Traces of Grace
Online Worship This Sunday
Don’t miss our worship service this Sunday morning live on Zoom at 10:00am. Shawn will be introducing our new sermon series "Simple Prayers... Faithful God".
The Zoom link and Meeting ID for our service is in our online calendar, which can be accessed via our website at fumccollingswood.org/calendar. After the service is over, you will be able to view a recording from our website (www.fumccollingswood.org) or our Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/CollingswoodFUMC)
Thought For Today
Every summer we enjoy summertime activities with friends and family; it’s a great time to renew and relax. As we reflect upon this year and the pandemic and all that’s a part of our lives, we see that everything is so different this year. We don’t go to the same places or do the same things. Our summer plans have changed quite a bit compared to other years. Our goal to renew and relax remains this year. In fact, it is needed more than ever. But how do we accomplish this in the midst of a pandemic year? Lisa and I are trying to walk, ride bikes and do whatever we can to renew and physically recharge. In fact, we just bought a corn hole game! Hopefully we’ll go on the professional circuit someday.
As important as it is to recharge our physical and emotional batteries, we also need to take time to recharge our “soul” or spiritual lives. The words “soul quenching” come to mind...when the depths of our spiritual lives are recharged, renewed, made fresh and transformed by the warmth of God’s presence deep within us.
We are beginning a new sermon journey in September called “Simple Prayers, Faithful God.” One of those prayers we find in Ephesians 3:16-21. It’s a prayer for those desiring that deeper love of Christ in our lives. Written by Apostle Paul to the church 2000 years ago, it still has such meaning for you and I today! In verses 17- 19,21 I was encouraged by the depth of God’s love, simplicity of God’s love and impact of God’s love. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.
When we are renewed and refreshed by God’s love in our quiet times, worship and reading God’s word, something spiritually happens within us that is life changing. That’s what Paul’s prayer is all about for the church in his day and today! This week I read this quote and a few thoughts that follow: “Once God’s love changes you, it overflows and impacts your family, your church, and everyone around you.” (Revive page 7)
In the times we are facing, how important it is to remember these words, to even pray this prayer and know even when we are facing some difficulties that God is ABLE!
In the day we live in, I find Jesus’ love is the hope and solution to our greatest problems. He has chosen to work today through His people (1 Corinthians 12:27) to reveal Himself as “the light of the world” (John 9:5) and through us (Matthew 5:13). Oswald Chambers: “The greatest secret of a holy life lies not in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfections of Jesus manifest themselves in my life daily. It is His patience, his love, his holiness, his faith, his purity, his godliness, that is manifested in and through every sanctified soul.”
How are we going to live Jesus’ love out today? Abraham Kuyper was a brilliant theologian who also served as prime minister of the Netherlands. He observed: “No service in itself is small / None great, though earth it fills / But that is small that seeks its own / And great that does God’s will.” What a wonderful thing it is to be spiritually renewed in Him.
As we look to a new season may God guide and lead us together. Know you are in our thoughts and prayers!
In our Lord’s love and grace,