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Wednesday, April 24 2024

Good Morning Chosen Children of the Lord--Worshipers! Let us prepare our hearts for worship! Enter His courts with thanksgiving!

Today Revival Church begins using our sanctuary. Their service run from 5-8. I have been invited to be a part of this kick off. All are welcome. They will be joined by a contingent from their planting church from Phila. this evening. Pray for them and for us to unite on mission well around the neighborhood. I'm in the midst of finishing up the message God has for us today. Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring His Word in power today to both churches. Check out Harvest Prayer blogs below and a few of our devotionals and prepare your hearts to worship! Shalom, shalom! Maybe God's perfect peace be with you and us today! Amen!

Harvest Prayer:

April 21 - Seek God for Families to Serve the Lord

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15) 

Beautifully illustrated pictures with the verse Joshua 24:15 have hung in the entryways and living rooms of many homes throughout the years. As a child, I remember reading it daily as I entered and exited our family’s home. I wonder how many of us have read it but never considered the rewards that would come to a family who truly lived it. What would be the result of not seeing it as an invitation to go to Sunday School but as a call to give our very lives, as a family, to the love and work of Jesus? Would we bear up under the persecution it would cause, and could we imagine the generational blessing that this type of dedicated life would provide? 

Samuel Wesley knew and lived this verse to the fullest as he and Susanna raised their nineteen children in the midst of persecution, illness, and trials of every kind. The unkind treatment this family endured was unthinkable and should have been enough to bring about great doubt and resentment in his children. Instead, John Wesley, the leader of the revival movement that later become the Methodist Church, and Charles Wesley, the writer of over 6,500 hymns, gave their lives to the same gospel their parents had relentlessly proclaimed. 

The day in which we live is becoming increasingly evil and the need for our children to be strong in the Lord and the power of his might is becoming more obvious. Let’s pray that we, as families, will find the strength that Joshua of the Old Testament and Samuel Wesley of the eighteenth century had. Let’s ask Jesus to unite and empower our families to serve him with our whole hearts for our entire lives. One family serving God together could be the tiny spark to light a revival flame. One family praying and believing will bring the change that our lost and dying world needs. Let’s pray for the strength and the resolve to serve Jesus as a family. 

Our Father and the Father of generations of believers, thank you for placing us in families. Thank you for making us a powerful unit of love and faith that can change the world. We ask you to light a fire in the hearts of parents and children to know and love you. We ask you to cause us to see serving you as the mission and joy of our lives. More than comfort, entertainment, education or even protection of our lives, cause us to want to know you and make you known. 

Give us wisdom as we teach our children to love and serve. Help us to make the most of every opportunity to show your truth and your love to this world. Unite us as servants to bring the salvation and healing of the gospel to our neighborhood and our community. Please protect us from the discouragement and temptation that would weaken the bond we share. We ask you to unite us as one for the glory of your name. 

--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 sovereign Lord who cares for his sheep (Ezek. 34:11).
  • Thank the Lord for shepherding you, caring for you in his rich pasture (34:14).
  • Confess times of wandering away from the side of the Good Shepherd.
  • Commit yourself to rejoicing in the bounty he provides for you.
  • Ask God to help you be a blessing with the blessings you’ve been given.
  • Pray that your church’s caregiving and fellowship efforts will be led by faithful shepherds who care for the flock (34:1-10). Ask God to give them compassionate diligence to strengthen the weak, heal the sick, and bind up the injured (34:4).
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.


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UR: Praying Boldly

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” - Matthew 18:3 (NIV)

Our young daughter was tucked into bed, covers up to her chin. After a song, I asked her the same question we pose every evening: “What do you want to pray about?”

She paused, lips pursed together, forehead furrowed in thought. Her sweet toddler voice responded, “I want to ask God to make unicorns real.”

In the hardships of daily life, it’s not difficult to lose our joyful, trusting, wide-eyed faith. But as for children, why wouldn’t they ask God for anything? If God can heal the sick, raise the dead, and create the planets in outer space, surely God can make unicorns real! And if my daughter has faith enough to pray for that, I want a childlike faith to ask God for big, bold things too.

We all experience times when our faith feels small, when we haven’t dared to hope that God can bring healing or reconciliation or fulfillment. Even then, God is still the God of the impossible. So let’s take a page from the children among us and start asking God for the big, seemingly impossible things.


Dear God, inspire our doubting hearts to believe and trust you with childlike faith. Give us audacity to pray boldly. In the name of Jesus. Amen!ODB:

Bitterness of Stolen Sweets

Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel. Proverbs 20:17

READ Proverbs 20:11-17


Thieves in Germany stole a truck’s refrigerated trailer filled with more than twenty tons of chocolate. The estimated worth of the stolen sweetness was $80,000. Local police asked anyone who was offered large quantities of chocolate via unconventional channels to report it immediately. Surely those who stole the massive amount of sweets will be facing bitter and unsatisfying consequences if they’re caught and prosecuted!

Proverbs confirms this principle: “Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel” (20:17). Things we acquire deceptively or wrongfully may seem to be sweet at first—seasoned with excitement and temporary enjoyment. But the flavor will eventually wear off and our deception will lead to our being left wanting and in trouble. The bitter consequences of guilt, fear, and sin can end up ruining our lives and reputations. “Even small children are known by their actions, [if] their conduct [is] really pure and upright” (v. 11). May our words and actions reveal a pure heart for God—not the bitterness of selfish desires.

When we’re tempted, let’s ask God to strengthen us and help us remain faithful to Him. He can help us look behind the short-term “sweetness” of giving in to temptation and guide us to carefully consider the long-term consequences of our choices.

By Marvin Williams


When has temptation led to bitter consequences for you? How can you remain faithful to God?

Dear God, I need Your strength to fight temptation and remain faithful to You.


It might seem difficult to detect a theme to the proverbs in chapter 20, but theologian John E. Goldingay identifies one. Noting the difficulty of finding good examples of individual integrity, he points out that “openness is not common (v. 5), . . . and human evasiveness is difficult to penetrate (v. 15).” We must keep in mind that the Proverbs don’t always tell us how to live; sometimes they’re observations about life—for instance, “the buyer” who considers a product yet disparages its value in order to bargain for a lower price (v. 14). Solomon, who wrote many of the Proverbs, isn’t advising us to imitate this dishonest bartering tactic; rather, this is his observation of human nature. Goldingay suggests that verse 5 is key to understanding the chapter: “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”

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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