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Friday, June 28 2024

Good Morning Connected, Longing, Directed, Protected Pilgrims! For God's glory! PTL! We still ourselves at His feet and dwell in His loving, informing presence. We long in prayer for many things that He desires too like revival, new life, salvation, His Kingdom to come and will be done, to use us, heal us, lead us, and have His way with us and so many more things. He directs our steps, prayers, choices and responses. He covers and protects us and those we are covering a we don His armor and walk in His way. And we are pilgrims--journeyers. We are aliens on earth and here to complete our individual and corporate missions before making that last journey to our promised future and hope. I was really touched as God threaded all this through our devotionals for today (below) and His reminder that we are His disciples gathered by Him, placed where we are for His custom purposes. I keep thinking and praising about how He is using and growing us. I keep praying for the "how to" and what to do for me and us as we journey towards our fuller potential and becoming His dynamic movement. 

Two things are clear, we have much to celebrate and more to work on yet. We are on our way! Rejoice! And keep at it! Praying, seeking, gathering, processing, planning, going and working on living and loving more like Jesus. Keep your eyes open for where God is working and who He is drawing for us to invite into our journey. I'm praising God for the ten new disciples that have joined our Body and are serving. I praise God for the several others that are being drawn and participating. I'm praising God for all of you and all you are doing! I'm praising God for our potential and the good fruit to come. I'm praising God for Jesus' easy yoke! I'm just praising and praying for His Kingdom coming and growing and His will being done in heaven and on earth! I'm praising God for saving, growing and using a wretch like me! We have so much to be thankful about and so much to expect to come as we trust, die to self and follow Jesus together! AMEN!

Still yourself at His feet and engage with these devos. What's He saying to you? Revealing for us? What will you do about it? Who are you processing with? What are you thankful about? Rejoice! He is the Lord of you, us and this day! Amen!

UR: Power Source

Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions. - Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)

I took on the challenge of remodeling my basement to provide additional space for an office and recreation room. The project included running wire to connect lights, receptacles, and switches. Have I done everything right? I pondered. One last step remained. I had to tap in to the power source by connecting the wire to the main service panel. I switched on the circuit breaker, and the lights came on. I was elated.

No matter how meticulous I was in connecting all the wires, it was for naught until I tapped in to the power source. The same is true with us as people of faith. We may think we have made all the right connections. We attend church services, participate in the sacraments, and follow biblical teaching as best we can. But until we connect to the power of God, we are as dead as a disconnected appliance.

Paul writes in Ephesians 2 that we are spiritually dead until we are made alive through faith in the redemptive work of Christ. Through faith in Christ we are empowered to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). We are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Eph. 2:10). God, our source of life, blesses us with this gift not just to benefit us but others as well.

TODAY'S PRAYER

Source of life, help us to embrace the newness of life you offer, serving others and glorifying you. Amen.ODB:

Life’s Pilgrimage

Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Hebrews 11:16

READ Hebrews 11:13-16

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SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

The story of the Bible chronicles the stories of waiting—of individuals, of a nation, and of the early church. Noah waited for the rain to begin and the floods to subside; Abraham and Sarah waited for a son; Joseph waited to be reunited with family; the Israelites waited to be freed from slavery, to enter the promised land, to be freed from exile, and for the Messiah to save them. Hebrews 11, the faith chapter, lists many individuals throughout biblical history who by faith waited but “did not receive the things promised,” only seeing “them from a distance” (v. 13). Today we wait for Christ’s return and an end to sorrow, pain, and death. We’re longing for “a better country”—heaven (v. 16). The author of Hebrews tells us to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (10:23).

Alyson Kieda

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June 27 - Be Clothed in His Armor

Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)
 
This image was clear to the hearers in Paul’s day as they observed the Roman soldiers that filled every town. Using that warfare picture, Paul reminds us of the necessary armor for the believer in his battles; armor which is available to every Christian. It is wise at the beginning of each day to “put on” your armor in prayer.                                                                                                                    

  • Gird your loins with truth. This means truthfulness, honesty, integrity which will protect us from the tempation to the opposite which would make us vulnerable. It also implies knowing and believing truth that will guard us from the lies of the Father of all lies.                                                              
  • Put on the breastplate of righteousness. We must realize and claim the righteousness we have in Christ and cover our vital organs with a commitment to personal holiness.                                                                        
  • Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We must get ready to move by realizing our mission. We lace up our witnessing shoes. We prepare to share the gospel of peace gladly and quickly with everyone we meet, which is Satan’s greatest fear.                                           
  • Take up the shield of faith which is able to quench all the flaming arrows of the wicked one. One of the most powerful weapons in battle was a flaming arrow. The Romans had developed a defensive weapon in a body-sized, leather shield. It had a front and a back with a vacuum between which would quench a flaming arrow. Satan is continually flinging darts at us designed to destroy us. We often think these are just our thoughts. But I am convinced otherwise. Our powerful defense is faith and “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ.” We must combat his flaming arrows with the faith that comes from God’s Word.                
  • Take up the helmet of salvation. That which protects us most in our battle is our absolute security in Christ if we have come to know Him. Our salvation saves us in our minds. We must remember this as we face the day.
     
  • Take up … the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. There is nothing more powerful than Scripture. It is literally God’s Word and our greatest weapon against Satan’s lies. Jesus Himself rebuked every temptation of the enemy in the wilderness with God’s Word, and so must we. This is why Scripture memory is so vital.                                                                         

It is a critical exercise each day, and multiple times throughout the day, to check our strength (making sure we’re relying on the Lord) and check our armor (using the right protective weapons against the Enemy.)
 
Father, today I faithfully put on Your armor as both a physical act and a spiritual reminder of Your divine protection and power! I will place the helmet of Your salvation upon my head as a reminder that You are my salvation. I put on the breastplate of righteousness because You are the righteous King, and the belt of truth, for You alone are the Truth! I will prepare my feet to travel anywhere You direct me to share the gospel of peace! I raise Your shield of faith to protect myself from the flaming arrows that will come against me today! And, I prepare myself to do battle using the sword of Your word! Lord, continue to give me strength through Jesus to serve You with everything in me every moment of this day!

---Adapted from Simply Prayer by Bill Elliff. This book is available at prayershop.org.

Prayer Points

  • Praise God for his strength and confidence, enduring from everlasting to everlasting (1 Chron. 29:10-11).
  • Give thanks that God is your strength and confidence and that he will never fail you or forsake you (1 Chron. 28:20).
  • Confess to the Lord your failure to rely completely upon him and his Word (Isa. 41:10).
  • Commit yourself to being strong and doing the work God has for you without complaining (Phil. 2:14).
  • Ask God to forgive you for not depending on him and that you may wait on the Lord and be confident of his love (Jeremiah 31:3).
  • Pray that your church will be strong in preparing its membership to grow in their daily walk and work for him as parents, teachers, workers, etc.
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.
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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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