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Pastor's Blog
Tuesday, March 26 2024
It's Thank God I'm Forgiven Friday! What are you tankful for today? As we approach Holy Week and as I completed homebound communion visits, Jesus' sacrifice for me, for you, for all who will come to Him in faith is very much on the forefront of my thinking, praising and quiet time. Spend some time contemplating the cross, your forgiveness, God's sacrifice, and your hope as you lift some praise today. Lifting praise and thanksgiving helps to redirect our thinking and renew our minds as well. PTL for that and keep building those gratitude lists and keep them handy.
Good Morning Very Loved, Forgiven, Adopted, Made New in Christ, Gifted, Empowered, Sent, Heirs of the Throne of the Most High God! The King of the Universe created you in love to go love like Him and He is with you always and wants to be with you for eternity. Rejoice and may your life be offered back as a sacrifice of praise for His lavish love! Amen! He brought us together and placed us where we are to be His hands and feet together for such a time as this! How cool! We are one in the Spirit. We are one in the Lord...and they'll know we are Christ's ones by our love! Amen.
Our Abba Daddy continues to speak to our hearts and thread us together through our devotionals today. Really spend some time meditating on them. Talking to God about them. Then processing them with some others. What is God whispering in your ear today? How is He exciting you? What dreams and visions is He bringing alive to you? What will you do about that? He has custom made great plans for you today and for us as His Body for the rest of the year and beyond as we seek to Become More in '24. More Jesus. More power. More fruit. More lavish love. I'm praying for you and us. Prepare your hearts and begin processing and planning with some others today! Go! Live and love more like Jesus and watch for the fruit that is budding in you to blossom! Rejoice!
Charles Stanley is our starting point today. You need to know, understand, embrace and operate out of your true identity before good and lasting fruit can grow, bud and blossom. Yesterday's is here too and worthy of thinking about again as well. God is our provider and enough! Amen! "God's goal for you is to love you, lead you to a life that is fulfilling and fruitful, influence others around you, and prepare you for eternity." Amen! That comes alive and is lived out through you as you embrace and step more fully into your new, true identity in Christ. Shed the old! Put on the new and go live and love more like Jesus. It is the best and abundant life God promises us!
Our Daily Bread reminds us of the next step--LOVE! As we began today contemplating the lavish love of Jesus and His example of agape (dying to self) love, we are reminded that love is an action that we need to take. Who around you or which family members will you encounter the next few weeks needs to know God's lavish love? We know love and He lives in us and has commanded us to love like Him. What's His plan for you to put love into action, just as you are, where you are, according to your circumstances? Who is He wanting you to partner with? Pray hard into that and keep talking to God about that and looking for some others to process, pray, plan and go love lavishly with! We know John 3:16-17, but do you know and put into action First John 3:16-18? Meditate on that some today.
The Upper Room speaks into our opportunities to serve. I love Col. 1:10! I'm praying that over me, you and our Body. May we live lives worthy of the Lord. May we produce good and lasting fruit as we grow to know Him, understand how we are made and His custom plans for us and put them into action! Amen! Pray to make space in your schedule for God to work and to use you and for a willing and available hearts to respond well. Pray to work from rest, not have to rest from work, to become a normal healthy rhythm for you. Pray you don't become a couch potato or miss God's appointments for you. Pray for some good accountability and prayer co-laborers. Ask God to open your mind and to bring dreams and vision for ideas for you to be used right where you are and for where your daily routine takes you.
Harvest Prayer's blog speaks into unity of believers and living on purpose together with even other churches and believers. We see some of that happening at bread and clothing ministries as half the servants are from other churches. Same with our Wed. night dinner huddle. PTL! Seek Him for more opportunities to combine forces with others and to go love lavishly well together in unity of the Spirit! Pray for Revival Church and for wisdom for us and them to know if we should open our sanctuary for them on Sun. evenings. Pray that if we do, that we would partner well together to grow in serving the least of these and reaching the marginalized and lost and making disciples together. God brought to mind to me the other day how we have been praying for revival. It's just like Him to send Revival Church knocking on our door! Thanks God! Unify and use us well!
We end with The Word for You Today's reminder and teaching  about standing on God's Word. Meditate and pray through the Scriptures included in their devo. We are called to move from isolation to distribution of God, His love, His blessings and His help. We are called to abound in good works and to step into our custom purposes. That goes best when done with others, begins with prayer and is built on our solid Rock, Jesus. We are commanded to steward well all of God's blessings while sowing lavishly and trusting Him to provide where He guides. Pray into that. Stand firm and on His Word and pray to become better doers of it! 
He does have great plans made just for you! What love! Rejoice and prepare! I'm praying for you and for all of the above to become part of our DNA because it is part of Jesus' DNA and He lives in you! May you all know the joy and satisfaction of your salvation and of living out of your true identity and in your created purposes well! May you know the peace that comes from walking in God's best for you! And may you go live and love more like Jesus! May good and lasting fruit become what we are known for! Amen!
Charles Stanley:
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Next Step of Love

Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

READ 1 John 3:16–18

What would cause someone to help a competitor? For a restaurant owner named Adolfo in Wisconsin, it was the opportunity to encourage other struggling local restaurant owners adapting to Covid regulations. Adolfo knew firsthand the challenges of operating a business during a pandemic. Encouraged by another local business’ generosity, Adolfo spent his own money to purchase more than two thousand dollars in gift cards to give away to his customers to use at other restaurants in his community. That’s an expression of love that’s not just words but action.  

