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Friday, June 14 2024

Update: We received another $950. Towards the AC. That leaves a balance of $2150. WOW! God is providing where He is guiding! Thank you for sowing into His plans!  If you would like to donate for this either mark a note on your offering envelope with your gift amount besides your normal tithe or place in a separate envelope.

Now keep praying for discernment of the plans God has for us as we restart ministry after the AC is installed. Lead us Lord with dreams and visions of Your plans! Thank You for Your guidance and provision! Raise up some small group gatherings too. Amen

Note: probably no blog tomorrow as I have a huddle at 6, doc appt at 8, and pick up donuts for donut day at 9 and then get everything ready for 10 bread Min.

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Good Morning Praying, Encouraging, Sowing, Co-Laboring Teammates!

I am just really excited about how God is moving, guiding, providing and using us! GO TEAM!  Yay God! We know that anything of value in the Kingdom is birthed through prayer and comes to life as we step out in faith and follow Jesus. We are seeing the fruit of that today. PTL! I firmly believe that we are on our way to become a dynamic movement of God! Check out the Upper Room teaching about praying in faith. We often can become discouraged and Satan loves to get us grumbling and off track. Pray to catch yourself quickly when that happens, get out those gratitude lists and redirect yourself with praise. Pray for productive mustard seed sized and growing faith. We all also need to keep sharing the stories and praises of what God is doing! Often we need to hear these to be reminded that God is actively working among us, answering prayers and bringing His will to life through us! God is on the move and using us! PTL! And we are better together! We have so much to be thankful for and many praises to lift and stories to share! Charles Stanley reminds us to keep voicing our gratitude. Check His teaching below and lift some praise with all your heart. God is good, all we need, enough, our provider, shepherd, helper and friend! PTL!

Our devotionals shift gears yet ties to this as our lives reflect what we believe. Check out Our Daily Bread. They remind us that it does matter who we serve--self or God. They ask "What does your life say about who you're serving?" If we really evaluate ourselves as we should, we will often find ourselves living for self. The world is always cramming that down our throat too. Be true to yourself and all that matters is your happiness. They are very good at twisting God's ways. Last year we spent our time working on becoming who God created us to be and dying to self and following Jesus as we serve and live for Him. What will be your legacy? Many of those who ignore God and live for self have great regret on their death bed as they realize the folly of their choices and wasted lives. Who is the master of your life? Jesus or you or some worldly leader? Paul said for me to live is Christ! In this life, Christ is all that matters (Col. 3:11) Keep praying and choosing to deny self, take up cross daily and follow Jesus. That is where true joy and satisfaction is found! And you will be building treasure in heaven for when your life continues on glorifying God.

Then The Word for You Today reminds us to say no sometimes. Yes we are to live for Christ and work on growing into His image and doing more of what He created us to do. However, we are not to be burned out doing that. His yoke is easy and He models working from rest. I love how they share what I have been teaching for a few years now. (maybe they are reading my blog! haha) God has an assignment custom made for you and it will never exceed His grace and provision for you at this stage in life. He knows you, loves you and calls you by name. He has great plans for you that should not burn you out if you keep following Him. Sometimes we may need the help of others to point out our over-striving and to shed some of the good and better things we are doing but are not God's best for us. Love God and others and enjoy life in Christ is the easy yoke. Be who God created you to be and do what you are created to do for such a time as this.

Father, thank You for Your amazing love, grace, provision and protection. Thank You for being with us and leading us to Your best and growing us into the servants You created us to be for such a time as this! Your Kingdom come and will be done in, through, around me and in heaven and on earth. Help me to deny self, take up my cross and follow Jesus today and always. May my life be lived earnestly for You and Your glory. Continue Your good work and through us! You are able! You are enough. You are my God! Come! Amen!

UR: Praying in Faith

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” - Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

Our church holds evening services twice a week on an open field. One Sunday as we were setting up for a service, thick, dark clouds began to gather. My pastor husband said, “Let’s pray for fair weather,” and we began to pray fervently. Soon we heard heavy rain hitting roofs in the distance as the powerful storm approached. Everyone ran for shelter. Miraculously, no rain fell on our meeting grounds despite the heavy downpour around us.

Sometimes we pray but inwardly doubt that God will answer us. We may not always feel like we have the “mountain-moving faith” Jesus talked about, and we’re not alone. When Peter was in prison, “constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” But when Peter was miraculously released and went to Mary’s house, the people praying there didn’t believe it was Peter knocking on the door.

God understands how quickly we get discouraged when things don’t go as we expect. But that’s one reason God gave us the Holy Spirit — to remind us that even when we are discouraged, God still works for our good.

TODAY'S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, encourage us when we doubt, and give us grace to trust in your promises. Amen.CS:

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ODB:

Shebna’s Grave

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Revelation 14:13

READ Isaiah 22:15–24

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Irish poet W. B. Yeats wanted to be buried “Under Ben Bulben,” a stately flat-topped mountain after which he titled one of his last poems. The poem’s final line is etched onto his gravestone: “Cast a cold eye / On life, on death. / Horseman, pass by!”

Much speculation has taken place over what this means. Perhaps it’s the poet’s acknowledgment of the reality of both life and death. Regardless, Yeats got his wish about where he was buried and what his gravestone would say. But the cold truth is that life goes on without us, indifferent to our departure.

During a dire time in Judah’s history, Shebna, a “palace administrator,” made a tomb for himself to ensure his legacy after death. But God, through His prophet Isaiah, told him, “Who gave you permission to cut out a grave for yourself here, hewing your grave on the height and chiseling your resting place in the rock?” (Isaiah 22:16). The prophet told him, “[God] will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country. There you will die” (v. 18).

Shebna had missed the point. What matters isn’t where we’re buried; what matters is who we serve. Those who serve Jesus have this immeasurable comfort: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord” (Revelation 14:13). We serve a God who’s never indifferent to our “departure.” He anticipates our arrival and welcomes us home!

By Tim Gustafson

REFLECT & PRAY

What does your life say about who you're serving? How do you want to be remembered?

Father in heaven, please help me live my life anticipating the time I’ll be with You in eternity.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

Isaiah 22 contains a warning against Shebna, the palace administrator, because he believed he was self-sufficient (vv. 17-19). God said He’d replace him with someone who would rely on Him instead: “I will depose you from your office, and you will be ousted from your position. . . . I will summon my servant, Eliakim . . . . I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him” (vv. 19-21). When we meet these two individuals again, Eliakim is identified as the palace administrator and Shebna is called the secretary (36:3, 22; 37:2).

J.R. Hudberg

TWFYT:

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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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