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Pastor's Blog
Tuesday, January 02 2024
Blessed 2024! This is the year of the Lord's favor! Pronounce that and rejoice as you pray that expectantly with thanksgiving over you, your family and friends and our church! God is on the move and He has great things in store and all ready in the works for you and us! PTL! (The UR below reminds us to speak and prophesy God's love, light and goodness over situations and our lives. Cast blessings not curses!) The Word of Life resides in your heart bring Him to life with your words!
Good Morning Resolute Followers of God! Is that you? Is that how our church is perceived by our neighbors? It can be! Yesterday, Sarah challenged us to three spiritual things to work on this year. (see her prayer email below). Sarah and I are hearing the same things from God as He speaks to and through our true identities and unique personalities like He did with the authors of the Bible. We share what we hear from the Holy Spirit as God reveals His plans for each of us and us as His Body of believers. What might God be saying to you and what will you do about it? Who are your accountability, praying, encouraging partners and co-laborers? Who is on the throne of your heart? Enter this year in surrender, humility, and purposeful living. Paul reminds us in Col. 3:11 of what really matters in this life--Christ! And He lives in you to come alive through you. I'm seeing the fruit of the Become Me in '23 Challenge, as many of you chose to work on a word to help with your spiritual growth and stepping into doing some of your created purposes. In the weeks ahead we will here some testimonies about how God used this challenge to grow us and mold us to become more like Jesus and operate from our true identity in Christ. Who needs to hear what God did in and through you this past year? Pray for courage and wisdom to share your story and glorify God. Resolve to live and love like Jesus and share your story with those God sends your way.
I loved Sarah's message and challenge. God was speaking to me and I will take a bit of spiritual poetic license as I piece what she is hearing to align with the vision and challenge God is giving us for the year ahead. The Become Me in '23 Challenge was all about working on our spiritual growth as we sought to work at growing into our true created nature, our new nature in Christ, and to become more like Him. It was also about discovering and stepping into your created purposes just as you are and allow God to grow you into the greater things He has in store for you. Yes, I think everyone that tried this challenge had spiritual growth and a story to share of what God did. But the story doesn't end there, does it? We are on a lifelong journey to become like Jesus as we discover our purposes along the way to grow His Kingdom on earth. God has revealed to me that we are seeing some great fruit from our efforts and wants to encourage us to continue moving forward into this in the year(s) ahead with the Become More in '24 Challenge. More of Him and less of us. More growth in Christlikeness. More discovering and growing into our greater created purposes. More disciple making. Maybe God's speaking to your heart right now about something more He wants to do in and through you? Write it down. Pray into it. Share it with someone and process it. Then commit to measurable ways to do it. Become More in '24 in Christ! He has great plans for you to discover and do!
So tweaking Sarah's challenge looks like this:
God has challenged us to especially work on three things this new year, in 2024.
  Those three things are:
 #1  Get more spiritual - spend more time with God, talking with God, finding out more about Him. Start accountability relationships.
    > This is starting or continuing the Become Me in '23 Challenge
    > It's choosing to live this life as if Christ is all that matters--being sold out to Christ and working on that spiritually
    > Become More in '24 of who you were created to be and stepping more fully into your created purposes--Know Christ         More and make Him more known
            * This ties to the next challenge as well as you begin to operate better from your true identity and step more fully into                 your purposes
(Spiritual poetic license here as I reorder her challenges)     
#3  Perform more Service - no matter how BIG or SMALL or INVOLVED or it!   As the scripture says, Do it
    unto the least of these, you are doing it to/for ME.
    >This is living sacrificially and loving lavishly like Christ as you bring His compassionate love, hope and help alive and into         the situations He places you.
    > This is living life expectantly for God to place you and use you, just as you are, where you are, with what you got to         meet needs and glorify Him. Pray for courage and wisdom and discernment to do this. AND Teammates!
    > Doing More in '24! You were custom made for custom purposes. Expect God to lead you to them as you surrender,         process well with others, make plans and just be available as you watch for Him to be at work as you go through each         day. He does have great plans for you to discover as you journey towards Christlikeness daily! And greater purposes to         grow into!
(And #2 becomes #3: the fruit of doing the first two intentionally and well)
#2  Reach More People - by living our faith OUT LOUD so people will wonder what we got living inside us, talk more about Jesus and what He is doing and has done in your life.
    > More Fruit in '24!
        *More of Christ and less of you leads to people asking about your hope and motivation--Christ and His love!
    > More Stories in '24! We will get to celebrate more in '24 as we share the stories of what God is doing in, through and         around us.
    >More Disciple Making in '24!
    >More Love in '24! 
        *Jesus commissioned us to Go and make disciples. He commands us to love God and others with all our hearts, souls,             minds and spirits
        *The amount of disciple making disciples being produced through us is the measure of how much fruit we are             producing along with our personal and corporate spiritual growth as disciples of Jesus. Love come alive and grows!
            < NOTE: More Multiplication in '24 becomes the most sought after and best fruit we sow into.
               + Right now we are adding disciples but Kingdom expansion, growth and becoming a dynamic movement of God                     involves multiplication as the Kingdom expands exponentially through allowing God to use us and our efforts to                     explode Kingdom expansion. (Check out the Harvest Prayer Blog below and pray for revival)
So, what's God saying to you as you Seek More in '24? What will you do about it? Who will you partner with? How will you pray and plan and work at Becoming More in '24?
    > Pray for our Vision Team meeting Tues Jan. 9th. That we would seek God, listen, process and begin planning well to Become More in '24 of who God created us to be and do more where He placed us for such a time as this! Thanks! Please share any thoughts and ideas with us that God is bringing to light to you.
Is Jesus truly the Lord of your life? What is distracting you that needs pruning or ousting? What are God's priorities for you? What are you doing about stepping into them more in '24? Who is helping you and who are you helping on this journey?
Check out ODB below speaking into our true identity in Jesus and our motivation to Become More in '24! And end with Charles Stanley's reminder below to be resolved and resolute to follow God into His plans and purposes for you as we develop more trust and more action as we follow God to our fuller potential and His very best for us! He custom made you, knows you and is calling you by name to step into your true nature and purposes more fully in the year ahead! PTL! Spend some time with Him (and some friends) processing this over the next few days. I can't wait to celebrate all God has planned and will do through us in the year ahead! How about you? Choose well my friends! Daylight is burning! We are sent ones of God! Amen! This IS the year of the Lord's favor! Rejoice and be glad in it! Love God and enjoy the plans He has for you! Shalom
Upper Room: Speak A New Beginning

