Our Mission

“…Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,

 

 

 

 

baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20 ESV
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Please God

 
Our goal is to become more like Christ as we love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love and minister to others.
 
Our desire is to be pleasing to God in our worship, in our families, in our work-place and in our community. We are called to be holy, which is wholly devoted to God 24/7.
 

Truth & Unity

 
We do not follow human creeds, catechisms, religious tradition or the teachings of men. These only divide people, instead of uniting them together in Jesus. We commit to studying and following the Bible only. The words and example of Jesus teach us how to have a right relationship with God and others.

 

Grow Together

 
Jesus came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10) and He has told us to go and do the same (Mark 16:15-16). In addition, we continue to teach and encourage spiritual growth in each person (Matthew 28:18-20) in order to present every person complete in Christ (Colossians 1:28), equipped to serve (Ephesians 4:11-16) and teach others about the love and grace of God.

Ministers

  

Jeremy Weekley

PULPIT MINISTER

weekley@wecoc.org

Billy Bearden

EDUCATION & INVOLVEMENT MINISTER

bearden@wecoc.org

Hector Cortez

SPANISH MINISTER

cortez@wecoc.org

Andrew Lopez
YOUTH MINISTER

lopez@wecoc.org

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Elders

 

Mark Burroughs

 

Kevin Giles

 

Blake Graham

 

Brian Johnson

 

Geoff Johnson

 

Chuck McCallister 

 

Mark Newby

 

David Rollings

 

Erick Smith

 

Bob Waters

 

Michael White

 

Jim Worley

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Matthew 24

My thoughts today are heavy, but I think Jesus' heart was heavy when He originally spoke these words. They are meant to challenge us, so let them.

As Jesus and the apostles are sitting on the Mount of Olives, He looks over to the temple mount complex. He has just told them it won't be long when "there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown out." When they ask for an explanation, Jesus begins to share what must have been a horrifying account of the destruction of Jerusalem, which some of them will live to see (occurs in 70 A.D.). Their response is to ask when it will happen. To me, it sounds like they want to be prepared.

What would you do if someone told you that your house would burn down? Maybe they wouldn't be able to give you an exact date, but they could give you some clues that would narrow it down. Most of us would probably get busy preparing, wouldn't we? We would check things around the house that could potentially cause a fire, we would make sure we had an escape route planned, we would practice the escape route, and we would make sure to check our homeowner's policy. We would start preparing. Even if we were told we wouldn't be able to stop the fire from happening, we would do everything we could to ensure our loved ones would have a way to be safe.

Now, replace the picture of the house with your soul and the souls of your family members. Are we doing all that we can to prepare for an end that all of us will eventually face? Are you spending time in God's word daily to find the escape route from sin and eternal punishment? Are we making sure our loved ones are prepared?

At the end of chapter 24, it feels like Jesus is talking about something more than Jerusalem. It feels like He is talking about eternal judgment. The horrors Jesus depicts for the destruction of Jerusalem are nothing compared to what it will be like for those who face judgment unprepared. God's word offers hope even in the midst of destruction. God offers us a way of escape from the fear of death itself. While we can't know when our end will come, we can be prepared. Are you prepared?
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Matthew 23

Hypocrisy is the focus on the woes Jesus pronounces upon the scribes and Pharisees in chapter 23. Unfortunately, Christians are often accused of being hypocritical. Some of the accusations are warranted like they were for the religious leaders of the day. Still, some are baseless observations made by people who want to excuse themselves from living a life that is God-focused rather than self-focused.

Christians must pay attention to the actions and attitudes that Jesus says are characteristic of hypocrisy in this passage, however. No Christian wants (or intends) to be a hypocrite. In this passage, Jesus reminds us what hypocrisy looks like.

Hypocrisy is teaching the truth but not living according to it. Hypocrisy is shutting the door to the kingdom in people's faces who need it most. Hypocrisy is taking positions on things that don't matter so that you can win an argument instead of saving a soul. Hypocrisy is looking like you have it all together on Sunday, but continually resisting true change that will get you out of the mess you continue to place yourself in every day. Hypocrisy is claiming you believe in the grace and mercy of God but not extending it to others.

Let's be real; none of us are perfect. If we can humble ourselves each day and be honest with where we are, we will be much less likely to end up as hypocrites. When we do that, we understand more and more just how far God's amazing grace, mercy, and love extend.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 23 Reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+23&version=ESV

Image: Shutterstock Image 1872016864
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Matthew 22

Love God and love the people He created. When Jesus is pressed to answer which of the commandments is greatest, He gives a simple answer. According to various scholars, this was how many rabbis summarized the entire Law of Moses and the prophets. It makes sense. A surface evaluation of the Ten Commandments can be broken down into commandments regarding our relationship to God (1st 4 commandments) and our relationships with our fellow man (the last 6 commandments).

The greatest commandment Jesus gives is to love God. It makes sense because He is God, right? But there's more. Learning about God's love teaches us what real love is, what it looks like, how it behaves, etc. Loving God teaches us how to love.

Until we love God, we can't learn to love ourselves as we should because we're using the world's shallow version of love to determine our worth. If we can't learn to properly love ourselves, we'll never learn to love our neighbor. Ever wonder what's really at the root of why we're disrespecting each other so much? We don't see each other as God sees us. We haven't learned to love as He loves us. Loving our neighbor begins with understanding God's love.

