Skip to main content
#
St. Matthew's EC Church
home
GIVE
email usour facebook page
members
contact us
Pastor's Blog
Saturday, June 22 2024

AC Update: You guys! WOW! We are closing in on fully funding the AC installation. PTL and thank you! There are a few checks in the mail and a few pledges to be fulfilled yet, but we are closing in on the $16,500 needed and if we go over a little we can use that to buy new remote access thermostats for the sanctuary and FH. Remember to mark your gift for AC. And thank you for honoring and sowing into God's plans! Now keep seeking Him for how He wants to use our building and His provision year round and your part in that.

We are God's Good News Delivery Co--His Lighthouses! And we are all stepping into our role in that company--givers, prayers, workers, encouragers, etc. What's your part? Who is helping you move towards it? Who are you helping? Keep seeking, following and shining bright!

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

Good Morning Generous, Faithful, Loving Friends--Lighthouses! That really does describe our fellowship! We walk in the Light and shine bright as we give generously, follow Jesus faithfully and love like Him. We are friends with God, each other and seeking Godly relationships with those that don't yet know Jesus or those who may have strayed. Seeking, listening, following, loving and helping faithfully is our goal and we are moving closer and closer to becoming a dynamic movement of God! PTL! Yes rejoice! God is on the move and using us faithful friends. We also mentor and model Jesus' examples of how to live and love like Him and choose His best and healthy choices for how to live well and enjoy this life. That's part of the disciple making we are working on.

Yesterday pastor Mike reminded us about choosing to honor the Sabbath rest command. Doing so honors God and is a godly, healthy choice. First of all, it's putting God first, trusting His ways and an act of worship as you still yourself and spend time focused on Him. But sabbath rest also is a healthy choice for us physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's getting our minds off self and refocusing on God. Working from rest and resting at God's feet is how Jesus lived and modeled for us. It requires letting go of our agendas and drives and trusting God to guide and provide. It's being still and knowing and trusting God. It's letting go of your own understanding and acknowledging God in your choices. Mike reminded us that God's best Sabbath for you is designed and flows from who He created you to be. (Some people need to lock away and sleep and others need to get out, connect and do) God has custom plans just for you and you will find rest and recharge and reload in the perfect way He made you. But you have to choose to trust and honor Him with your Sabbaths. And it can be really helpful to have some friends to process, help redirect when needed and serve with. Who are you doing life with? Keep asking God to group together some friends to live well in Christ together. Who are your peeps? and PoP-People of Peace?

So honoring God and processing Mike's message, I took a nap yesterday and slept like ten hours last night. I sat and sabbathed with God this morning and am now easing into this blog and my day (well it's almost lunch time! The challenge is seeing this as not a wasted day!). I am refreshed and recharged and ready to roll into a day of peace, joy and productivity. PTL! I have been sharing with some of my close teammates one of my struggles right now. They have been praying, checking in and encouraging. Thanks! Something is amiss, I think mentally, focus wise, maybe physically. I think it's being over-medicated related? I just am lethargic, unable to have the mojo to do what I need to and just really don't seem to mind. It's like I'm doped up and know what needs to happen (or what I think needs to happen) and just never get to it nor don't seem too concerned about it either.  I am hoping next week's doc and cariology visits straighten this out. I appreciate prayers for God to deliver me from this fog and to help me refocus and keep moving. Thanks. But I also know that sometimes God has to hit me over the head with a 2x4 to remind me to choose, rest, trust, and healthy rhythms. Sometimes I have to just slow down and allow Him to raise up His plans and co-laborers. I think He is doing some of that through this too. So I am praying, processing with some friends, growing in choosing trust and holding loosely as I allow God to work this all together for good. Amen! So be it Lord! Help me! May I choose and follow Your best ways and custom plans. Thanks! My whole life has been lived as a driven person. Maybe God is helping me to understand those who want to but can't be so driven? Maybe He's saying whoa! Slow down and wait for me? All I know is I am sabbathing more and better lately and allowing Him to lead and provide and that is always a good choice! He has great plans! My prayer is to trust, hold loosely and honor Him in my choices. (Note: as I am proof reading this the cardiologist called and is assessing adjusting meds! Your prayers are already working! Pray for her wisdom too!)

