Today we are reading Matthew 2. In this chapter we read about the visit of the Magi and the Flight into Egypt.“But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.” Matthew‬ ‭2:19-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬ As we look at the events of this chapter, we see many connections with our struggle in this pandemic time. For instance, the Magi could not have made their trip because of today’s travel restrictions. Mary and Joseph would not have let strangers come near their baby. Herod’s threat could be avoided by leaving the country. Today’s parents wouldn’t dream of leaving the country with a baby. The bottom line is this; God was able to keep His people safe then and He is able to keep us safe now. God was completely aware of everything happening in the world surrounding Mary, Joseph and Jesus. He is completely aware of everything in your world too. May God give you peace in His love for you. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 1. In this chapter we read about the birth of Jesus. Matthew is the first of the “Gospels” to be written, around 50 AD. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭1:18-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Joseph was afraid to take Mary as his wife because he believed she had been unfaithful. God sent Joseph an angel to tell him what was happening. God knows our hearts and wants to help. How does God help you when you are afraid? How can reading the Bible help you when you are overwhelmed? May the birth of Jesus be celebrated in your heart today and every day! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Malachi 4. In this final chapter of the Old Testament we read about the coming Day Of The Lord. “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts. “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.” Malachi‬ ‭4:2-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬ The Old Testament concludes by talking about the Day of the Lord. This is a reference to Jesus coming 400 years later. It also is a reference to the Second Coming. This is a great day for those who believe and a terrible day for those who reject God. How does this Day give you comfort? How does it make you concerned? We look back to Jesus’ First Coming and forward to His Second Coming. How does what Jesus did in His First Coming prepare you for His Second Coming? May you live every day as if it was THE DAY! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Malachi 3. In this chapter we read about people who do not wholeheartedly serve God. The disposition of our heart is made clear in the offerings we give to God.“”For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Malachi‬ ‭3:6-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ How much do you trust God? How do you show your thankfulness to God? If we say we love God but only offer him our leftover scraps, how much do we really live God? Be courageous! God will supply all your needs. Put Him first in every area of your life—even your finances—and He will pour out blessings you can’t even count! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Malachi 2. In this chapter we read about God’s rebuke of the unfaithful priests. “If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.

For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.”
‭‭Malachi‬ ‭2:2, 7‬ ‭ESV‬‬ This is the charge God gives to those who would be pastors. We are absolutely bound by God to teach His truth. When we wander off to teach our own philosophies or opinions we abuse the people God has entrusted us with. On the other hand, God’s people are to carefully listen to what they hear from the pastor and obey it unless it contradicts God’s word. May God give you His Holy Spirit to understand and follow the truth. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Malachi 1. In this chapter we read about God’s love for Israel and His hate for Edom. “”I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the Lord of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.'”” ‭‭Malachi‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬ The prophet Malachi wrote in the fifth century BC. He was the last prophet of the Old Testament. This chapter begins as God expresses His love for Israel. What did Israel do to deserve God’s love? What have you done to deserve God’s love? The answer to both questions is “nothing”. God loves us because He chooses to love us. That is hard to understand but I pray that God will demonstrate His love in your life today! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Zechariah 14. In this chapter we read about a terrible day of destruction that will come upon everyone. In very dramatic fashion a battle is described where God’s people suffer and then are rescued. “And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the Lord.” And the pots in the house of the Lord shall be as the bowls before the altar. And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.” Zechariah‬ ‭14:20-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Ultimately, the Lord will be King over the whole earth. Leading up to that time there will be a lot of suffering. How does knowing how things turn out help you as you suffer? How can you share the comfort you have in Jesus with those around you? God bless you to speak His words of truth and love! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Zechariah 13.  In this chapter we read about God punishing the rebellious and purifying the remnant. “”Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me,” declares the Lord of hosts. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn my hand against the little ones. In the whole land, declares the Lord, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.'”” Zechariah‬ ‭13:7-9‬ ‭As you read these words, how important is it to God that we remain faithful to Him? What does He promise to do to those who listen to false prophets? Who are the false prophets of today who seek to lead us away from God? May God strengthen you by His Holy Spirit so that you will always be faithful to Him. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Zechariah 12. In this chapter we read about God promise to make Jerusalem the centerpiece of the region when the Messiah comes. In addition, the chapter speaks about the grief of those who witness the Crucifixion of the Messiah.“”And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.” Zechariah‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ How do you feel when you think of Jesus’ sufferings and death? Does His suffering move you or impact your faith response? May God’s amazing sacrificial love inspire the same in you! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Zechariah 10. In this chapter we read about God’s promise to return His people to their land and to prosperity.“Though I scattered them among the nations, yet in far countries they shall remember me, and with their children they shall live and return. I will bring them home from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria, and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon, till there is no room for them.” Zechariah‬ ‭10:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬ To the exiles Zechariah was writing to these words seemed nearly impossible. What about your future seems impossible? What are you most concerned about? God can and will comfort you during this time of distress. May God bless and keep you today and every day! Pastor Tim