Skip to main content
#
St. Matthew's EC Church
home
GIVE
email usour facebook page
members
contact us
Pastor's Blog
Friday, June 14 2024

 Update: As expected the cost for the AC units has gone up about $900. since the bid last Sept. The Support Team will evaluate this and consider how to fund this minor increase. Our extra part after donations will now be $3150. Pray for donors and for great stewardship as we sow into God's provision.

    * anyone with questions or concerns about our plans and the units to be installed, we are meeting at 4:30 Thursday with our HVAC provider in the Fellowship Hall.

A few of our homebound members are longing for rides to and from worship. If that is something God is calling you to do, talk to Sarah or me. Most are within 20 minutes or so from church. They would be blessed even if that is something you can only do once or twice a month. Or maybe we can set up schedules where someone brings and someone takes home. Is God calling you to be a leader or part of a transportation ministry? Pray about it and follow God's lead.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good Morning Trusting God's Faithfulness, Servants of the Lord! God just loves to stretch us and grow our faith. He has so much more for us than we can imagine! To get there and grow into His greater things takes growing faith in Him and His faithfulness and goodness. What stories do you have of God stretching you and growing you that has led you to where you are in your faith journey today? What is your "I was one way, but now another because of God" story that someone needs to hear? Talk to God about that and ask Him to send you to that person with boldness, wisdom and His heart and mind.

God loves us beyond measure and continues to hear and answer our prayers to become more like Jesus and grow into the things we are created to do. Just meditate on that today. Then prayerfully encounter the Harvest Prayer blogs below. We were all one way and now another. Are we still allowing God to transform us into His image and to help us step more fully into our new nature? Oh that is my longing and constant prayer. And constant confession as I selfishly or pridefully choose my own way or timing too often. How about you? Father, help me/us to humble ourselves and bow at Your loving, patient, correcting and perfecting feet. Complete your transformation and plans for me and us. Here I am Lord. Here we are. Have at it! Be our Lord and Shepherd today--every day. Help us to continue to seek you more and work on becoming more and doing more for You and Your glory in '24 and beyond. Come! Thank You for leading us from being one way to another to another to another. Please continue Your good work in and through me/us. Thank You! Your Kingdom come and will be done in, through and around me, even today. Amen!

God has really been speaking to me this morning as I asked Him to write this blog and prepare our Sun message. He is always hearing, speaking, present and wanting to guide us to His best. Be still, know, receive with the intent to follow. He IS faithful and will! Amen! Did you notice how Our Daily Bread and Upper Room devotionals (below) are talking about longing, thirsting, hungering after God when we are in those deserts of life that God is allowing us to experience as part of His stretching and correcting? Check out the INSIGHT section of ODB about the sons of Korah who grew out of God's correcting of their families to allowing God to correct and lead them to lead God's people to trust and worship when in those hard places. Meditate on Psalm 42 as you thirst for God and remember the promise of His Living Water that eternally satisfies and is worth pursuing. Keep thirsting after Him in prayer and faith. Keep trusting and worshiping! he is faithful and trustworthy! PTL!

Psalm 42:1-5

Psalm 42

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
3 Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

4 My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

5 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and 6 my God!

Harvest Blogs:

June 4 - Trusting His Faithfulness

Jacob was fearful and had reason to be. He had deceived his brother and run away from his wrath. He now returns after many years and his scouts tell him that Esau is coming with a great army. "Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed” (Genesis 32:7). Jacob's response? He prayed!

Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord, who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,’ I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant; for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies.

“Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children. For You said, ‘I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which is too great to be numbered.’” (Genesis 32:9-12)

Dissect the prayer and you will find it incredibly instructive. Jacob reminded God that He had led him to return to his own country. Jacob is on this particular path because of God’s initiation, and Jacob knew that where God initiates He protects and provides.

Jacob humbly admits his unworthiness and cries out for deliverance. He realizes that only God can protect him. He takes his fear right to the throne of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

But the clincher is found in verse 12 as Jacob reminds God of His promises. “For you said …” Jacob prays. “You made a promise, Lord, and I am trusting in Your faithfulness.” Obviously, Jacob remembered God's Word. He overcomes his fear by rehearsing and resting on the promises of God through prayer.

