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Pastor's Blog
Saturday, November 11 2023

Thank you to all who have served and were willing to lay down their lives for our freedoms! May God bless you and your families abundantly for you heart and service!

NOTES for Sunday: 1. There is a sign up sheet for our brunch after worship on Nov 26th. Please RSVP.

2. Tomorrow is the last day to bring cans of beans for the angel network we are short about 50 cans yet.

3. Please check the directory at the rear of the sanctuary at the devo area and make sure your info is correct or add your info if you are not in the directory.

Thank you to all of you who encouraged, sent cards and blessed Karen and me during Pastor's Appreciation month! What an honor and blessing to serve with such a loving flock! May God bless you for your kindnesses! Thanks again!


Good Morning Recruits, Volunteers, Servants, Warriors, Soldiers of the Cross and Veterans of many Spiritual Battles! Thank you for your service and willingness to lay down your lives for your brothers and sisters in Christ! You are valued and appreciated and God knows all you have offered of yourself for His glory. Thank You and remember, the battle is the Lord's and the battles will continue until that final one on the Day of the Lord. Cloak yourself in His armor and continue to battle and hold firm entrenched in Christ--our Victor and Commander-in Chief. Many around us are fighting battles we have no idea about. We are brothers and sisters in the battle and the battles belong to the Lord. May we stand firm and look for a comrade that needs some reinforcements. Meditate on this song as you battle in prayer today: Battle Belongs: Yes the battle is the Lords and He is our mighty fortress! Stand firm and keep battling on your knees.

Check out our devos below that speak into and thread through this today. And remember we are reading, meditating on and journaling through John 14 and 15 this week. What's God saying to you? What measurable thing will you do about it? In John 15 we are commanded to lay down our lives for one another and to love like Jesus loves us. That is agape, sacrificial love. Meditate on this passage as we think about all those warriors defending our freedoms and battling on their knees for the Kingdom. Are you all-in and pouring yourself out for God and His Kingdom? John 15:9-17

 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Yes the battle is the Lord's but we all have a part to play in His army. And it all is ground in, birthed in, and carried out in agape love! And no matter our season in life or our circumstances we all have custom made assignments until we are called home in victory. Stand firm and battle on! Turn off the noise and tune out the chaos coming from the enemy all around us and stay focused on our Commander! Victory is coming and already won! Rejoice! Someday soon we will all be celebrating the victory dinner with our Savior! And remember until we are called home we have good fruit to bear as we fulfill our created purposes for such a time as this! God is for us! Who can be against us? It really doesn't matter, does it? We know and are in the Victor! Rejoice and continue your service unto Him! That is a sacrifice of praise He gladly accepts!


Lucky Boots

I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another. Isaiah 42:8

READ 1 Samuel 4:1–11


Too late, Tom felt the chilling “click” beneath his combat boots. Instinctively, he bounded away in an adrenaline-fueled leap. The deadly device hidden underground didn’t detonate. Later, the explosive ordnance disposal team unearthed eighty pounds of high explosives from the spot. Tom wore those boots until they fell apart. “My lucky boots,” he calls them.

Tom may have clung to those boots simply to commemorate his close call. But people are often tempted to consider objects “lucky” or to even give them the more spiritual label “blessed.” Danger arrives when we credit an object—even a symbol—as a source of God’s blessing.

The Israelites learned this the hard way. The Philistine army had just routed them in battle. As Israel reviewed the debacle, someone thought of taking the “ark of the Lord’s covenant” into a rematch (1 Samuel 4:3). That seemed like a good idea (vv. 6–9). After all, the ark of the covenant was a holy object.

But the Israelites had the wrong perspective. By itself, the ark couldn’t bring them anything. Putting their faith in an object instead of in the presence of the one true God, the Israelites suffered an even worse defeat, and the enemy captured the ark (vv. 10–11).

Mementos that remind us to pray or to thank God for His goodness are fine. But they’re never the source of blessing. That is God—and God alone.

By Tim Gustafson


How do you show evidence of your faith in God? When you’re faced with a crisis, what do you focus on to help you?

Loving Father, forgive me when I’m tempted to put my faith in anything but You.


It’s not surprising the Philistines didn’t know much about God. But it is surprising that the Israelites also demonstrated little knowledge of Him (1 Samuel 4:1–11). The Philistines had heard of God’s greatness but misunderstood it. They recalled the plagues He used to free Israel from Egypt more than three hundred years earlier but remembered them as taking place in the wilderness, not in Egypt, and attributed God’s power to “mighty gods” (v. 8). Israel mistakenly thought the ark’s presence meant the presence of God Himself (v. 3). They were seeking military success instead of seeking the One who brings that success.

Tim Gustafson

UR: Sacrifice

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. - John 15:13 (NIV)

I was recently out of town with my family, and since it was Sunday, we visited a church in the area. Before the sermon began, there were a few moments of thanks for those who had served in our country’s armed forces and made the ultimate sacrifice — their lives.

I have seen many similar dedications, but that memorial struck me differently than any had before. Long after the service ended, the scripture at the end of the memorial video played in my mind: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This verse reminds us that Christ laid down his life to save all humanity from sin. Giving up one’s life is an extreme way to show love, but this verse made me wonder, What does sacrifice look like in daily life?

Many weeks after that worship service, I am still pondering that verse. Even if I am not laying down my physical life for my friends, I can go out of my way to show kindness not only to my loved ones but also to my neighbor across the street, the person at the grocery store, or an acquaintance I happen to see in town. Laying down one’s life, or simply laying down one’s busy schedule in order to show God’s love to others, is a habit worth embracing.


Dear God, thank you for giving us the example of ultimate sacrifice through Christ. Help us to sacrifice time throughout our day to share your love with others. Amen.TWFYT:

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St. Matthew's EC Church

5th & Ridge Streets
P.O. Box 433
Emmaus, PA 18049
Telephone 610.965.5570


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

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