God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. - Genesis 1:3 (NRSVUE)

I felt extremely grateful at the New Year’s Eve service in 2021. It indeed felt like a new beginning, a new hope against the odds of the past year. Yet after the service, I was in tears as I thought of all the things I didn’t have. I wanted so much for the new year, but I didn’t know how or where to start. I felt hopeless.

That night, I decided to pray again. I didn’t ask for anything. Instead, inspired by 1 Thessalonians 5:18, I gave thanks for all that I had, and I felt blessed by everything on my list. After this prayer of gratitude, I had Genesis 1:3 in my heart and a new understanding of the verse. In Genesis 1:1-2 it was the beginning, and it looked hopeless. In that bleak situation, God spoke light. With that light came hope, and God kept speaking, forming sky, seas, and land. What God wanted for the future, day after day, God spoke into being. Until it was all good, God spoke.

As believers, when faced with a hopeless situation, the first thing we can do is invite the Light into that situation. We can speak: “Thank you, Jesus.” He is the light of the world (see Jn. 8:12). With Christ’s light comes hope. My resolution this year is to speak light through all my days.

Dear God, help us to be grateful in all situations. Show us how to speak light and goodness into our lives and the lives of those around us. Amen.
Sarah Boyer Prayer email:
Good afternoon, warriors,
We had a great time on Zoom worship....and there was a good crowd joining us.
God has challenged us to especially work on three things this new year, in 2024.
  Those three things are:
 #1  Get more spiritual - spend more time with God, talking with God, finding out more about Him. If you need an accountability
       partner, let me know.
#2  Reach More People - by living our faith OUT LOUD so people will wonder what we got living inside us, talk more about Jesus and 
       what He is doing and has done in your life.
#3  Perform more Service - no matter how BIG or SMALL or INVOLVED or it!   As the scripture says, Do it
    unto the least of these, you are doing it to/for ME.
We will NOT become distracted from helping God with His Mission!!
Only One life, twill soon be past. Only what is done for Christ will last! 
Ready for 2024 to come, we are on mission with Christ, let's do this TOGETHER!
Here are a few prayer needs and praises:
Ron Boyer - Had his heart replacement and is doing well. So well that he has been discharged. He will have therapy ahead of him, so let's continue to pray for him.
Gladys Ketner - is over COVID and doing well. She is back at Complete Care at Lehigh Center in Macungie.  Let's send her some thinking of you cards, to let her know we are all thinking of her.  The address is 1718 Spring Creek Road, Room # 105A, Macungie PA 18062
Darla, Josie's friend - continues with Chronic Pain and having pain in her jaw. Continue to pray for endurance and perseverance as she fights through it.  Also may the medication help to take the edge off.
Josie is praising God the time we  get to experience with family and friends, not just over the holidays but at any time.  Never underestimate that time with them that you are given.
Continue to pray for our church family, as some are still working through the flu, colds, coughs, respiratory issues.
Pray for our Homebound members and missionaries also.
** ** **
Praying you all have a safe and enjoyable New Year's!  Enjoy that Pork and Sauerkraut.
Dear Lord, Help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this 
coming year.  In the midst of life's uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging Love for each of us.
  In your name,
Harvest Prayer Blog:

