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St. Matthew's EC Church
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Pastor's Blog
Friday, May 10 2024
Brain and Missy Wagner update at bottom.
This week we begin to wrap up our indoor activities (except bread and clothing) for the summer. 
Tues Blog will continue until end of month. 
Wed evening is our last indoor dinner huddle until fall. We are looking to do some things at least once a month out of the building this summer. What's God leading you to host or plan with some friends to connect to neighbors? Family Ministries will be doing their own once a month activities.
This Wed is donut day at the Bread Ministry. Come and join us! Ask God to use you and us!
Good Morning Love, Grace, Wisdom, And Peace Receivers and Bringers! Fill up to pour out! There is so much meat in our devotionals for today and they thread together too! Do you see the thread and feel the love, grace, wisdom and peace you can load up on to share? Check them out below and reload and pray ahead for how to share.
I began with the Scripture from Our Daily Bread. There are all kinds of promises to cling to in John 14:15-21. Check it out as you meditate on and internalize these truths. John 14:15-21, 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. (here's a command. Do you love Him? Show it by your obedience--Donald! And with obedience comes blessings and these following promises can come to life! Amen!)) 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
What's God saying to you? What will you do about it? Who are you processing with and accountable to? We are loved, pursued, have the Holy Spirit in us, are accepted and we matter! Take that to heart!
The Upper Room reminds us we can have eyes to see God at work and dwell and grow in His grace and even learn to share it like Jesus. Amen! Jesus is our example and leader. We are recipients of much grace. Pray for eyes to see, minds to know how, and Jesus' heart to respond to those He has placed around you. Grace. Grace. God's grace! How amazing it is! And how He wants to bring it alive to and through you! PTL!
The Word for You Today discusses the gift of God's peace. It's truly not like the peace we find in the world. AMEN! There are some commands and promises in the verses they use as well. (see below) Remember peace is a gift you need to receive. Turn off the noise and chaos and dwell in love, grace and peace today. Load up on them to share with others too. Take heart! Christ has overcome the world and He lives in you bringing alive His love, grace, wisdom, Word and peace. Dwell in them, receive them. Then ask how to share them. He loves those prayers. As you do these things, you will not only know His best for you but follow His peace to bring it all alive to others. That's His plan and our mission: living and loving more like Jesus! He has great plans for you today and this week that begin as you dwell in His love, grace, wisdom, Word and peace. Amen and shalom shalom--perfect peace to you today! Allow Him to fill you and use you this week! Amen! 
And finally check our Harvest prayer's blog and prayer starters. We are one in Christ and we have a mission to do--love like Jesus. We are also to pour out and give back from all the blessings God has given us. Pray into that and allow God to use you well to be His love, grace, wisdom, Living Word, and peace. Go light up the world. Amen!

Loving Obedience

Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. John 14:21 nlt

READ John 14:15-21

During our wedding ceremony, our minister said to me, “Do you promise to love, honor, and obey your husband, until death do you part?” Glancing at my fiancé, I whispered, “Obey?” We’d built our relationship on love and respect—not blind obedience, as the vows seemed to suggest. My husband’s father captured on film that wide-eyed moment when I processed the word obey and said, “I do.”

Over the years, God has shown me that my resistance to the word obey had nothing to do with the incredibly complex relationship between a husband and wife. I’d understood obey to mean “subjugated” or “forced submission,” which Scripture doesn’t support. Rather, the word obey in the Bible expresses the many ways we can love God. As my husband and I celebrate thirty years of marriage, through the power of the Holy Spirit we’re still learning to love Jesus and each other.

When Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15 nlt), He showed us that obedience to the Scriptures would be the result of an ongoing loving and intimate relationship with Him (vv. 16-21).

Jesus’ love is selfless, unconditional, and never forceful or abusive. As we follow and honor Him in all our relationships, the Holy Spirit can help us see obedience to Him as a wise and loving act of trust and worship.

By Xochitl Dixon


How does seeing obedience to God as an act of love and trust change your view of His desire for obedience? How has God proven that you can trust Him?

Dear Jesus, please help me love You and others through obedience to the Scriptures.


John 13-17, known as the Upper Room Discourse, is theologically rich, contributing to our understanding of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. An example of this is seen in John 14:16-17 where Jesus, the Son, says, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” Of note in this discourse is the teaching about the Holy Spirit (pneumatology). In verse 16, He’s referred to as “another advocate” (paraklētos). Other versions translate this word as “comforter.” What’s in view is someone who’s called to aid, assist, or help another. During Christ’s ministry on earth, He was the helper from heaven. In His absence, one just like Him, the Spirit, would function in that capacity. Because of this, Jesus could tell His followers, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (vv. 1, 27).

Arthur Jackson
UR: Eyes to See

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. - 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

Our Bible study was going to be about the word grace. We were asked to share a verse about it, and I chose 2 Peter 3:18.

