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Saturday, July 06 2024

Good Morning Praying, Faithful, Friends of God! Jesus said we are no longer enemies of God and He taught us how to pray. PTL! Through our free gift of faith that we received from God, we find ourselves becoming more connected to Him, more faithful and trusting and obedient and really wanting to work at becoming more like Jesus. As His friends, He helps us, teaches us, molds us and leads us to His best. What joy we know in Christ! -These seem to be the theme threading through our devotionals for today (below). I'm going to let you sit at His feet and chat today as you spend time with Him through the devos. What's God saying to you?

We have much to celebrate and some things to keep working on. We also have some great things to discover yet in our journey to Christlikeness and for growing His Church. What's your custom part in all of that? Ask Him and for what He wants you to do next. Then do it! Tomorrow we will celebrate some of the great stories we have of God's faithfulness, share some of the dreams and visions He's given us to move forward and pray into His plans earnestly. Start with these devos and then intercede for tomorrow for His good works to be celebrated, His plans to come to life, His presence to overwhelm us and for His Kingdom to come and will to be known and done. Thanks!

Mediate on the prayer Jesus taught us as well: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come and will be done on earth as in heaven, Provide for all our needs today. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Forgive us our sins and help is to forgive and love as we have been forgiven and loved. May we live and love like You more in '24. For we want to honor You because You alone are worthy and Yours is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory. Amen! Be glorified as You lead us Lord. Amen!

UR: To Know God

“He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord. - Jeremiah 22:16 (NIV)

As a teenager, I was often asked, “How is your relationship with God?” I was unsure how to respond because I could not hear the voice of God as it seemed others in the church could. Could I sincerely say that I knew God?

I prayed and asked God to speak to my heart.

The more I prayed and studied scripture, the more God worked in my heart. God did not speak to me as often as I wanted, but God did not leave me without an answer.

In Jeremiah 22:16, the prophet tells us what it means to know God: to do what is right and just and to defend the cause of the poor and needy. And Jesus rebuked the Pharisees saying, “You have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former” (Matt. 23:23). Live and work for truth, justice, goodness, but do not forget prayer and the study of scripture. Then, without a doubt you will be able to say, “I know God!”

TODAY'S PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for sending answers to our prayers that change our thinking and move us toward a fuller knowledge of who you are and how you call us to live. Amen.Harvest blogs:

July 6 - Inviting God In

This week and this year each of us will face many different experiences. Problems will arise, burdens will come. Decisions will need to be made and many are life-altering. You might be facing some today. If not today, then soon.

What will we do? If we are serious followers of Jesus, we know we must pray, because only prayer brings God into the middle of our circumstances. God has created us in His image. As such, we have a certain level of control. We can decide to do things without God, or prayerfully invite Him in.

If we try to handle life alone, we will quickly discover that our mere humanity will fail us.

We all want to pray effectively. No one desires to lift some flimsy, selfish prayer that accomplishes little, but the "effective, fervent prayer" that “accomplishes much," of which James 5:16 speaks.

Jesus, as always, gives us the answer for effective prayer. He models for us the perfect prayer to pray in any situation—the prayer that is always rewarded: "Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” (John 12:27-28, emphasis mine)

Lord Jesus, my prayer life has fallen woefully short of Your example as You yielded Yourself to the will of the Father in the garden. Your word says that when I am weak, that is when You are the strongest in my life. Please look on the situation I am in, the people I am praying for, and all that I should be bringing to You in prayer that I have decided I have the right to fix myself. Remind me that You, the Almighty God, are on the other end of my prayer, seated on the throne of heaven, and that You alone have the authority to dwell in that place. It is not about seeking my own solution or answer, but Yours. Father, help me to see that You alone are to be glorified in the midst of my prayers!

---Adapted from Prayer with No Intermission by Bill Elliff. This book is available at prayershop.org.

Prayer Points

  • Praise God as the one who will soon crush Satan under your feet (Rom. 16:20).
  • Thank him for revealing the mysteries of his salvation to you (16:25-27).
  • Asking God to show you your sin, confess any ways in which you have been involved in causing divisions in Christ’s people or have put up obstacles that impeded the spread of his Word (16:17-18).
  • Commit yourself to being “wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil” (16:19).
  • Pray for workers to go into the harvest fields of the world. Ask God to prompt his people to abundant contributions of finances, prayer, and encouragement to send these missionaries.
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.

ODB:

Our Armor in Christ

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. 2 Corinthians 10:4

READ 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

audio playLISTEN ONLINE

Pastor Bailey’s newfound friend shared with him the story of his abuse and addiction. Though the young man was a believer in Jesus, because of his exposure to sexual abuse and pornography at an early age, he was plagued with a problem that was bigger than he was. And in his desperation, he reached out for help.

As believers in Christ, we wage war with unseen forces of evil (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). But we’ve been given weapons to fight our spiritual battles. They aren’t the weapons of the world, however. On the contrary, we’ve been given “divine power to demolish strongholds” (v. 4). What does that mean? “Strongholds” are well-built, secure places. Our God-given arms include “weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense” (6:7 nlt). Ephesians 6:13-18 expands the list of things that help protect us, including the Scriptures, faith, salvation, prayer, and the support of other believers. When faced with forces bigger and stronger than us, appropriating these munitions can make the difference between standing and stumbling.

God also uses counselors and other professionals to help those who struggle with forces too big to tackle alone. The good news is that in and through Jesus, we needn’t surrender when we struggle. We have the armor of God!

By Arthur Jackson

REFLECT & PRAY

Who might you reach out to for support in your personal struggle? What spiritual armor will you put on? 

Dear Jesus, You’re more powerful than any force—seen or unseen. I need Your presence and power to be at work in me today.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

Putting on spiritual armor to fight our spiritual enemy is a theme throughout the New Testament. Believers in Jesus need His help and guidance to navigate this life and “fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). That’s why He’s given us His armor to equip us. Paul calls us to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12 esv). In Ephesians 6:13-18, the apostle details what makes up the armor of God: “the belt of truth,” “the breastplate of righteousness,” “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace,” “the shield of faith,” “the helmet of salvation,” and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Through faith, by God’s grace, we receive salvation and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us strength to fight, and our faith shields us from the enemy’s attacks.

Alyson Kieda

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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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