January 1 - Praying for Revival (Day 1): We’ve Been Here Before

After years of seeking God, a spiritual explosion took place in 1801 that went through our nation like a wildfire. The revival was so powerful as it swept in every direction that Vanderbilt University historian Paul Conklin called it “America’s Pentecost.”

It changed the course of world history. Hundreds of denominations were born, thousands of churches were founded, modern missions exploded, college campuses were revived, and tract and Bible societies were established. The abolition of slavery fixed itself to the American soul.

The awakening infiltrated every area of American life. It was a harvest of righteousness that fundamentally changed our culture in a few short years and spun out for nearly 50 years.

In the midst of similar problems today, pray with hope and confidence. We have been here before. We have seen the glory of Christ and its astonishing effects.

Father, stir in me a vision of what this nation could look like if another Great Awakening were to sweep our land. Give us a renewal of hope and use me to carry that hope when I pray for others. I ask that You pour out a “harvest of righteousness” in our nation and send a revival that will change the course of history! Fill my church with intercessors who will join me in praying with hope for another Great Awakening. May You be glorified!

Pr a y e r Po i n t s:

• Ask God to stir in you a vision of what this nation could look like if another Great Awakening were to sweep our land. Pray for the fulfillment of that vision.
• If you have felt discouraged about the negative discourse in our nation, pray for a renewal of hope. Ask God to use you as a conveyor of that hope as you pray with others.
• Pray for a renewed “harvest of righteousness” in our nation.
• Pray for a revival in our day that changes the course of world history.
• Pray that your church will be filled with intercessors who will join you in praying with hope for another Great Awakening.

--Adapted from Day 1 by Bob Bakke: Do It Again, Lord (30 Days of Hope-Filled Prayer for Revival)  compiled and edited by Carol Madison. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.


New Identity in Jesus

See what great love the Father has lavished on us. 1 John 3:1

READ 2 Corinthians 5:14–21

“I’m not who I once was. I’m a new person.” Those simple words from my son, spoken to students at a school assembly, describe the change God made in his life. Once addicted to heroin, Geoffrey previously saw himself through his sins and mistakes. But now he sees himself as a child of God.

The Bible encourages us with this promise: “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). No matter who we’ve been or what we’ve done in our past, when we trust Jesus for our salvation and receive the forgiveness offered through His cross, we become someone new. Since the garden of Eden, the guilt of our sins has separated us from God, but He has now “reconciled us to himself through Christ,” “not counting” our sins against us (vv. 18–19). We are His dearly loved children (1 John 3:1–2), washed clean and made new in the likeness of His Son.

Jesus liberates us from sin and its dominating power and restores us into a new relationship with God—where we’re free to no longer live for ourselves but “for him who died for [us] and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). On this New Year’s Day, let’s remember that His transforming love compels us to live with new identity and purpose. It helps us point others to our Savior, the One who can make them new people too!

By James Banks


What does it mean to you that a new beginning is possible with God? How can you live as His “new creation”?

Abba, Father, thank You for sending Your Son to save me. Please send me to someone who needs You too. 


Second Corinthians 5:21 describes the very heart of the gospel message: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” In this great divine exchange, known as substitutionary or vicarious atonement, God took our sins and placed them on the sinless Christ and attributed His righteousness to us. Jesus took the full punishment that we deserved. The apostle Peter describes this exchange as “the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring [us] to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

When we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we take on His righteousness (Romans 3:22) and receive a right standing before God (see 4:3-4). Paul says of this gift: “Even greater is God’s . . . gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ” (5:17 nlt).

K. T. Sim
Charles Stanley:
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Pray for your pastors and leaders guide. We covet and need your prayers!
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St. Matthew's EC Church

5th & Ridge Streets
P.O. Box 433
Emmaus, PA 18049
Telephone 610.965.5570


We are learning to live and love like Jesus. 

We are working on becoming who we were created to be and doing our custom made purposes well. 

We are part of the Evangelical Congregational Church

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