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Saturday, June 22 2024

Gina's Sister and family are safe but lost everything in a devastaing fire last evening. Gina is assiting them. Pray for provision and peace. Here is a link to a go fund me if you want to donate. Gina will keep us updated for any other needs. Doneer aan Support Christine's Family Rebuild After Fire, georganiseerd door Eric Waksmunski

Doneer aan Support Christine's Family Rebuild After Fire, georganiseerd ...

On June 20, 2024, in Lehighton, PA, a devastating fire destroyed the h… Eric Waksmunski heeft je hulp nodig voor...

Bobby Gunter Walsh is at home and hoping to be able to up and down some stairs safely today to make it to the celebration of his 40 years on the radio today at Hotel Bethlehem

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Thank God I'm Forgiven Friday! Celebrate! Rejoice and be glad in this day the Lord has made and choose to find the joy of your salvation!

Good Morning Outcasts, Lowlifes, Weaklings, Downtrodden, Marginalized, Mighty and Wise Servants of the most High God! Say what? Is that a truth of your life? Can you say, "I was one way and now another and the difference in my life is Him!"? We live in the paradoxical, upside down, beyond imagination Kingdom of God! PTL! When we are weak, He is strong! He uses the lowly, weak, and humble to overpower the strong. He uses the seemingly nothings and unwise in the ways of the world to overcome the wise in their own eyes worldly scholars. PTL! for how He has saved you, changed you, used you and for the plans He has for you for such a time as this! We are reminded, or sometimes need to be, that we are nothing without Christ and we can do not much of value without Him and for Him. His ways are not ours and we are called to not lean on our own understanding and acknowledge Him in all our ways to receive His direction, wisdom and might. Amen! Come Lord! Fill and use us today! Thank You for saving, preparing and using us as we are for such a time as this! Be glorified! Amen

WOW! Crazy time with God this morning! Our devotionals could be a sermon as they thread together and speak truth into our lives, inform our steps and lead to a day of prayer and following in His presence. Yesterday at our district meeting we discussed the demographics of our individual church's neighborhoods and the people within a 15 minute drive of our buildings. So many around us are still struggling with the after affects of COVID and the isolation and loneliness. So many of us have experienced deep grief and many are still traveling through their grief journeys. Grief and the journey is as individualistic as we are. Who do you know that needs a listening ear, loving encouragement and to be introduced to our Prince of Peace, our Healer and Deliverer. our Comforter? Check out the Upper Room's reminder that God will comfort those who mourn. That's a promise. Many of us need to be reminded of that or help others to open up and receive that shalom beyond understanding. Charles Stanley continues the teaching of how God is with us, redeems circumstances and uses us to be His vessels of comfort and peace. The Word for You Today reminds us of the importance of being and having helpers and mentors. Sometimes we need to humble ourselves and ask for help or offer it. Sometimes people can be time wasters and energy zappers as they don't want to change and find their identity in anger, grief, self pity instead of Christ and new life. Pray for wisdom to stop it when you get like that and discernment for how God wants you to distance yourself from those who will never change. Ask Him about who He has to mentor you and for you to mentor and do something about it! (Watch for info on upcoming small group opportunities and pray into those) Choose to be an encourager and receive encouragement, help, and wisdom. Finally Our Daily Bread speaks about crying out to God to use you (and us). He redeems and promises to use all we have gone through to bless others. We are molded, shaped, prepared and informed through our trials. Ask God to use you and help you to move from self pity to being His instrument of healing. Often the healing comes as we choose to bless others. Where's your focus?

Yes many of us are in grief and circumstances that are very hard. Try to let yourself be open to God's healing love and help and then to use you to bring it. Ask for a right focus and heart. Try your best to get to the place where you can say like Paul, "Forgetting what lies behind...I press on" (even though sometimes we never can forget, That's ok! Just try to redirect yourself sooner and ask the Holy Spirit to help with that too) It's refocusing to the future and what God has for you and us as we grow in trust, release our grip on our circumstances, and find that we are able to choose joy because we know He is working ALL things together for good. Who needs to hear this and embrace it today? I know a few of you may. I'm here and so are your friends and Jesus is always with you. Amen! Praying for you all to know His peace, comfort, love and presence and to allow Him to heal, deliver, strengthen and direct. He really does love you and is always with you and we are here for each other too. Amen! Live and love like Jesus today! he has great plans for you even if it doesn't feel like it right now. Amen!

UR: From Grief to Comfort

[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. - Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

At the height of the pandemic, the whole world was in great turmoil as COVID-19 ravaged the globe, claiming millions of lives in the process. International travel was nearly impossible. During that same period I was studying in the United States, and sadly, my dad passed away back in Africa. The pain of losing my father was almost unbearable. Then, seven months later, my birth mother also died. The tragedy of losing both parents in the same year will live with our family for many years to come.

After a while, I realized that my grief had taken a tremendous toll on me. I turned to the word of God and to prayer for comfort and strength. When I focused on God’s love, I found comfort and assurance to help me through my grief. Now, whenever I am missing my parents, I think of the many good things they achieved, how they sacrificed for us, and how they loved us with the unconditional love of God. Scripture assures us that those who die in the Lord Jesus Christ will rise again, free from death and mourning, and that is worth celebrating.

TODAY'S PRAYER

Dear God, thank you for the peace you give to those in grief. We pray for all those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. Amen.

CS:

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Use Me

Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:31

READ 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

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James Morris was once described as “an illiterate but warmhearted layman,” but God used him to draw Augustus Toplady to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Toplady, the eighteenth-century author of the timeless hymn “Rock of Ages,” described hearing Morris preach: “Strange that I . . . should be brought nigh unto God . . . amidst a handful of God’s people met together in a barn, and under the ministry of one who could hardly spell his name. Surely this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous.”

Indeed, God does marvelous things in unlikely places and through those we may rank as “unqualified” or ordinary. In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul reminded believers in Jesus that they were an unimpressive lot. “Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth” (v. 26). Though the Corinthian believers were quite ordinary, by God’s grace they weren’t lacking in giftedness and usefulness (see v. 7). And God—who knows how to put boasters in their place (vv. 27-29)—was at work among them and through them.

Do you see yourself as “plain,” “ordinary,” or even “less than”? Don’t fret. If you have Jesus and are willing to be used by Him, you have enough. May your heart’s prayer be, “God, use me!”

By Arthur Jackson

REFLECT & PRAY

Who comes to mind when you think of one who’s been quietly but effectively used by God? What can you do to help shift your focus from what you have or don’t have to what God can do through you?

Heavenly Father, please forgive me for focusing on myself and not enough on You. Use me where I am in Your holy service.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

The church in Corinth was established by Paul on his second missionary journey (around ad 50). Some four years later, at the end of his third missionary journey, he wrote to a troubled church characterized by congregational conflicts, abuse of liberty, lack of humility, immorality, and disunity. Paul deals with the source of their problems—their arrogant pride (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). He reminded them they weren’t the influential, powerful elites they assumed they were—wise philosophers, politically powerful, or materially wealthy. They were the opposite—foolish, weak, lowly, despised nobodies (vv. 27-28). Yet, God chose them to be His children based solely on His grace, not on their merits. Therefore, “no one may boast before him” (v. 29; see vv. 4-5). Elsewhere, Paul reminds us, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Unpack Paul’s letters to the church of Corinth.

K. T. Sim
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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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