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Your Image of God

Today’s Reflection

THE IMAGE YOU HOLD of God can affect your desire to answer the call of God in your life. For example, if you feel God is to be feared, you are unlikely to enthusiastically seek a way to use the gifts God has bestowed on you. You will be too concerned about putting a foot wrong.

If you see God as an angry God, you may be so worried about making a mistake that you cannot focus on gaining a clearer vision of life’s calling.

If, on the other hand, you see God as compassionate, you will have the freedom to explore various pathways toward clarifying that calling. Knowing God is compassionate encourages you to understand that God is patient with growing things. God is patient with you.

– Ann Siddall and Gary Stuckey
Tending the Seed

From page 24 of Tending the Seed: Nurture Your God-Given Potential by Ann Siddall and Gary Stuckey. Copyright © 2005 by Ann Siddall and Gary Stuckey. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Describe your image of God. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
Jonah 3:10, NRSV

This Week: Pray for compassion. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Anthony of Egypt (January 17).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Jill January 16, 2018, 3:50 am

    My God is effusive in patience and forgiveness. I see Him standing open handed and open armed, ready to embrace. His eyes are compassionate. I hear Him saying, “Yes, We will try again. I am with you.”
    Grateful for the leisureliness of yesterday – a walk in the snow with my friend and her dog, dinner out at a local neighborhood restaurant…a good “hole in the wall”. Early to bed.
    Grateful for simple praises…Lucy has found her appetite, Andrea’s hope to see her grandson, Robert’s continued work on railroads and ability to take more vigorous walks.
    Father – thank You for this group of encouragers, for prayers lifted and received, for Your ever-presence.

  • robert moeller January 16, 2018, 5:10 am

    Thankful for the resources I have. Able to go to the gym this morning.

    I think God has a multitude of images all capable of doing what they need to do when the the situation, circumstances, and God’s will require. Capable of, but slow to anger, compassionate, patient, understanding, powerful beyond anything we know, forgiving, kind, helpful, but also a disciplinarian guiding us, calling us directing us when we abide with God. A very willing friend and partner who provides the best solutions and answers to problems and questions. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all we need.

    Thankful for the prayers from the UR family. Lots of support, encouragement, and understanding here. The UR has been likened to an oasis, a small family.
    I would compare it to the early church where everyone cared for one another.

    My need to drive calls me, blessings to you all,

  • Betsy January 16, 2018, 5:58 am

    Glad to be back with the dedicated believers gathered here. Grateful for family members and friends who support us as we journey. Thankful for safe travels for all my family who came together for the long weekend.

    The image I have of God is a loving father. Compassionate and loving, but firm when I need it. Robert’s term disciplinarian is appropriate. Because of his love for us, I want to please him by my actions, but I know that is merciful, so if I do mess up, his grace will save me. Praying today for guidance for a new role being placed before me. Blessings for all my UR friends today.

  • Julie January 16, 2018, 8:01 am

    Good to have Betsy back and good to hear all family is safe and hope healing and support for Grace was the result of the weekend together.
    Glad to hear Robert and Jill are doing well.
    Prayers for Betsy and her new role.
    Continued prayers for all others who visit.
    Fingers bad, overused knee and have a setback
    Blessings and prayers for all, like Robert’s analogy of early church

    • Marcy January 16, 2018, 8:13 pm

      Julie, I’m so sorry you have to deal with this condition every winter. I pray for a miracle cure. And yet you still, tell us the things we need to hear, to build each other up. So whether you mention your hands or not, we will be praying for you every day! Much love coming your way and thank God for your words to us! PTL!

  • robert moeller January 16, 2018, 11:44 am

    Yes, I’m very thankful for the news from Betsy. What a positive weekend that was. Prayers for your new role, Betsy. Wonderful to hear from Julie despite her sore fingers. Prayers for healing and a cure.

    Life is not easy, that’s a given, from day one we have a struggle to survive and with the help of others that is usually possible. Still our whole lives problems, challenges, difficulties big, small, and in between continue to come our way. Jesus did not promise that these problems would vanish, but with faith in God there is a way through them. I cling to that belief.

    • Marcy January 16, 2018, 8:25 pm

      Robert, thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement and wisdom and knowledge born of experience. Thank you for your heart, mind and soul in our Father, Abba, Jesus Christ our Savior, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within you, always ready to help again!

      • robert moeller January 17, 2018, 7:37 am

        Thank you for your support and inspiration. Without God’s gifts I would not be able to do anything. Prayers that there is progress there with health, insurance, and rehab relations. Most thankfully God is with you.

