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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Saturday, February 10 2024

Good Morning Students of the Bible, Learning Pray-ers, Harvest Workers! Is that you? These are definitely some of our purposes here on earth as Kingdom ambassadors. Pronounce that and ask God to bring His Word alive to you, teach you to pray powerful and effective prayers and to use all of that and you, just as you are, to be His ambassador and harvest worker. That is what you are created, gifted, being trained, and empowered to do. Talk to God about that today as you turn off the noise and sit at His feet in preparation for the day. To know Christ and make Him known is the EC mission statement. As we grow in that we become a dynamic movement of God, a people with a burning passion for Him and missionary zeal to reach the lost (EC Vision statement). God custom made and gifted you for such a time as this to go, love and make disciples of Jesus. That starts as we study His Word, pray earnestly, and allow Him to use us. Nothing else really matters in this world except knowing Christ and living like and for Him! “The first purpose of prayer is to know God.” —Charles L. Allen and our purpose is to make Him known! (Pastor Don)

There is much that God is stirring in my head this morning. Let's see what He wants us to hear as I asked Him to type this...The past few days have been times of great fellowship, study of His Word, praying, and serving. Seriously consider joining our Tues Zoom Huddle and/or Wed night gathering. Maybe even join us next Wed for donuts and conversations at the Bread Ministry. God is speaking, teaching, directing and using us and has a space for you to join in, just as you are! Come and see!

Last night Karen's mom, Kay, shared how God spoke to her yesterday morning through Ps. 90:17, "May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; [God has been leading me since the beginning of the year to pray and proclaim that this is the year of the Lord's favor. May it be so Lord and may Your favor rest upon us! Amen] establish the works of our hands--yes, establish the works of our hands." Amen, right! She shared how God answered that prayer and used her to minister to another yesterday. And that sharing ministered to and taught us last night as she shared with tears of joy for how much that meant to her. PTL! This morning as I prayed that verse, God put on my heart to pray for Him to establish the work of His hands through my hands. That I would be ready and willing for Him to do His will through me. That His favor would rest upon and go before me today. Now that was the beginning of my quiet time and led me all kinds of places with the Holy Spirit's help. Be still and know that He is God and He is speaking to you right now. Listen and receive and allow Him to inform your prayers and to direct your steps. Come be our Lord today, Jesus. May we walk in Your favor and be available and ready to allow you to love through us. Yes, establish the work of your hands through our hands today. Teach us to pray and bring Your Word alive in, through and around us today. Amen!

Our Daily Bread, below, reminds of the importance of humbling ourselves and turning off the noise and chaos around us as we seek God. We discussed last night the importance of humbling ourselves, dying to self. God despises pride. God is love. Satan is prideful and he stirs us to pride and away from God. Repent, die to self, take up your cross daily and be like and follow Jesus today. Prov. 3:5-6 keeps coming to mind, "Don't lean on your own understanding..." Open your Bible and fill your minds with Truth. Turn off the noise and chaos. Repent of pride and your own thinking and humble yourself before God. That is what matters and He has custom made great plans for you to pray in to, discover, and step into, even today.

We had a great teaching on the 23rd Psalm last night. We don't usually think of it as a wilderness Psalm since it begins with "I shall not want", or "I have all I need" depending on the translation you use. But it is a wilderness psalm. Many of us might be in our own wilderness right now--sickness, uncertainty, lack, confusion, fear. BUT GOD! Jesus is our Shepherd and we have all we need. Keep your focus on the Shepherd and praise God for what you do have. He's got you covered and does have great plans to establish you and the works of your hands, provide where He guides and bring His favor upon you today. So, choose joy and faith and rejoice! I heard someone say on the radio yesterday that joy seeps in through the cracks of our brokenness. How true. Joy and trust are good choices we can make regardless of our circumstances. BUT GOD! Pronounce that and choose joy as your Shepherd leads you to His best plans for you. Who do you know that may need to hear this today? What's God saying to you and what will you do about that? I'm praying for you, child of the Lord's love and favor!

Below are two Harvest Prayer blogs. Start with those as tools to learn how to pray in power and for the Lord's will to be done as He uses you. Sit as His feet and allow Him to direct your steps and empower the work of your hands today. And celebrate all He is doing and share that joy with others. He is a good, good Father and always with you! Amen! PTL!

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3     He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

Amen and amen!

Harvest Prayer blogs:

February 8 - Satan Rejoices when Our Prayer Lives Suffer

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-11).

Most of us can pray when we are in crisis or when we are desperate. But unfortunately, we often find it hard, awkward, or even impossible to pray when times are good. As a result, many believers do not have regular, effective prayer lives.

Some would say this is because more than anything else Satan hates to see people pray. He hates to see churches pray. Why? Because prayer, along with Bible reading, is the most crucial element of our walk with Jesus Christ. We learn about God by reading the Bible—His Word; we experience God through prayer. It is our lifeline, our method of communicating with Him. And prayer moves the hand of God—it releases His will in our lives, and on earth.