Building on the ultimate expression of love demonstrated by Jesus’ willingness to lay down His life for humanity (1 John 3:16), John encouraged his readers to also take the next step and put love into action. For John, to “lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (v. 16) meant demonstrating the same type of love exemplified by Jesus—and that would most often take the form of everyday, practical actions, such as sharing material possessions. It wasn’t enough to love with words; love required sincere, meaningful actions (v. 18).

Putting love into action can be hard because it often requires personal sacrifice or disadvantaging ourselves for another person. Enabled by God’s Spirit and remembering His lavish love for us, we can take the next step of love.

By Lisa M. Samra


How have you experienced love in action? How can you take the next step to love someone in a practical way?

Dear Jesus, please help me to follow Your example and take the next step to demonstrate genuine love in my actions today.


In 1 John 3, the author focuses on the concept of love lived out in practicality. Like Cain, a lack of love-in-action is comparable to hatred and murder (v. 15). Instead, the author appeals to the example of Jesus, whose act of laying down His own life demonstrates the kind of love we should live out as His children. But what does that love look like practically? The letter makes it very simple: care for the physical needs of fellow believers (vv. 17-18).

And lest we think that the words of 1 John 3 are only a recommendation, it’s important to remember that God took Israel to task—destroying their wealth and sending them into exile—in part because the wealthy failed to care for the needy among them (see Amos 5:11–12). God deeply cares for the poor and marginalized, and we demonstrate Christlike love when we show them that same care.

Jed Ostoich
UR: Opportunities to Serve

We’re praying this so that you can live lives that are worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him in every way: by producing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. - Colossians 1:10 (CEB)

After enjoying the first few months of retirement, I found that days of fun and relaxation do not always bring the peace and contentment I thought they would. Some days I have too much free time on my hands. It’s frustrating for me not having a schedule.

As I have taken this to the Lord in prayer, asking for guidance about how to spend my time, I have received a surprising answer. I have learned that even those unscheduled hours have God’s purpose stamped on them. Sometimes the purpose may be to teach me patience or to have a positive attitude no matter what is happening — or not happening — that day. The Bible says we are to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:18, NIV).

As I have accepted unplanned times of rest and relaxation, God has given me peace. I’m not rushing through my day, and I have the glorious privilege of spending more time studying scripture and in prayer. Having a more leisurely pace to my days has opened up new opportunities to serve: taking ice cream to a friend recovering from surgery, helping friends clean and pack for a move, or sitting with a cancer patient during chemo treatments. I have found God’s peace in the unplanned moments.

Almighty Father, our time is in your hands. Help us to serve you each and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Harvest Prayer Blog:

March 22 - Seek God for Unity of Spirit

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1–6) 

To walk in a manner worthy of the Lord is to walk unlike the world, and even unlike much of the church world. The high calling upon us is to walk in humility, gentleness, patience, and love. These are the building blocks of true, Jesus-glorifying unity. Many of us have been raised in a culture of independence, in families with deep brokenness, and live where division is commonplace. Now we are born into a kingdom, a family, where unity is the atmosphere and grace and love are the fuel for this blood-bought oneness in Jesus Christ. Let’s contend for this unity. Seek God for our lives, families, churches, and communities to display the unity he calls for and empowers us to enjoy. 

Father God, I seek you today with my whole heart for your people in my community to walk in a manner worthy of our calling. Cause us to overflow with love, patience, gentleness, and humility. I ask that our Jesus communities and families would shine forth in contrast to this world, a symmetrical and consistent love expressed in deep and lasting unity. Today, enable me and your people to bear with one another. Open our eyes to see that, together, we are one body, and that each one of your people is joined together in this one body that we might live and work in complete agreement. Praise you that your one Spirit has filled all your people. Your Spirit makes us one. We all carry and are filled with the same unifying Holy Spirit. Today, may your Spirit overflow in your people, shining forth the one hope that belongs to us all. May your hope in us be shared clearly and purely with the watching world. Our unity rests in our one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is so much more that unifies us than divides us. Manifest your Spirit of unity in your church in our community this day.

--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 God that he graciously chooses people to belong to him!
  • Give thanks “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
  • Confess to the Father any doubts or objections you may have about how he works things out.
  • Commit yourself to the one who chose you in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (Eph. 1:4).
  • Ask that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).
  • Pray that governmental officials may not be tempted by power or money. Ask God that those who have fallen to these temptations may be changed or removed from their positions.
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at
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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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