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Pastor's Blog
Friday, June 14 2024

Yes, Thank God I'm Forgiven! Isn't that really all that matters and the guarantee of eternal life with God that comes with that? Yes, PTL! What about your salvation story are you thankful about? Shout to the Lord! Glorify His amazing grace to others. He created you to be part of sharing His Good News. And gives you opportunities all the time to be part of His Good News Delivery Co. What's your part? We respond out of deep gratitude as an act of thanksgiving and worship and allow God to use us, mold us, prepare us and send us. Amen! There are all kinds of aspects of this to build your gratitude list with. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Hallelujah!

Good Morning Powerful, Disciplined Servants, and Joyful Givers! Pronounce, believe and live these. Maybe there is one here to work on in our Become More in '24 Challenge? We are weak, but God is strong. He is all-powerful and His power is accessible to us and mystifies the world as it comes alive through us weaklings by their standards. God is always wanting to use us unexpected, marginalized, non-conformists for His glory. Do you have any stories to share about how He's used you? Share it with us! We need to stop looking with physical eyes and use our spiritual eyes more often too. I pray for that all the time and to see with God's eyes and respond with His heart and mind. Practice and disciple are required to become accustomed to and good at bringing His power, His will, His plans to life. It helps to have some to help us with this as well. Who are your partners? I am committed to helping us form some small groups of 3-5 people and even maybe a few larger ones of 8-12. Pray about this and let us plan to gather in the next few weeks to talk about it, pray and plan. Watch for a meeting opportunity coming your way. Check out TWFYT and UR about these things below and walk in power as a disciplined disciple of Jesus.

I don't talk about giving much. You guys are givers. I think cheerful givers too just like we are called to be. But it is biblical to remind about giving, tithing and such from time to time. With the approval to install AC in the Fellowship Hall comes the call to give to cover the difference from donations. We need to raise around $3100 yet. That is to be giving above and beyond your normal tithe and offerings, just like when you give to Everlasting Life, a missionary, etc. But giving can also be time, talent, and of ourselves too. We are blessed to be a blessing. Then we get blessed back for being one. It's so cool how things work in God's economy! And the cool thing is that we can never out give God plus all we have is a gift from Him. PTL! Check out ODB below about the Joy in Giving. We show our gratitude and worship when we give. The standard is a tithe (1/10th) as the starting point and then even above and beyond as you are able. God tells us to test Him in this and watch the blessings (not necessarily money) come back overflowing. Determine to be a joyful giver and ask God how He wants you to give. He may stretch you but He promises to provide and He does--even overflowing! PTL! I also believe the church should tithe on its income. Our church has begun stepping into that the past few years and we are reaping abundant blessings for it. I would love to see us start tithing on our yearly income as an act of faith and worship. All we have is a gift from God. God does and will bless that trusting giving with overflowing blessings too. Pray for us as a people and church to be joyful givers as we seek God for what He wants us to sow into. He's affirmed through major donations to trust Him with installing air conditioning which will allow more ministry and opportunities in our building year round. He's stretching our finance and support team and you to see how we will respond in faith. Are we trusting God to provide and sustain and are we willing to be joyful givers and sowers?

Karen sent me a Joyce Meyers blog that I think will be a great wrap up and prayer for today. Check it out below and pronounce it over you and us and release it in powerful prayer today! God has custom made great plans for you and us! Let's roll! Day light's burning!

TWFYT:

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UR: Something for Everyone

While physical training has some value, training in holy living is useful for everything. It has promise for this life now and the life to come. - 1 Timothy 4:8 (CEB)

I enjoy watching the birds outside my home-office window. From this vantage point, I have learned about the feeding styles and food preferences of various birds. Slate-colored juncos hop backward on the garden floor to reveal food. Mourning doves poke around on the ground to find millet seeds that have fallen from the feeders. Downy woodpeckers take a seed from the feeder and hammer it against a tree branch to crack it open. Goldfinches can’t get enough thistle seeds. Nuthatches peck away at suet. Black-capped chickadees like everything!

Watching the birds reminds me of the many spiritual disciplines we use to stay close to God and grow in faith. Fasting, prayer, daily Bible reading, meditation, walking a labyrinth, worship, and Bible study are some ways we can feed our faith. Personally, I keep a prayer journal and use The Upper Room as part of my daily spiritual practice.

Anytime is a perfect time to try a new spiritual practice. Whether it’s walking a labyrinth for the first time or joining a Bible study, whatever we learn from these new practices will stay with us and serve us in the future.

TODAY'S PRAYER

Gracious God, thank you for the many ways we can learn about you and grow in our faith. Bless us and keep us close to you. Amen.

ODB:

Joy in Giving

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

READ Acts 20:17-24, 34-35

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When Keri’s young son was going through yet another surgery related to muscular dystrophy, she wanted to take her mind off her family’s situation by doing something for someone else. So she rounded up her son’s outgrown but gently used shoes and donated them to a ministry. Her giving prompted friends and family members and even neighbors to join in, and soon more than two hundred pairs of shoes were donated!

Although the shoe drive was meant to bless others, Keri feels her family was blessed more. “The whole experience really lifted our spirits and helped us to focus outward.”

Paul understood how important it was for followers of Jesus to give generously. On his way to Jerusalem, the apostle Paul stopped in Ephesus. He knew it would likely be his last visit with the people of the church he’d founded there. In his farewell address to the church elders, he reminded them how he’d worked diligently in service to God (Acts 20:17-20) and encouraged them to do the same. Then he concluded with Jesus’ words: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (v. 35).

Jesus wants us to freely and humbly give of ourselves (Luke 6:38). When we trust Him to guide us, He’ll provide opportunities for us to do so. Like Keri’s family, we may be surprised by the joy we experience as a result.

By Alyson Kieda

REFLECT & PRAY

In what way might God be calling you to give of yourself to another? When have you been the beneficiary of someone’s generosity?

Dear Father, please help me to freely give of my time and resources to others.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

Joyful giving for believers in Jesus should be wholehearted and wholistic. Paul’s ministry in Ephesus demonstrates this. His ministry included passionate, bold preaching and teaching that touched the souls of his hearers: “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20). Paul’s ministry didn’t stop with speaking, however. He also labored physically for himself and others (v. 34). Through such self-giving, Paul mimicked the model of Christ who taught that, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (v. 35).

Arthur Jackson

Joyce Meyers:

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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/

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