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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Wednesday, March 20 2024

Good Morning Pursuers and Bringers of God's Shalom! Peace. Peace. God's Peace. We seek it. Long for it. Pray for it over others. We know it is God's promise--His peace beyond understanding--but too often don't receive it or we allow the chaos and tyranny of the moments to rob us of His shalom. God specializes in bringing peace to the chaos. Jesus is our Prince of Peace who invites the weary to come to Him and find rest. That is a promise and a command. "Come to Me and I will give you...!" We have talked about and know that when we are pursuing and following God well we will have peace. If we don't have peace, we need to pause, reset as we sit at Jesus feet, count some blessings and allow Him to redirect us. What is robbing your peace today? Is it something beyond your control and not of your making? Or is it caused by the noise and chaos you are allowing in and pursuing? God is calling both types by name to come to His shalom! In either case, we know the Prince of Peace who promises us His peace beyond understanding and rest for our weary souls. It is even possible to choose joy in the midst of all our angst as we redirect and renew our thinking and choose to trust God as our Lord and hand over all our anxious thoughts and meaningless worry and striving. 

Yesterday we talked about Jesus' invite and command to "Follow Me..." Are we doing that yoked to Him, receiving His help and peace or are we choosing to find our identity in worry, stress and anxiousness about things out of our control and things we cannot change. The image comes to mind of Jesus, being under so much pressure and anxiousness, in the Garden that His sweat was filled with blood from His brow. He asked His closest disciples to come comfort and pray with Him, but they fell asleep. (Who is crying out for you to come along side and strengthen? What are you doing about it?) God strengthened Him as He surrendered all His fear and anxiousness and brought His shalom beyond understanding that allowed Jesus to go boldly to the cross for us. God promises to do that for us as well. Will you pursue and allow Him to bring His peace and strength to you and your journey? He's right beside you waiting! 

Check out the Harvest Prayer blog. It's Dave's account of His journey through cancer. Eventually, He lost that battle but traveled through it already resting in Jesus and dwelling in His shalom. We can learn to do so too. Amen! Jesus is bidding us to come to Him, follow Him and know His peace and rest. So, it is available. Pursue it! Know it! Amen. (Maybe this will be all God has for you today. That's OK. Below the Harvest Blog are more of my journal notes with our devos for today. I'm praying for you and God's peace beyond understanding for you and for you to be His vessel of shalom)

Harvest Prayer Blog:

March 18 - Seek Peace

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)

Today I am in the midst of an intensive chemotherapy treatment to deal with my aggressive cancer. I can’t imagine anything more designed to steal peace than chemo. It doesn’t just affect the body with harmful side-effects, it also creates a whole new way of life for the patient.

In a situation like this, I’ve learned how practical Scripture is regarding peace. It doesn’t just happen.

Though it is a gift of God, it is to be asked for, received, cultivated, and pursued. All too often in the Christian life, we can fall into an unhealthy passivity. It sounds spiritual to say something like, “let go and let God,” but that’s rarely how we grow spiritually. The Apostle Paul presents an active spirituality that is “pressing forward,” not kicking back and relaxing.

I know that for me personally, pursuing peace during chemotherapy has meant looking for Scripture passages that teach me more of what the peace of God is. It has meant actively praying those scriptures regarding peace into my life on a daily basis, asking Jesus Christ to bring those things to pass within me.

It has also meant listening to the testimony of other believers who have sought and found the peace of God.

Without a doubt, the most powerful thing I have learned regarding pursuing peace is that it means pursuing the presence of Christ. Again and again, I have found myself waking through the night with a passion to get up and worship the Lord. Seeking his face has meant walking in his peace. As I have delighted myself in his presence, fear always leaves and is replaced by the peace that is beyond understanding. And it is not just through the night hours. Worship throughout the day has become a way of life as I pursue peace.

Determine today how you will pursue peace. Bring that to Jesus in prayer and ask him to bless your pursuit.

Lord, I delight in the fact that you both give us peace and at the same time ask us to pursue it. We all run after those things that are important to us. Your peace is so vital to our lives and well-being. I draw near to you today, enjoying your presence and accepting the peace you so freely offer.

--Adapted from Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God (A 30-Day Journey to Experience the Shalom of Jesus) by David Butts. 