But we can’t give Satan all the credit for our anemic prayer lives. Much of our ineffectiveness, our inconsistency, is our own fault. We struggle in prayer for a variety of reasons. We were never really taught how to pray. Perhaps we prayed early in our relationship with God, but it seemed we hit a wall and saw fewer and fewer answers. Rather than figuring out what was wrong, we simply prayed less and less. Some of us had bad experiences. Well meaning, yet totally in error, friends told us we were doing something wrong. We weren’t “claiming” our answer. Or we were too bold—after all, God is sovereign; you can’t tell Him what to do. Perhaps the thing we desired and prayed fervently for never came to pass. So we quit praying, angry with God and disillusioned with prayer. [If you recognize yourself in any of these scenarios, ask God, as the early disciples did, to teach you how to pray from His perspective, and find fresh freedom in your prayer life].

Father, I pray for myself and for others who struggle with their prayer lives. Teach Your people to trust You even when Satan tries to discourage us and/or sidetrack our prayers! Give us strength to stand up to his attacks. Help me, Lord, to take a good look at the weaknesses in my prayer life! Help me to develop a deep, personal, and intimate relationship with You so that my prayer life will be strong, bold and focused on Your agenda!

--Adapted from The Power of Personal Prayer (Learning to Pray with Faith and Purpose) by Jonathan Graf. T

February 6 - Pray for Laborers for the Harvest

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37–38) 

The greatest need in our community is not only for the lost to be saved, but for the saved to become harvesters. How does this happen? It all begins with prayer. Jesus taught his disciples, and therefore he is teaching us, to cry out to the Lord of the Harvest asking him to ignite in us the passion and give us the power we desperately need to reach and disciple the lost. 

Lord of the harvest, I cry out to you today in joyful obedience to your Word. You are full of love for the lost. Give me your passionate desire and love to see the lost come to know Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. It gives me great faith to know that you want me to begin with you, as the source and power to bring people to salvation. I begin in prayer now, asking for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit to empower me to be an effective and loving evangelist in my family, workplace, neighborhood, and community. Make me a passionate harvester like the disciples were in the book of Acts. Do miracles, convict hearts, and empower believers to make much of Jesus today in my city. Make the name of Jesus first on every believer’s heart, and prepare the unbelievers to meet us today as we interact in life. Make reaching out to those without Christ my joy. Remove fear, frustration, and insecurity from my heart and mind. Overwhelm me with your love as I long to be a reconciler of the lost with you. Use me in a way that causes those in need of Christ to look to him as Savior and Lord. Jesus, convince me and fellow believers that this is the greatest work of the church—to seek and save the lost as you did when you walked the earth. Thank you for affirming that you are both for me and with me as I step out in faith today to be a harvester. I thank you in advance that you are making me a fruitful and faithful witness for Christ today. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

--Adapted from Praying God’s Word Over Your City: 40 Days of Prayer for A Transformed Community by Trey and Mary Anne Kent. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

  • Praise the God who cares even for the birds (Mt. 6:25-34).
  • Give thanks that you can depend upon him completely to meet every need.
  • Confess anything in your life which is rooted in pride and self-reliance.
  • Commit yourself to not worrying about your life or about tomorrow.
  • Ask the Father to help you to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness . . .” (6:33).
  • Ask that unsaved persons around you will realize the folly of building their lives on foundations of sand. Pray that they will build on the rock, Jesus Christ.
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.


Brought Low

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. Proverbs 29:23

READ Proverbs 29:18–27


Pride precedes and often leads to humiliation—something a man in Norway found out. Not even dressed in running clothes, the individual arrogantly challenged Karsten Warholm—the world record holder in the 400-meter hurdles—to a race. Warholm, training in an indoor public facility, obliged the challenger and left him in his dust. At the finish line, the two-time world champion smiled when the man insisted that he’d had a bad start and wanted to race again!

In Proverbs 29:23 we read, “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.” God’s dealings with the proud is one of Solomon’s favorite themes in the book (11:2; 16:18; 18:12). The word pride or haughty in these verses means “swelling” or “puffed up”—taking credit for what rightfully belongs to God. When we’re filled with pride, we think more highly of ourselves than we should. Jesus once said, “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). Both He and Solomon direct us to pursue humility and lowliness. This isn’t false modesty, but rightsizing oneself and acknowledging that all that we have comes from God. It’s being wise and not saying things arrogantly “in haste” (Proverbs 29:20).   

Let’s ask God to give us the heart and wisdom to humble ourselves to honor Him and avoid humiliation.

By Marvin Williams


When have you experienced humility that brought honor? How can you humble yourself before God?

Dear God, remind me that humility is the pathway to honor in Your sight.


Proverbs 29:18-27 comes from a five-chapter section that begins with 25:1. That introductory verse says, “These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah.” Who were “the men of Hezekiah”? They were likely his scribes, and these proverbs were collected by them more than two hundred years after the death of King Solomon. Hezekiah had a reputation as a good and God-fearing king, and he was keenly interested in seeing the wisdom of his ancestor preserved and promulgated.

Proverbs 29:18 may be the most well-known proverb from today’s reading. The word revelation is rendered as “vision,” “prophecy,” or “prophetic vision” in other translations. The Hebrew word is khazon, which means “a revelation, a message from God.”

Tim Gustafson
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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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