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Friday, June 28 2024

Oh Lord, Thank You for forgiving and cleansing me! Thank You that I am forgiven! Thank You for your perfect plan to make a way for us. Thank You Jesus! Thank You Holy Spirit for leading me to salvation and helping me to repent. Today--everyday--I praise Your holy name and thank You for saving a wretch like me and making a way to become new in Christ and leading me to Kingdom living. May I honor You and Your holy name. Your Kingdom come and will be done in, through and around me. Thank You! Amen!

REMINDER: Communion will be this Sunday at 10 and on Zoom too. Prepare your hearts!

Good Morning Worshipers! Do you know that worship is more than something we do on a Sunday? Worship is a lifestyle and action daily. As we obey and follow God we worship. As we still ourselves and sit at His feet we worship. As we trust and go make disciples we worship. As we work on growing into the people God created us to be and do the things we are created to do, we worship. May we worship 24-7! Amen! May we worship in Spirit and Truth. How does that look for you? What might you need to purge or put on hold to worship more fully or what might you need to get doing? He is worthy! Amen.

On this TGIF Friday I have spent two hours already in worship and praise as I've been sitting at Jesus' feet listening, processing, praying and even encouraging a few people I am praying for. I've been recalling all God has, is, and plans to do in and through me and our Body and just praising. I've been releasing His power and will in prayer. And I've been informed and refreshed as I have invited the Spirit to have control and lead me and for Jesus to be my Lord and Shepherd today. What an awesome start to my day off from church stuff! Yet I am never off from representing God nor worshiping! Yes I am worshiping today! Thanks God! Lead us to worship and follow well!

I'm going to ask you to spend some time with God and in our devotionals for today (below). What are you thankful for? How is your life an act of worship? What might need correction? What is praiseworthy and needing focus? What might you build upon as you work at becoming more like Jesus? What's God saying to you? Who are you processing with? Worship! Praise! Follow well! I have already prayed for you and I know God has great plans for you today and this weekend! Amen!

ODB:

Seeing a Future of Hope

I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. Isaiah 41:18

READ Isaiah 41:17-20

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After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans worked to slowly rebuild. One of the most hard-hit areas was the Lower Ninth Ward, where for years after Katrina, residents lacked access to basic resources. Burnell Cotlon worked to change that. In November 2014, he opened the first grocery store in the Lower Ninth Ward after Katrina. “When I bought the building, everybody thought that I was crazy,” Cotlon recalled. But “the very first customer cried cuz she . . . never thought the [neighborhood] was coming back.” His mother said her son “saw something I didn’t see. I’m glad [he] . . . took that chance.”

God enabled the prophet Isaiah to see an unexpected future of hope in the face of devastation. Seeing “the poor and needy search for water, but there is none” (Isaiah 41:17), God promised to “turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs” (v. 18). When instead of hunger and thirst, His people experienced flourishing once more, they would know “the hand of the Lord has done this” (v. 20).

He’s still the author of restoration, at work bringing about a future when “creation itself will be liberated from its bondage” (Romans 8:21). As we trust in His goodness, He helps us see a future where hope is possible.

By Monica La Rose

REFLECT & PRAY

When have you witnessed renewal after devastation? How can you be a part of God’s restoring work?

Restoring God, please help my life be a witness to the hope I’ve found in You and the future You’re bringing.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

After prophesying that God would use the Assyrians and Babylonians to judge an unrepentant Judah (Isaiah 1-39), the prophet comforts God’s people with the hope of future deliverance and restoration (chs. 40-66). Isaiah begins with affirming God’s sovereignty and majesty—He has the power and will certainly save and restore them (ch. 40). The prophet also assures the Israelites of His loving, providential care for them (ch. 41). They have a very special relationship with Him—they were sovereignly chosen to be His servant. His covenant with them is still in force (vv. 8-10). God assures them that He’ll bountifully provide for them, turning the desert into a land of flowing water, abundant and productive, so that the world would “see this miracle [and] understand . . . that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it” (v. 20 nlt).

K. T. Sim

UR: Care and Comfort

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. - 2 Corinthians 1:3 (NIV)

Last night my family learned that the mother of one of our 13-year-old son’s classmates passed away. We were shocked, and we wanted to be there for her daughter and her family. But it can be hard to know how to respond to the grief of others, especially as a young teenager. Before bed, my son and I prayed for the woman’s loved ones, and we discussed many ways we could support them.

When our family woke up this morning and began our daily devotional time, we read a meditation in The Upper Room about someone who might be waiting for others to reach out. I truly feel this was God’s nudge for me to remind our son that even if a gesture may seem awkward, we need to be a light of kindness. As Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up.”

God desires for us to take care of our neighbors, whether we ask someone how we can help, cook a meal for someone going through a hard time, or offer a hug. May we all ask ourselves, “How can I be a blessing and a comfort to someone today?”

TODAY'S PRAYER

Dear heavenly Father, help us to comfort those in pain. May we be a light to encourage others in your name. Amen.TWFYT:

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Harvest:

June 28 - Carrying a Burden in Prayer

As you grow in your prayer life, it is very likely that you will find one or two prayer concerns that excite you when you intercede for them. For example, you may get excited when you pray for revival in the church, or maybe it's when you pray for missionaries, or abused women, or your pastor, or pastors in general. This represents another prayer burden. For many, God will place a calling on their lives to focus a great deal of time lifting up a specific issue. 

When this kind of burden begins to come on you, I have two words of challenge. First, never demand that your burden become other people’s burden too. If God leads you to set up a prayer meeting to pray for your burden or to find some prayer partners to pray with you, wonderful. But don’t get discouraged if others do not join you. And don’t force them or try to make them feel guilty. God gives each of us different burdens. Your burden is no more or less important than anyone else’s. Second, do everything you can to fuel your burden with truth. By that I mean, get information about your burden. Do research, read. Find out some facts. If it is a specific person, try to find out things that you can pray about, without being nosey in the process. Our church has a program in which intercessors pray for a specific child in the congregation. Often these intercessors will ask parents (or the child herself), “What’s happening in her life? What are some specific things I can pray for her?” [What prayer burdens do you carry? Ask God to show you if you are uncertain.]

Lord, You search me and You know me! Pour out a burden in my heart for people, situations, a nation, or whatever You know is within me waiting to be felt and acted upon! Help me to be a good listener, so that I am able to press obediently and enthusiastically into Your heart for this issue or responsibility in order to carry it in a godly way. Thank You for entrusting me to intercede for whatever burdens You bring me!

--Adapted from The Power of Personal Prayer (Learning to Pray with Faith and Purpose) by Jonathan Graf. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

  • Praise God for being the great healer who gives real peace and security for you to enjoy (Jer. 33:6).
  • Give thanks for the many miraculous healings that show God’s power at work.
  • Confess your failure to appreciate the health God gives you and your complaining when things aren’t going well (Ps. 139:23).
  • Commit yourself to praising God each day for a healthy body, for legs and arms, fingers and toes, eyes and ears—a body that functions so beautifully.
  • Ask him for guidance in blessing him at all times even if these body parts aren’t always working right (Ps. 34:1).
  • Pray for your church to be very compassionate and able to minister to those who do not experience good health, have disabilities, or have met with serious accident.
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.
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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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