So since this is babbling on, I'm just attaching our devos below for you to sabbath and process with. Maybe call a friend and process together too! What's God saying to you today and what will you do about it? Do you have generous faith that lavishes God's love and provision over those in need? Are you living and walking in the Light. Remember to turn off the noise, give God your anxiety and trust Him. He is in control and has a custom plan just for you! And sometimes that plan requires you to be still and wait on God or get up and get moving with Him. To do either well, you need to be familiar with His voice and ways. That comes with practice as we learn to live and love more like Jesus and become more of who He created us to be as we follow His custom plans. And it starts with honoring His Sabbath command and sitting at His feet daily, dying to self, taking up cross and choosing to follow. Amen!

Have a blessed day! God has great plans for you! Rejoice and be glad in this day!

ODB:

Generous Faith

When you are harvesting in your field . . . leave [some] for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Deuteronomy 24:19

READ Deuteronomy 24:17-22

audio playLISTEN ONLINE

A few years ago, our church was invited to host refugees fleeing their country after a tumultuous change in political leadership. Entire families came with only what they could fit in a small bag. Several of our church families opened their homes, including some who had little room to spare. 

Their gracious hospitality reflects God’s triple command to the Israelites when they entered the promised land (Deuteronomy 24:19-21). As an agricultural society, they understood the importance of the harvest. The crops were essential to get them through until next year. This makes God’s command to “leave [some] for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow” (v. 19) also a request to trust Him. The Israelites were to practice generosity not by giving only when they knew they had enough but giving out of a heart that trusts God’s provision. 

Such hospitality was also a reminder “that [they] were slaves in Egypt” (vv. 18, 22). They were once oppressed and destitute. Their generosity was a reminder of God’s graciousness to them in freeing them from bondage.

Believers in Jesus are similarly urged to be generous. Paul reminds us, “Though [Christ] was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). We give because He gave to us. 

By Matt Lucas

REFLECT & PRAY

When has someone helped you when you were in need? How will you give to others while trusting God’s provision for you?

Dear Father, please open my eyes to the needs of the marginalized in my community. 

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

The laws for Israel in Deuteronomy 24:17-22 occur in a series of laws on how to live in the promised land. The point of the section is clear: provide for the poor, the needy, and the foreigner. An interesting corollary occurs, however, at the end of the previous chapter. Deuteronomy 23:24-25 permitted anyone—not merely the needy—to eat whatever they wished from a neighbor’s field. One day, Jesus’ disciples availed themselves of this provision (Matthew 12:1). Immediately, the Pharisees accused them of “doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath” (v. 2)—that is, “working.” Christ defended His disciples, saying, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (v. 8). They ate the grain merely because they “were hungry” (v. 1). Jesus noted that His Father desires “mercy” (feeding the hungry) over “sacrifice.” The Pharisees adhered to a legalistic interpretation of the law, in the process missing the generous Spirit who gave it.

Tim Gustafson

TWFYT:

Inline image
UR: In God's Hands

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. - Proverbs 3:5 (NRSVUE)

Eight years ago, when I learned that my younger brother had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, many questions flooded my mind. What is diabetes? Is my little brother going to be able to live a normal life? How could this happen? I didn’t know what to think. I was filled with anxiety and fear. Experiencing a family member’s suffering was new for me, and I was afraid. Thankfully, after three full days in the hospital, my brother was released to return home. But this disease would stay with him for the rest of his life.

Looking back now on that event, I can’t help but wonder why God allows the ones we love to suffer. Solomon’s words from Proverbs 3:5 come to mind. It is a call to realize that even in the hard times, painful memories, and terrible experiences, we can trust in the Lord who can use those hard times to shape us. Even in the toughest moments, nothing can take us out of God’s hands. In the hard times of our lives we are called to “trust in the Lord” (Prov. 3:5).

TODAY'S PRAYER

O God, give us strength to fight the fears and worries which often overwhelm us. Give us hope, and reassure us that we are in your hands. Amen.

CS:

Inline image

Posted by: AT 11:50 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/

email usour facebook page