In our journey to become more like Jesus and the people He created us to be and doing our custom made tasks, we often share two quotes and Eph. 2:10 to remind us who we are in Christ. 1. "I am who I am because I am allowing I AM to be who He is in and through me." We always have a choice to allow God to live in and through us as He shapes us. 2. "Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if He were me." Two ways for saying the same thing really. Life in Christ is full of choices. We talked yesterday about our choices to accept Jesus' invite to follow Him and to allow, even ask Him daily, to be our Lord and Rabi. Peace comes as we follow Him and allow Him to be our Lord, Teacher and Leader. Check out ODB below. Ask God to come be your I AM today. Eph. 2:10 reminds us that we are God's masterpiece, made new in Christ, to do what He created us to do. Allowing Him to be our Lord of all things leads to great peace and satisfaction in a life well lived in Christ as you are created for. Amen! Charles Stanley continues teaching with reminders that we are special, unique, designed perfectly creations of the God who has great plans for us! PTL! The UR reminds us that God Almighty is or Rock, our Fortress, our Hiding Place. He is our place of rest and peace in troubled times! Amen. And TWFYT is on day two of teaching how to rise above worry. God is really speaking to some of us today! Thanks Lord! He did thread all this together for us knowing some of us need to choose His peace and to dwell in it today and some of us are prepared and sent to bring His shalom and help others to head towards it. What an awesome God who knows you intimately, is calling you by name, even singing over you and wanting to fill you with His peace! Thanks Lord! We still ourselves and receive it and open our hearts and arms to share it. Come fill us to overflowing with your love, joy and peace today. Thanks! Amen!


“I AM”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” Exodus 3:14

READ Exodus 3:11–15


Jack, a professor of philosophy and literature, had a brilliant mind. He’d declared himself an atheist at the age of fifteen and in adulthood adamantly defended his “atheistic faith.” Christian friends tried to persuade him. As Jack put it, “Everyone and everything had joined the other side.” But the Bible, he had to admit, was different from other literature and myths. About the Gospels he wrote: “If ever a myth had become fact, had been incarnated, it would be just like this.”

One Bible passage became most influential to Jack—Exodus 3. God was calling Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” (v. 11). God responded, “I am who I am” (v. 14). This passage is a complex play on words and names but reflects God’s eternal presence from the beginning. Interestingly, later Jesus echoed the same when he said, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58).

Jack, better known as C. S. Lewis, was deeply persuaded by this passage. This was all that the one true God should need to say—simply that He is the “I am.” In a life-changing moment, Lewis “gave in, and admitted God was God.” This was the beginning of a journey for Lewis toward accepting Jesus.

Perhaps we struggle with belief, as Lewis did, or maybe with a lukewarm faith. We might ask ourselves if God is truly the “I am” in our lives.

By Kenneth Petersen


What does it mean to you to hear God say, “I am ”? How might it influence your days ahead?

Dear God, I come to You in awe of who You are. You are the “I am” in my life, and there is no other.


God’s name is more than just a way to identify Him. It’s also a revelation of His person and character. When Moses encountered Him in the burning bush, God identified Himself as “I am who I am” or the “I am” (Exodus 3:14). Scholars say the Hebrew can also be rendered as “I will be what I will be.” One of the amazing realities contained in this title is that God is beyond time. Even more, He’s completely unaffected by it—though in His mercy He chooses to work within time. This reality is reaffirmed in the New Testament, where we read, “I am the Alpha and the Omega . . . who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). In the person of Jesus, our timeless God stepped into time to give us an eternity unbounded by time.

Bill Crowder


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UR: Our Rock

Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. - Psalm 31:3 (NIV)

I live on an island with many beautiful beaches. When I feel the gentle rush of the waves, I reflect on the grandeur of God’s divine creation. Starfish and snails of all shapes and colors reveal God’s greatness and how detail-oriented the Creator is.

One day, filled with admiration as I walked on the edge of the beach, I found a unique rock. Many types of algae floated about, entangled with each other; but one type of small, living algae was attached to the rock. This find allowed me to reflect on how God also gives us abundant life in troubled times.

Just as the algae found the rock, its source of life, in spite of the turbulent waters, so we can find Christ. He is our rock, our strength and protection, who gives us abundant life amidst the challenges our lives can bring.


Creator God, help us always to remember that you are our rock and fortress. We pray as Jesus taught us, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matt. 6:9-13, KJV).TWFYT:

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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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