Lion of Judah, sometimes, like Jacob, my fear overwhelms my faithfulness! I confess that I don’t always trust You as I should and ask that You will replace my uncertainty with certainty in Your promises. I ask that You will continue to protect me and move me forward even in my weakness and unworthiness, for I am made strong and worthy in You. Help me to remember that wherever You initiate something in or around me, You will always protect and provide!

---Adapted from Prayer with No Intermission by Bill Elliff. This book is available at prayershop.org.
 

Prayer Points

  • Praise God as the one who loves you like no one else can.
  • Thank him for loving you “with an everlasting love,” drawing you to himself “with loving kindness” (Jer. 31:3).
  • Confess times of presuming upon his love.
  • Commit yourself to reflecting God’s love as his image-bearer.
  • Ask him to love others through you, knowing that you can do all things through Christ (Phil. 4:13).
  • Pray that love for God’s ways will prompt you to love mercy (Mic. 6:8) in your societal involvements. Ask God to overcome hatred, violence, and prejudice in your area.
 
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. 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.

ODB:

Thirsty and Thankful

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. Psalm 42:1

READ Psalm 42:1-5

audio playLISTEN ONLINE

Two friends and I were checking off a bucket list item—hiking the Grand Canyon. We wondered if we had enough water as we started out our hike, and it ran out fast. We were completely out of water with still a ways to go to reach the rim. Panting, mixed with praying, set in. Then we rounded a corner and what we maintain as a miracle happened. We spotted three water bottles tucked in a cleft in the rock with a note: “Knew you’d need this. Enjoy!” We looked at each other in disbelief, whispered a thank-you to God, took a couple of much-needed sips, and then set out on the last stretch. I’ve never been so thirsty—and thankful—in my life.

The psalmist didn’t have a Grand Canyon experience, but it’s clear he knew how a deer acts when thirsty and possibly scared. The deer “pants” (Psalm 42:1), a word that brings to mind thirst and hunger, to the point where if something doesn’t change, you’re afraid you might die. The psalmist equates the deer’s degree of thirst to his desire for God: “so my soul pants for you, my God” (v. 1).

Like much-needed water, God is our ever-present help. We pant for Him because He brings renewed strength and refreshment to our weary lives, equipping us for whatever the day’s journey holds.

By John Blase

REFLECT & PRAY

When have you been intensely thirsty or hungry, and scared? Why should you be longing for God’s presence?

Loving God, thank You for the renewed strength I experience as You fill my life. Forgive me for looking to any other source but You.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

Psalm 42 is the first of eleven psalms attributed to the sons of Korah (also Psalms 44-49; 84-85; 87-88). But who were they? The word sons here means descendants—not direct sons—of a man named Korah, who was part of a conspiracy to overthrow Moses’ leadership in the wilderness wanderings of the Exodus. Korah (of the tribe of Levi), Dathan, Abiram, and On—along with 250 respected community leaders—joined together in this conspiracy (Numbers 16:1-3). How ironic that years later, Korah’s descendants would follow the intended path of the Levites (see ch. 18) to be among the worship leaders of the nation. For a voice of dissension to pave the way for voices of worship is a beautifully redemptive story.

Bill Crowder

UR: Provision in the Desert

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. - Psalm 23:4 (NRSVUE)

We were stranded in a small town in the middle of the desert. Our bus had broken down after our second day of travel to Mexico, and we had no idea what to do or where to spend the night. Everyone kept telling me that I shouldn’t worry and that God would provide, but I couldn’t help but feel scared and helpless. But then God did respond in amazing ways.

We befriended an employee at a fast-food restaurant who had recently turned to Christ. He connected us with his congregation, and they decided to allow us to sleep in their church and provided a free breakfast and lunch. One family even let us swim in their pool. We then went on our way, thankful and blessed.

God provided us with people who were willing to sacrifice their time, energy, and money to support us when we could not support ourselves. This story makes me thankful that God is near and hears our prayers. Now, whenever I begin to doubt God, I think about my adventure when God answered our prayers for help in miraculous ways.

TODAY'S PRAYER

Dear God, help us to have faith and confidence in you whenever we are scared and helpless. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Posted by: AT 02:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
St. Matthew's EC Church

5th & Ridge Streets
P.O. Box 433
Emmaus, PA 18049
Telephone 610.965.5570
Email: stmattsecemmaus@gmail.com

ABOUT US

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 http://www.eccenter.com/

email usour facebook page