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Pastor's Blog
Friday, May 24 2024

Good Morning Filled with the Holy Spirit and Potential, Servants--Masterpieces of God! Now there's a great place to begin your worship this morning! You are filled with the Holy Spirit as a seal or guarantee that you belong to God because of your faith in Jesus. You are God's masterpiece, created with potential that is now activated because you have been made new in Christ. And that Holy Spirit has come to seal, and help you and He came with gifts custom tweaked for you to help you reach your potential. WOW! Right? The Word for You Today triggered this all with their Eph. 2:10 teaching and prayers. Do you realize how much you matter to God? Oh how He loves us! Amen! And as we dwell in His loving presence, He speaks to our souls and we can hear Him singing blessings over us. He affirms us and reminds us of our purposes He created, has enabled and will empower us to complete. As we do, we grow into our fuller potential in Christ and glorify God! Hallowed be His holy name! Amen! Be Me in '23 and Become More in '24 are all about being the people God created you to be and earnestly seeking Him for more this year and beyond. He has some amazing plans for you to discover and do! Amen!

I am so blessed and honored to be part of what God is doing in and through our Body! We are populated with prayer warriors, servants growing into potentials, and worshipers that are fulfilling their purposes and glorify God! You guys are doing what you are created to do for such a time as this! You are God's Hands and Feet doing what you can with what you've been blessed with and to do as The Upper Room discusses today. You allow God to stretch you and love through you as you seek to live and love more like Jesus. Our church is bucking the trends and a lighthouse to those being drawn by God and a beacon for struggling churches too. Thank you all for stepping into your roles as part of God's Good News Delivery Company and your created potential! You matter and have purpose and God is with you and using you! Thank you! And thank God for leading and using us! Your Kingdom Come and will be done! Amen

Charles Stanley reminds us of hindrances we can place upon ourselves as we often view ourselves unworthy of God's presence and His speaking to and leading us. We sometimes ask, "Why would He use a sinner like me?" Well, fact is that we are unworthy and deserving punishment and Hell. We all are sinners doomed to Hell. BUT GOD! He created you, knows, and still loves you enough to run to you with His forgiving, restoring, transforming love. PTL! He accepts you just as you are and longs to lead you to your fullest created potential with patient love! Now that should just lead to some worship and affirmation! You matter--ALWAYS! And are always loved! There are so many people around you that need to hear and come to believe this Good News! Talk to God about your part and process and plan with some friends. Then go, just as you are and love like Jesus--like you are loved. Amen

Our Daily Bread carries on this theme about forgiving yourself and forgetting the past. They remind us that God is the God of the present and your and our future too. Sure build on your past and don't allow Satan or your old nature to drag you back to living, if that's what you can even call it, in your past. God's always up to doing something new! Get your eyes out of the rearview mirror and look with anticipation out the windshield of the future God has for you and us. The Bible ask if we can see the new things that God is doing. Are you looking ahead with anticipation, expectation and thanksgiving in prayer and choices? Let's face it, times are hard and very hard for some of us. Things look bleak. BUT GOD! He is with you always and wanting to transform you and situations. Will you receive His loving help and redirection? Read and meditate on the Jeremiah passage today. He has great plans for you, just like for the Israelites. Yet they chose to keep sinning and distancing themselves from Him and they paid the price of captivity. But, when the time was right, He rescued and restored them. Is He stretching you? Are you obeying and choosing well? He does have great plans for you and for good! Choose well, my friends. He really loves you and longs for you to choose His best. You can know true joy in Christ and the satisfaction of living for Christ well.

Yesterday we discussed the folly and sin of many churches and denominations today that are like the Israelites that were sent to captivity. God's judgment is promised and on its way. Will He find you faithful and being about His business and continuing to work at becoming more like Jesus? That is my prayer! That me, you and our Body stand firm, live for Christ, found faithful and become world changers. May it be so Lord! Thank You for creating us for such a time as this and preparing and using your faithful servants. May that be us! Come! Fill us! Mold us! Use us! Change the world and bring revival! Glorify Your holy name! Amen! I included yesterday's Harvest prayer blog that ties all this together! Always remember that God loves you, is with you, for you, providing and protecting and cheering you on! Amen! You have a future and a hope and you matter! Rejoice! You are created for such a time as this and for completing the race God has for you well. Amen! Worship and choose to live and love more and more like Jesus! God is enlarging our territory in response to our prayers and choices. He's using unlikely people like us because of our good choices. Salvation, revival and God honoring great fruit are budding! PTL!

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UR: Hands and Feet

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. - Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

Scripture tells us that we are to be the hands and feet of Christ. In the parable of the good Samaritan, who cared for a stranger alongside the road, Jesus shows us what it means to serve others. The Samaritan helped the man in several ways by tending to him physically as well as paying for the cost of his care. The Samaritan could have walked right by the man, just as others before him had done. But the Samaritan stopped and cared for the man.

How are we being called to help others today? Perhaps a neighbor needs help mowing their lawn or shoveling snow. Maybe a stranger alongside the road needs a meal. We can befriend someone who is lonely or volunteer when no one else is able or willing. We can give financially to meet a need. Each of us may be inspired to help serve in different ways. Let us all be alert for opportunities to serve as Christ’s hands and feet.


Dear Jesus, thank you for showing us how to be your presence to others. Bless those we serve in your name. Amen.CS:

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God in the Past and Present

I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. Jeremiah 29:10

READ Jeremiah 29:8-14


It had been years since we left the Oregon town where we raised our family. We’d made great memories there, and the recent visit reminded me of moments I’d forgotten: our girls’ soccer games, our old home, church gatherings, and our friends’ Mexican restaurant. The town had changed, but there was enough of the familiar to spark my desire to return for a visit. 