  • Julie January 16, 2018, 2:26 pm

    Amen Robert
    Every winter I endure the sores and pain
    There is no cure and this year is especially bad
    But I lean on God and now on this wonderful group of supportive friends who all know about suffering and offer prayers and wisdom

    • robert moeller January 16, 2018, 3:04 pm

      Can’t imagine what you go through with your sore hands. Thankfully God is with you through all of this. Your witness is amazing. Bless you, God’s peace be with you.

  • Andrea January 16, 2018, 3:32 pm

    I see God as compassionate, now, however it took me many years to arrive at the concept of a compassionate God. Until well into adulthood, I feared that God would punish me if I made one mis-step. The difficulties I had as a young adult, I felt I deserved for being a flawed person. Now I see that God loves us as we are – imperfect – and calls us into an ever closer relationship, always with Everlasting Arms to bear us up in times of sorrow and hardship. Now I see God as using our imperfections for good. I do not think God want us to berate ourselves for our mis-steps or to fear punishment. God is compassionate and wants us to be compassionate toward ourselves as well as toward others. May I grow in compassion toward others and toward myself. Where I am callous or defensive, may I become softer, more understanding, more patient and stronger in forbearing.

    Today, my daughter has re-doubled her angry texts, after several days of back-and-forth chatting about mundane things. I sent her an email and I pray she receives it as it is meant to be, loving and respectful, attempting to dialogue about the difficulty we are having. I am very concerned about her. She has reverted to being the angry girl she was when she was 13 years old. Her childhood was very difficult, with a lack of communication and cooperation between her father and stepmother and me; she had to go back and forth between the two households. It was horrible for her. I made mistakes, I was imperfect, I was up against a very difficult dynamic with her father and stepmother, and I had no family support. I am trying to hear her now, hear what she is saying to me, hear her anger, and respond quietly and lovingly from my heart. I ask for your prayers for her. I ask for guidance and wisdom, that God will give me the right words with her. She refuses to see a therapist together. Although this is difficult for me, I am more concerned for her. She is off-balance. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I pray for a new beginning with my daughter.

    Jill, Robert, Betsy, Connie, Mary, Julie, Marcy, and all UR friends, I am grateful for your comments and presence here and I keep you and your loved ones in my prayers.

    • robert moeller January 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

      Andrea, I think you are sincere and trying very hard to do what is right. Relations between two families, stepparents and parents, are from my brief experiences very difficult. Can it be done? Yes. There are many families who do well with this situation. My prayers are for all concerned, may each person receive, learn what is needed for success to occur and may God be the center of it all.

      Getting people to counseling and then having positive results have been difficult for me. I’m very willing to go.

      • Andrea January 16, 2018, 5:24 pm

        Thank you, Robert, for your words and your prayers. Blessings.

    • Marcy January 16, 2018, 8:00 pm

      Andrea, I’m still praying for your daughter every day, that these mood fluctuations will become apparent even to herself and she may be moved to pursue talk therapy with you. I had to have a nervous breakdown. I pray this isn’t the case for your daughter. I’m praying for you, Lowell, your daughter, son-in-law and grandson individually and as a family unit, especially your daughter, needing God’s LOVE! Much love to you and your family, Andrea!

      • Andrea January 16, 2018, 9:23 pm

        Thank you, dear Marcy. My prayers for you, for healing. Blessings.

  • Marcy January 16, 2018, 7:31 pm

    My image of God is kind and gentle, able heal the deepest, most damaging wounds, understanding that which is incomprehensible, able to resurrect a person’s original self, no matter how demolished it may be, and using all of this together to bring about healing, comfort, understanding, resurrection to us all. But He also convicts us, if we become filled with pride, jealousy, greed, things that will lead us the wrong way. God puts a stop to that, when we repent and ask for his forgiveness. But the damage done to us by others, God is most merciful, gracious, loving, moving us beyond words into actions of His Faith, Hope and Love.

    I pray not only for compassion in ourselves and others, but generosity of spirit, empathy for all who suffer and the will to do whatever it takes to ease each other’s burdens.

  • April January 16, 2018, 8:22 pm

    Andrea, I am so sad to hear of you and your daughter’s relationship. I hold you all in my prayers and trust you to God. I view God as a loving, forgiving Father to me and all. I also know that He steps in to correct me when needed and make me a better person….a work in process.
    Prayers for Jill, Robert, Betsy, Connie, Mary, Julie, Marcy, Lou, and all in our UR family…Blessings dear friends.

    • Andrea January 16, 2018, 9:24 pm

      Thank you, April, I am grateful for your prayers. Blessings.

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