Today we are reading Matthew 15. In this chapter we read about the role of traditions. ”Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”“ ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭15‬:‭1‬-‭9‬ ‭ESV‬‬ We have many traditions in our church. This can be good if they serve the Gospel. If they do not, they have the potential to distract or hinder us from proclaiming the Gospel in a  simple and effective manner. What are some of your favorite traditions in church? If you brought a friend to church, which elements of worship would be the hardest to explain? May you be a leader in connecting people to Jesus! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 14. In this chapter we read about Jesus walking on the water. ”And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.“
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14‬:‭25‬-‭32‬ ‭ESV‬‬ This has always been my favorite miracle! Since Jesus enabled Peter to join Him walking on the water, it reminds us that God can and will do amazing things through us. What would you like God to do through you? How would your faith be impacted if God did a miracle through you? The greatest miracle of all is when a person comes to faith in Jesus. May God use you to bring someone to faith. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 13. In this chapter we read about the Parable of the Sower. ”“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”“ Matthew‬ ‭13‬:‭18‬-‭23‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Based on this parable, what kind of soil are you? What has the word produced in your life? The “fruit” that comes from your faithful service equates to people believing in Jesus and going to Heaven. When is the last time you told someone about Jesus? May God bless you to produce much fruit! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 12. In this chapter we are reading about Jesus continuing to teach and respond to opposition. ”While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”“
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭12‬:‭46‬, ‭48‬-‭50‬ ‭ESV‬‬ According to these verses we are Jesus’ family. We often place a very high priority on family and rightly so. We also need to place a high priority on our spiritual family. What does this look like in your life? God bless you and your family! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 11. In this chapter we read about Jesus preaching and teaching in the cities of that region. ”When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”“ ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭1‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ John had some doubts about Jesus so he sent his students to question Him. What doubts do you have about Jesus? What questions do you have for Jesus? He is always ready to hear your prayers so go ahead and ask your questions. May you have the faith of a child! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 10. In this chapter we read about Jesus sending out the Twelve. ”“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.“ Matthew‬ ‭10‬:‭26‬-‭33‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Jesus tells His disciples not to fear those who oppose them and threaten them because they believe in Jesus. How have you experienced opposition to your faith? Jesus gives us the victory over the devil and those in his power. We no longer have to be afraid. Walk by faith and not by sight! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 9. In this chapter we read about the plentiful harvest. ”And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”“ ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭9‬:‭35‬-‭38‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Jesus was passionate about the harvest! What is this harvest? How can you be part of the team bringing in the harvest? Who have you personally encouraged to be a pastor? Going forward, who is God telling you to encourage to go into the ministry? Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 8. In this chapter we read about Jesus calming the storm. ”And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”“ Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭23‬-‭27‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Jesus could sleep peacefully even with a storm raging. So often our sleep is interrupted by our fears. How could Jesus sleep? Fear was not part of His experience on earth. Jesus was not afraid of the storm. What are you afraid of? Jesus can calm your storm. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 7. In this chapter we are reading about the foundation of our faith. ”“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”“
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭24‬-‭27‬ ‭ESV‬‬ What is your life built on? God’s word is the only solid foundation. How can you avoid letting other thoughts and philosophies undermine your trust and reliance on God’s word? May God’s wisdom flow into everything you say and do. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 6. In this chapter we continue to read the Sermon on the Mount. ”Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.“
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭31‬-‭34‬ ‭ESV‬‬ What makes you anxious? How does Jesus teach us to handle our worries? Your Heavenly Father knows what you need. How does this cancel your anxiety? May you find peace in Jesus. Pastor Tim