When the Israelites went into exile in Babylon, they missed the familiarity of people, landmarks, and culture. They forgot they’d been exiled for rebelling against God. When false prophets told the exiles they’d return home within two years (Jeremiah 28:2-4; 29:8-9), they found a receptive audience. It was easy to listen to the slick words of false prophets who promised a return home soon.

God didn’t take kindly to these peddlers of the past and their false promises. “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you,” He said (29:8). He had plans for His people, “plans to give [them] hope and a future” (v. 11). The situation was challenging, difficult, and new, but God was with them. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart,” He told them (v. 13). God would bring them “back to the place from which I carried you into exile” (v. 14), but in His timing.

Nostalgia plays tricks on the mind, making it easy to long for what once was. Don’t miss what God is doing right now. He will fulfill His promises. 

By Matt Lucas


What difficulty are you facing today? How is God showing Himself faithful?

Father, may I continue to look for You in the present and not long for the past.


The prophet Jeremiah ministered during the reign of Judah’s last five kings: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoichin, and Zedekiah (about 640–586 bc). This was a time when false prophets abounded. Jeremiah foretold doom to the unrepentant nation, while his contemporaries assured the people of peace. These false prophets prophesied lies in God’s name. Yet God had “not sent them or appointed them” (Jeremiah 14:14). They spoke “visions from their own minds” (23:16), saying what the people longed to hear (see 2 Timothy 4:3). Jeremiah passionately delivered God’s message despite suffering greatly for it. He was thrown into prison (ch. 37) and a cistern or well (ch. 38). He was rejected by his family, friends, neighbors, false priests and prophets, and kings. Because the people didn’t listen to God’s words to turn back to Him, spoken through Jeremiah, they were captured by the Babylonians in 586  bc and were exiled for seventy years.

Alyson Kieda


Harvest Blog (Sun)

May 19 - Is God Enlarging Your Territory?

One of the keys to prayers of petition is learning what to ask God. Petition can move into the realm of selfishness very quickly if all we ask for are material things beyond our basic needs. It’s one thing to pray for the necessary money to cover the repairs on your only car; it’s quite another to ask that you win the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

One of the most interesting individuals in Scripture was a man named Jabez. We know absolutely nothing about him other than what is told in two verses in 1 Chronicles. What makes this intriguing is that these two verses stand out in nine chapters of solid genealogy—“The descendants of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi” and so on (1 Chronicles 4:1). Tucked in between are these words:
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. (verses 9-10)

Why on earth would God interrupt these genealogies with a brief picture of this obscure man? That’s a good question. The Navigators prayer coordinator Lee Brase always insists on asking that question. He believes we need to look closely at the praying people in the Bible “because the prayers in the Bible represent a wide variety of prayers and fit most any situation. God has chosen to record them for us. When we look at them we need to consider what was intended when they were originally written, and why did God keep them for us today?”

God was obviously pleased with Jabez’s prayer. Pleased enough to make him stand out, to include him as an example for the centuries to come. “Bless me and enlarge my territory,” was Jabez’s request. Seems selfish. “I want more money, more power; I want to be someone.” But that wasn’t it. Jabez simply wanted to count for God. He wanted everything God had for him.

In his best-selling book on Jabez (that’s right, an entire book on these two verses!), Dr. Bruce Wilkinson says, “To bless in the biblical sense means to ask for or to impart supernatural favor. When we ask for God’s blessing, we’re not asking for more of what we could get for ourselves. We’re crying out for the wonderful, unlimited goodness that only God has the power to know about or give to us.”

There’s nothing wrong with praying for that kind of blessing in our lives. God loves that kind of faith and trust. “When we seek God’s blessing as the ultimate value in life,” writes Wilkinson, “we are throwing ourselves entirely into the river of His will and power and purposes for us. All our other needs become secondary to what we really want—which is to become wholly immersed in what God is trying to do in us, through us, and around us for His glory.”

So God takes pleasure in our asking for that kind of blessing. Enough pleasure that He put Jabez’s short prayer in Scripture for us to model. “We have God’s permission to pray this way,” writes Todd Gaddis. “In fact, we have His invitation. The imprisoned prophet Jeremiah received a challenge to do so from the Lord: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ . . . It’s worth considering: What blessings might be eluding you simply because you haven’t asked?”

So when you petition God, ask for spiritual blessing. Ask for God’s best for you. Ask to have your territory enlarged.

Lord God Almighty, may I never be guilty of not asking! I ask You for spiritual blessing! Enlarge my territory Father! Deepen my faith and trust so that I am able to ask with a fresh depth of believing You are able to do beyond all I could ever think or imagine!   

--Adapted from The Power of Personal Prayer (Learning to Pray with Faith and Purpose) by Jonathan Graf. This book is available at Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

  • Praise the Lord, “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Ex. 34:6).
  • Thank God that you have been forgiven of all your sins because of Jesus’ work for you.
  • Confess in detail your sins, asking for a greater awareness of sin in your life.
  • Commit yourself to putting on “the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24).
  • Ask “to be made new in the attitude of your [mind]” (Eph. 4:23).
  • Pray that no animosities or rivalries will be at home in your congregation, and that your congregation will experience peace and wholeness. Ask that you and your fellow Christians will prize the healthy relationships which you have with each other.
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.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2024 is a free devotional published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.
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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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