.     

Amen.

SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE

New Sermon Series

This Sunday, we begin a new sermon series entitled “My Child, You Are…” At a level that is below our rational thinking, deeper than our emotions, more central than even our religious beliefs, each one of us has a basic sense of identity about who we are. Most of this comes to us as children, and is rooted in experiences we have very early in life, in those days which we can’t even consciously remember. This sense of identity continues to form as we mature and controls much of the way we respond to the world. The Bible has a picture of what God intends our core identity as human beings to be, and part of our job as a church is to form that Biblical core identity in each and every person, each and every child of God, no matter the age. Each week, we will look at one of four key components of that identity, and reflect together on how we can help form it in one another. This week, we consider that “My Child, You Are…Loved and Loveable.”

KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. –1 John 4:10 

QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION AND REFLECTION

What do you think, at your core, is God’s basic feeling toward you? Who has helped you to know that you are loved by God?

PRAYER CALENDAR

Sunday, April 15

Almighty God, you have told us that even a small amount of faith can move mountains, yet sometimes we pray without acknowledging your power and might. Forgive us, God, for thinking of you with human limitations. Open our minds so that we may believe in you with a faith that moves mountains. Amen.

Monday, April 16

Lord, we are burdened with the things of the world, and it is easy to develop a dark, gloomy attitude. Remind us that you have overcome the world and that we are children of the light. Help us to always seek your light of life and to lovingly reflect of your many blessings in our lives. Amen.

Tuesday, April 17

Lord, be with me this week that I may openly trust you to lead me and to lead others appropriately. God take care of me and all of your people. Amen.

Wednesday, April 18

Father God, heal the injuries that have created resentment and take these feelings away from me. Give me a new heart filled with love for you and for others. God be with those who have been hurt physically or emotionally and are struggling with their emotions today. Amen.

Thursday, April 19

God, I pray that everyone in our midst would hear about Jesus. Use us to love your people and teach us how best to do that in this day and age. Guide your church and give us the courage to follow you Lord. Amen. 

Friday, April 20

God of creation, this is the day that you have made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Guide us to seek you with our whole heart and to look for the good in all situations. We praise your holy name. Amen.

Saturday, April 21

God of providence, we pray for all of those who are still rebuilding and recovering from Hurricane Harvey. God we ask that you would provide for their needs and that you would restore them to better than they were before. Bless them like only you can do. In Jesus name, Amen.

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2018-04-13T08:57:32-05:00 April 13th, 2018|All blogs, Inside-Out with Dr. Tom Pace|0 Comments

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