Thanks for praying and being part of God's work through our Good News Delivery Co. called St. Matthews! God is hearing and answering! PTL! Your pastor and his mom are ok. PTL. Others are being healed and blessed as well! And we had a great but semi delayed congregational meeting.
The column for the 2024 budget failed to print unnoticed until the meeting. New copies have been distributed and are available. We will we convene before the brunch Feb. 25th as a congregation to vote on the budget. Yesterday all other business was approved, including retaining our same leadership teams. Thank you.
Don't forget Zoom Huddle at 10 tomorrow. All welcome as we continue to discuss healing.
Good Morning Hearers and Doers of God's Word! He is always speaking and near to you. He's even singing over you, believe it or not. He really loves you, wants to hang out, grow in relationship and even just chat. Sometimes we struggle to recognize that God is near or speaking, but that doesn't change the fact that He is. PTL! Sometimes our unbelief or sin hamper our hearing or His responding as well. Repent and hear and believe the Good News that you are very loved, forgiven and that God is answering your prayers and providing for your needs all the time. Be still and know! Turn off the noise. Listen to that still small voice and follow well today! Check out the Harvest prayer blog on how to prepare, pray and release God's will for this nation and revival below. That all begins with us--God's chosen people!
God had led me to pray today, as in many days, to "Speak, your servant is listening." Funny thing, well, God thing, I opened my Charles Stanley devo first with the title "God Speaks"! He sure does! All the time! You can hear Him too and know that He hears and is answering. We usually need to process what we are hearing with others to be sure exactly what we are hearing and what to do or even to be sure God is speaking. Pray for God to raise up some friends for you to process well with. This is a desire of God and my heart that this year we all find some small groups of friends to pray and process with and be accountable to. Let us know who you are partnering with so we can pray for you and so Sarah and I can help you get started.
As God speaks, we are able to discern His plans for us and even how to pray. God is at work all the time and with us even in the darkest valleys. Check out the Upper Room below. Who is someone He may want you to be His vessel to walk with as well? Who might know you well enough to know that you need someone to walk with? We need each other to do this life in Christ well. God just won't let me let go of that this year. For good spiritual, physical and mental health we need to be able to be open and honest with some close and trusted people. This also helps to lead to producing good fruit. Who are your partners in Christ? And that may be someone God hasn't sent yet, but needs you and you they. Check out Our Daily Bread below with how to love each other, receive new friends and walk in love together. We all need love and compassion, tough love sometimes too, and much grace like we've been given. Look at Jesus and the 12 for how to do this. He wants us to grow into His likeness and walking in His best ways. He's sending you to someone and someone to you to help. And don't forget the gift of the Holy Spirit, our Helper. He's there speaking and guiding as well. Listen! Follow well and with some others. That is God's best!
I'm praying for you all today and for God to be our Lord and Shepherd this week. He has great plans for you and us. Choose joy, hope, and His loving, best ways! And then celebrate and share all that God is doing as He continues to write your story and our story. Amen!
Harvest Prayer Blog:
February 5 - Only God Can Save a Nation
We all know the verse: “If my people who are called by my name…” from 2 Chronicles 7:14. The words are so common they have almost become a cliché. We have said the verse enough and heard it enough, yet we often look at our country and wonder if our prayers are having any visible effect.
Thankfully, history assures us that this verse is true, and that the powerful Word of God is never simply a cliché. When a nation comes together to pray, fast, and seek the will of God, things do happen.
Currently the stresses and woes of our nation today are comparable to critical times in our nation in the past. Yet at times it seems the Church is unaware of the urgency of the day. We can seem paralyzed in prayer, unsure that God’s Word still applies to our hopeless situations. Could we cry out to Almighty God that He would accomplish His divine purposes in and through our nation? If we are to be saved, only God can do it.
“…if my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Today, please pray for our government: For righteousness, laws based on God’s moral law, and for justice. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people (Proverbs 14:3-4). See also: Psalm 34:15; Psalm 89:14.
Father, You are Lord over our nation. We trust in You and You alone! We ask that all of our leaders will give their hearts to You fully and completely. May they govern with integrity that is based upon Your righteousness. May laws be based upon Your law and not upon popular opinion. May “liberty and justice for all” truly become the reality in our nation!
--Adapted from Show Me the Proof by David Kubal, an article in the Premiere Issue of Prayer Connect Magazine.
- Praise God as the giver of every good and perfect gift (Jas. 1:5, 17).
- Give thanks for the indescribable gift of his only Son.
- Confess any times when you have taken God’s gifts to you for granted.
- Commit yourself to searching Scripture for more knowledge of the “riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us” (Eph. 1:7-8).
- Ask that your heart’s thirst be quenched and your soul’s hunger be satisfied in God as with the richest of foods (Psalm 63).
- Pray that your congregation may have faith that “you will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion” (2 Cor. 9:11).
UR: New Life
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. - Psalm 23:4 (KJV)
At 11:30 a.m. on December 28, 2021, I suddenly started sweating, and I knew that I needed to go to the hospital. My family members called my eldest son who was on duty at the hospital to come pick me up. At that time, hospitals were crowded, and it was difficult to see doctors there; but I met with a very capable doctor who diagnosed me with two blockages in my heart. We made an immediate decision to perform an angioplasty and open the blockages with two stents.
The surgery was successful. I was kept in the ICU for one day and in a special observation room for another. On the evening of the third day, I returned home completely recovered. I am convinced that the living God gave me a new life.
The life I am leading today is a living witness to the words of the psalmist, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” Through my experience that day, I have seen the full promise of the Lord who stayed with me all the time and walked with me through the valley. I thank the Lord for giving me new life.
Merciful God, increase our faith. Help us to believe that you are ready to take care of us and help us when we pray to you. In the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.ODB:
Maggie’s young friend showed up in church shockingly dressed. No one should have been surprised though; she was a prostitute. Maggie’s visitor shifted uneasily in her seat, alternately tugging at her much-too-short skirt and folding her arms self-consciously around herself.
“Oh, are you cold?” Maggie asked, deftly diverting attention away from how she was dressed. “Here! Take my shawl.”
Maggie introduced dozens of people to Jesus simply by inviting them to come to church and helping them feel comfortable. The gospel had a way of shining through her winsome methods. She treated everyone with dignity.
When religious leaders dragged a woman before Jesus with the harsh (and accurate) charge of adultery, Christ kept the attention off her until He sent her accusers away. Once they were gone, He could have scolded her. Instead, He asked two simple questions: “Where are they?” and “Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10). The answer to the latter question, of course, was no. So Jesus gave her the gospel in one brief statement: “Then neither do I condemn you.” And then the invitation: “Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11).
Never underestimate the power of genuine love for people—the kind of love that refuses to condemn, even as it extends dignity and forgiveness to everyone.
By Tim Gustafson
REFLECT & PRAY
How will you react when you see someone who’s living a hard lifestyle? Who can you invite to church this week and how might you get them to come?
Gracious God, please forgive me for having a judgmental spirit, and help me to show others Your love and grace.
Learn more about the importance of extending forgiveness.
In the passage about Jesus and the woman caught in adultery in John 8:2-11, the religious leaders were trying to entrap Him on the horns of a dilemma (a situation where you have two choices, but both are wrong). If He excuses the woman’s sin, He’d be seen as denying Moses’ law and would be exposed as a false teacher. But if He said to stone her to death, He’d be defying Roman law—for only Rome could enact capital punishment. Instead, He chooses a third option—making the religious leaders the subject of examination instead of the woman and offering her compassion.