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Friday, June 14 2024
***Reminder!!! Worship and Picnic 10:30 at Emmaus Community Park and on Zoom (Lord willing)*** Bring your favorite table cloth
Good Morning Fruitful Cheerful Givers, Faithful Followers of Jesus! AMEN! May that be so for me and us Lord! I usually find it interesting how God works and have to smile. We've been discussing giving and funding in our past few blogs. (Remember if you'd like to help fund our AC installation, please make your separate gift above and beyond your tithe and normal giving). So we open Our Daily Bread to find God leading us to Paul's teaching on giving from 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. God is always speaking and responding to our prayers! Thanks Lord! So what's He saying to you? ODB is below but I feel like God wants us to meditate on this passage today and hear His still small voice on giving. So here it is...2 Corinthians 9:6-11 Father, open our ears, minds and hearts to hear You and apply what You are teaching us well. Thanks! Come Holy Spirit! Speak! Your servant is listening.

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”[a] And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
    Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.
We are a fellowship of givers and we seek to bless those in need well. God is responding with many blessings and not only financial ones. The truths found in this passage are coming to life through you and us! Thank you for being such a blessing to God, each other and those in need! Keep up the good work and keep seeking God for how He desires you to give of your time, talent and treasure and keep doing so with a cheerful heart! God's custom plans for us include giving and honestly out of deep gratitude we want to give back from His many blessings and continue to join Him as part of His provision. Jesus gave His all as an example for us.
God continues to bless us and lead us to the new things He has and will prepare for us. PTL! As we follow His provision and peace and sow lavishly into what He is doing, He continues to move us forward to His greater things and our created potentials. PTL! What new thing is He leading you to? Where are you sensing He wants you to use your many blessings to sow into His plans, provision and new things. He has great plans for you and us that are coming alive as we seek, process, plan, sow and follow well. Much good and lasting fruit is budding! Rejoice! Check out the Upper Room and their reminder that it's time to bloom. Whatever season we are in or stage of life, God has a perfect plan, is with you and is wanting you to join Him. Let us continue to trust, follow and seek to produce good fruit for His glory. He is worthy! Amen! Let us continue to sow lavishly and sacrificially like Jesus and find ways to spur each other onto the good works God has planned for us! We are gifted and empowered and very blessed to do so! PTL!
See you soon worshippers, picnickers, fruitful followers, good fruit producers!
ODB:

Big-Hearted Giving

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. 2 Corinthians 9:7

READ 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

At the after-school Bible club where my wife Sue serves once a week, the kids were asked to donate money to help children in the war-torn country of Ukraine. About a week after Sue told our eleven-year-old granddaughter Maggie about the project, we got an envelope in the mail from her. It contained $3.45, along with a note: “This is all I have for the kids in Ukraine. I’ll send more later.”

Sue hadn’t suggested to Maggie that she should help, but perhaps the Spirit prompted her. And Maggie, who loves Jesus and seeks to live for Him, responded.

We can learn a lot as we think of this small gift from a big heart. It mirrors some instructions about giving provided by Paul in 2 Corinthians 9. First, the apostle suggested that we should sow “generously” (v. 6). A gift of “all I have” is certainly a generous one. Paul also wrote that our gifts should be given cheerfully as God leads and as we’re able, not because we’re “under compulsion” (v. 7). And he mentioned the value of “gifts to the poor” (v. 9) by quoting Psalm 112:9.

When an opportunity to give presents itself, let’s ask how God wants us to respond. When we’re generous and cheerful in directing our gifts to those in need as He leads us, we give in a way that “will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11). That’s big-hearted giving.

By Dave Branon

REFLECT & PRAY

What motivates you to generously give to others? How do you strive to meet their true needs?

Dear God, please guide me to be the kind of generous giver that You want me to be—reflecting Your generous heart.  

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

The context for Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 9 is fascinating. More than a year earlier, the apostle had begun the process of taking up a collection to support the struggling church in Jerusalem. The Corinthians at the time had been exceptionally eager (8:10), and Paul had leveraged that enthusiasm to encourage the Macedonian churches to also give eagerly and generously (9:1-2).

But despite their enthusiasm, the people had lagged in their preparation for the gift, and the apostle was increasingly concerned that they wouldn’t follow through on their commitment. As a result, he encouraged them with the promise of Psalm 112:9 that God is more than capable of increasing their resources and enabling generous giving (2 Corinthians 9:8-11). For Paul, it was important that believers in Jesus carry out their promises with the same enthusiasm they started with. And they could trust that God would equip them to do so.

Jed Ostoich
UR: Time to Bloom

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. - Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)

The Christmas cactus that sits in my kitchen window hasn’t bloomed well for the last several years. Whenever I looked at it I would think that I needed to transplant it into a larger pot so it might bloom. One day I noticed the ends of the long, green leaves had turned brown, and I was afraid it was starting to die. But my heart leaped a few days later when I saw that the ends of stems had split open, allowing buds to form and burst forth in glorious blossoms.

In the season of my life when I was busy raising my daughter and volunteering at a nonprofit, I felt fulfilled. As I’ve aged, I sometimes become discouraged when I think about the activities I’m no longer involved with. For a season, I felt discontented and as cramped as my poor little plant. But as I’ve let go of the way life used to be, it’s easier to embrace new opportunities that come my way.

My little plant is a symbol of life to me. If we feel hemmed in, it can be discouraging. Yet when we wait, we can often see how God encourages us by leading us into our next season.

TODAY'S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank you for being with us and giving us purpose in every season of life. Amen.
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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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