The morning of the Bible study I looked out my apartment window. A large gray sack was lying in the parking spot next to my car. Was it a person? I didn’t see any movement. I looked out a while later and saw a dingy, disheveled man standing by his sleeping bag. He was one of the many people who are homeless in our city.

I was outraged. Much money and effort has been spent on addressing homelessness in our city, yet many people remain on the streets. I took a photo of him and sent it with an email to my landlord.

Then I felt an inner twinge. Whatever his situation, he was a human being, sleeping on the pavement.

I thought of 2 Peter 3:18 and

began to pray, asking for guidance. I felt my heart soften. How would Jesus respond? I thought about Jesus’ actions in scripture and knew that Jesus would want me to pray.

Two weeks later I met a young woman holding a sign asking for help. I prayed for her and felt encouraged to talk with her. Her story surprised me, and she welcomed prayer. As we prayed together, I felt God’s peace and joy.

Dear Jesus, open the eyes of our hearts to see others as you do. Help us to grow in the grace and knowledge of you. Amen.
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Harvest prayer blogs:

May 6 - Recognizing Our Oneness in Christ 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:28–29) 

I remember the day when I heard Pastor Jim Cymbala correct the pastors in the room, me included, for making distinctions in the body of Christ by highlighting our denominational differences. He said that God doesn’t relate to us as Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists, or any other name. He sees us “in Christ.”

Denominations are something we’ve made up, according to Cymbala. It made sense. It also makes sense to apply this same rationale to racial divisions. God doesn’t relate to us, nor does he make any distinction between us based upon our skin color or country of origin. He relates to us in Christ. Why do we let race—something that God refuses to divide us over—divide us in the family of God? Let’s dive into this prayerfully:

Father, you are the Creator of every tribe and nation, and every skin color known to man. You created us to uniquely display your beauty through a diverse body. Yet we have failed to celebrate our diversity, and have sinfully divided over the color of our skin. We are wicked and need the healing power of Jesus Christ to forgive and restore us. Many have been wounded by racial divisions. And we have been party to some of these wounds. I repent today. I ask that you would so unify your people, of every race and tribe, in Christ Jesus, that the color of our skin and the country of our origin would never be what unites nor divides us. May we reach higher in faith, in keeping with your unchangeable Word, to stop making distinctions and to celebrate our true oneness that you purchased in Christ Jesus. 

In you, Jesus, there is no black, white, brown, red or yellow. We are simply your people, called by your name. May our relationships simplify around Christ and may divisions fade. In Christ, we are now family. We are eternal family who will live together in the joy of our Master in a new heaven and new earth forever and ever. Nothing will hinder our complete unity. Do this same work now. O Holy Father, I pray for a racial oneness on earth as it is in heaven. I know there are no divisions in heaven. Your people are completely one with you and with one another. Do this sovereign and essential work here, now, in our community. May your church brightly lead the way in humble unity, building relationships across racial and denominational lines. May you glorify your name as your people come together in this challenging hour of human history. May your people lead the way to true and lasting unity through Jesus.

--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, who is the source of all wealth and prosperity on earth (1 Chron. 29:12).
  • Give thanks for all the material blessings God has given to you.
  • Confess any occasions when you have tried to “store up for yourself treasures on earth” (Mt. 6:19).
  • Commit yourself to remembering that wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, are a gift from God (Eccl. 5:19).
  • Ask him to open your eyes to new opportunities to use your possessions for the benefit of others.
  • Pray Eph. 1:18 for any unsaved person you know, asking especially that his or her spiritual eyes will be opened to see the eternal treasure of life in Christ.
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Rift Valley update:

Greetings Friends,
We’re so grateful for the prayers going out all over the world for Kenya, RVA, and the surrounding community. Heavy rains continue. Last night, another mudslide took out part of the fence surrounding our school. Cyclone Hidaya is predicted to bring even more rain starting tomorrow. God is at work in the hard.

This was posted on RVA’s social media sites today:

“Wow, and thank you! So many of you have been volunteering your time, donating goods and money, and praying for our community. Your generosity has covered hospital bills and supplied drinking water, clothes, shoes, and linens for our friends and community members impacted by Monday’s landslide. Meanwhile, our students keep showing up in the best way. They’re sorting clothes, prepping food, and shoveling mud to clear roads, and as soon as they finish one task they ask again, “How can we help?” We’ve always known they’re a compassionate bunch, and this week that has clearly shone through. While we’ll keep meeting immediate needs, the bulk of recovery work lies ahead as people try to rebuild their homes and lives.”
If you’d like to give, you can still do so through RVA’s benevolence fund: Please check the box to leave a note and type “Flood Relief” in the notes section.
As the rain continues to fall, please keep on praying. PRAY that the rain will ease. PRAY that God will spare our community from further loss. PRAY that He will be near to those who are grieving. PRAY for wisdom and discernment.
Thanks for remaining faithful in prayer with us,
Brian & Missy
Posted by: AT 01:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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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