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Saturday, June 22 2024

Happy Father's Day! And to those who are mourning and struggling today may God bring shalom, strength and comfort. Amen!

 Good Morning Peace and Joy Bringers! Pursuing peace and joy are great choices as we learn to walk more like Jesus. And we are called to bring peace and joy alive wherever we step. How hard is that? Some of us are natured to not stir the pot or cause conflict and others of us, well, pray to know and bring joy and peace! We serve the Prince of Peace and when He was born the angels pronounced "Joy to the world!" We are blessed to be able to choose and follow peace that brings great joy. It was even prophesied over our fellowship that we are Joy Church as much love, peace and joy are being experienced through us as we encounter others. We are in a battle, yet called to choose and bring peace. May it be so Lord! Guide our choices. Help us to turn off the noise, hate and anger and choose peace and joy. May we continue to grow as the place where peace and joy are found and others be drawn to You through our loving ways. Thank You! Happy Father's Day Abba! May we continue to fight the good fight of faith, pass on Your and our love to the generations and always pursue Your peace and Joy as we pray in the name of our Prince of Peace, Jesus. Amen and Amen!

What example are you setting? How is God blessing you with peace and joy? Share those stories as you continue to choose well and love more like Jesus! Amen

Shalom! See you soon!

TWFYT:

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June 16 - Choosing Peace

The book of Genesis tells us a story of persistent pursuit of peace in the face of opposition. Isaac, the son of Abraham, moved near the Philistines during a time of famine in the land. God blessed Isaac’s clan greatly and the Philistines became jealous and made Isaac and his people move further away. Moving to the Valley of Gerar, Isaac’s servants dug a well to provide needed water. The Philistine herdsmen argued with Isaac’s herdsmen and they moved farther away and dug another well. Again, the Philistines insisted that the water belonged to them. So, once again Isaac’s clan moved again and dug a third well. This time, they were able to establish a dwelling place for their people.

This story in Genesis 26 ends with the King of the Philistines, Abimelek coming to Isaac and asking for a covenant of peace:

Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”

They answered, “We saw clearly that the Lord was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the Lord.”

Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.

That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, “We’ve found water!” He called it Shibah, and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba. (Genesis 26:26-33)

We can learn much from Isaac about pursuing peace. Even though he had a position of wealth and power, he did not use that to try to dominate his neighbors. As opposition arose, he took every opportunity to choose the path of peace. At great inconvenience, he moved his flocks and family several times to avoid provoking the Philistines. When the Philistine leader who had created such tension came to him, instead of rejecting him, Isaac accepted the overtures of peace and created a covenant of peace with his neighbors. Persistent pursuit of peace often pays big dividends in the end.

Most of us have those who, for one reason or another, have chosen not to walk in peace with us. It might be a co-worker, a fellow student, a neighbor, or even a relative who just decides they don’t like you and wants to make your life miserable. Like Isaac, we can choose to be a peacemaker, in so far as it depends upon us. That’s what followers of Jesus do.

Ask the Lord to show you one person in your life with whom you need to work on developing a more peaceful relationship. Begin to pray for that person and situation, that Jesus would use you to be an agent of his peace.

Lord, I hate conflict. I really do want to live in peace with everyone. Help me to pursue peace and not just be apathetic about uncomfortable situations. Show me how to do all that I can to live in peace with others. I want to reflect your peace to everyone I know.

--Adapted from Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God (A 30-Day Journey to Experience the Shalom of Jesus) by David Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

  • Praise God that he wants you to have the full measure of his joy in you as he prayed to his Father in Jn. 17:13.
  • Thank God for filling your heart with joy (Ps. 4:7).
  • Confess any inability to feel “the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Neh. 8:10) due to some situation that may trouble you right now.
  • Commit yourself to reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians to inspire you toward greater joy.
  • Ask God to help you be joyful in every situation and to do everything without complaining or arguing (Phil. 2:14).
  • Pray that your family and friends may see your joy in the Lord in all situations and likewise be joyful.
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.

UR: Pass the Baton

[The Lord] set up Instruction for Israel, ordering our ancestors to teach them to their children. This is so that the next generation and children not yet born will know these things, and so they can rise up and tell their children. - Psalm 78:5-6 (CEB)

I find relay races inspiring. Every person on the team shares equal responsibility, and they all run eagerly to do their part well. If one team member is slow, another may be fast and make up time. Though the foundation is laid by one team member, the whole team contributes to the outcome. Every team member strives toward the same goal as they pass on the baton and run the race well.

The same thing is true in our spiritual life. The foundation of faith is often laid by one generation and passed on to future generations. When the baton of faith gets passed on, the race continues and victories are realized. Since faith is realized only when it is practiced, it’s important for older generations to share their faith stories with younger generations. Continuing the race does not depend on the odds we face but rather on our determination to persevere in faith. As believers we are on God’s team, with feet eager to run for God’s purpose.

TODAY'S PRAYER

Give us wisdom, O Lord, to pass on the faith within us to future generations. Allow our faith to grow and to bless many. Amen.

Posted by: AT 11:49 am   |  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/

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