I can be hard to love, but God doesn't give up on loving me. What if we tried that approach on our neighbors? I'm not saying we'll agree on everything, but perhaps we'll love enough to respect each other a little more.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 22 Reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22&version=ESV

Image: Shutterstock ID 112793704
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Matthew 21

When I read passages like Matthew 21, I sometimes wonder which group I would be in had I lived in the 1st century. Would I be in the group that proclaims, "Hosanna!" or would I be continually questioning and accusing Jesus.

I sincerely hope that I would among those who were able to see Him as the Messiah, but I'm not so sure. I can just as easily see myself among the money changers in the temple or in the crowd of accusers trying to discredit Jesus.

I say that because so often today, even knowing all the story, I can still act like those accusers. Sometimes my faith is lacking; there's no way it could move mountains, let alone molehills. Some days I am more like the son who said he would work in the vineyard but never shows up for work.

But I also remember that some of these same people will change. They will go from accusing to proclaiming. They will develop a faith that moves mountains. And so, on the days I am weak, I remember His strength which bore all so that I might have time to see Him for who He really is. In those moments, I need to say, "Hosanna." Hosanna, according to scholars, had become a phrase of praise asking God to save His people. In those weak moments, I need to remember just how awesome and far-reaching His grace and mercy are, even in my times of doubt or despair. Hosanna.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 21 Reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+21&version=ESV
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Matthew 20

Entitlement. In my humble opinion, our society is struggling with entitlement. Everyone thinks that someone owes them something. There are times when a person has earned something and should be given their due. For instance, lifelong workers are due Social Security because they paid into it all their working lives. I'm not referencing those situations. What I'm referencing is an attitude that I continue to see rising where people think the world owes them something just because they want it.

Christianity is not about entitlement, however. In Matthew 20, there are two occasions where people seem to have entitled attitudes; the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard and the request of James and John (Matthew includes their mother in the request). The response of the workers who had worked all day receiving the same pay as the ones who had only worked a short time is revealing. Their expectation of reward was based on what they had done. James and John are jockeying for positions of power in the new kingdom because they don't understand what power is in the kingdom.

In both scenes, Jesus is trying to communicate that being His disciple is not about what I deserve or have earned. Christianity only exists because of what Christ has done for us that we could never do for ourselves. Our response to this gracious and merciful act is to strive to become more like the One who came "...not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." Jesus left all His entitlements to come to earth and die for our sins (Php 2:1-11).

In a world full of people struggling with entitlement, let's seek to be content in Christ. Follow His example of concentrating less on self and more on pointing people to the One who was selfless.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 20 Reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+20&version=ESV

Image: Shutterstock Image 1871349145
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Matthew 19

Jesus loved children. On more than one occasion, Jesus scolded His apostles for not allowing mothers to bring their children to Him for a blessing. Jesus even presented children to His followers, telling them that they should be more like children or that the kingdom belongs to those who are like children.

Sometimes I have scratched my head at what Jesus said about being like little children. Children are needy, demanding, expensive, etc.

But then I think about the lessons I have learned from my children. Watching them grow up, I have been reminded that children are accepting and loving. Children don't see a playmate's skin color or their economic background; they just see someone that wants to play with them. Children are constantly in awe. I may have seen a frog a thousand times, but watching my child experience an encounter with one for the first time is priceless. Unfortunately, I have also seen the utter shock on my children's faces when they discover I am not perfect. Their innocence was fully displayed as I tried to backtrack what I said or did.

Children are not born sinful; they learn it from us. Children are not born with hatred and bitterness in their hearts; they learn it from us. When you think about it, it makes sense that Jesus wants us to become like children. He wants us to live innocent lives, not lives seeking sin. He wants us to share His love with everyone, regardless of background. He wants us to live in awe of His majesty every day.

I am thankful I had parents who understood that their example taught me to be a follower of God, both in their successes and failures. I hope that Sally and I have done the same for our children and for the children of God we minister to throughout our lives.

Let's seek to be more childlike in our faith. After all, aren't we supposed to be God's children?

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 19 Bible Reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2019&version=ESV

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Matthew 18

It feels like we don't talk to each other anymore; we just talk at each other. We seem to be losing civility in our society. I know I am overreacting a bit, but sometimes it truly feels that way to me. I can't count the times I have read a social media post that rails against someone. That's not including the comments section below the post either. I quit reading those a long time ago.

In Matthew 18:15, Jesus tells us that the first step we should take is not to go and post on Facebook about how we've been wronged. He doesn't even advise us to seek counsel (although that can be an appropriate thing to do). He tells us to try and work out the situation with that person alone. Why?

When we involve others, we create division. If the issue is with someone in my friend group, I inadvertently ask my friends to take sides. If the matter is with someone at work, I ask them to choose loyalties. If it is a family matter, it can create utter chaos.

Jesus wants us to work toward unity and peace at all times (Matt 5:9; Rom 12:18). I know that's not always possible; He even gives us further steps if this first one doesn't work, but always need to follow the Lord's advice and take this first step. If we skip it, we can be assured that the road to forgiveness, peace, and restoration will be longer and more difficult. Most of us hate conflict, but if we approach it correctly, conflict resolution can lead to stronger relationships.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 18 Reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18&version=ESV

Image: Shutterstock Stock Photo ID: 1164198352
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Matthew 17

The Transfiguration is one of those scenes in the Bible that I have difficulty picturing. The gospel writers paint a vivid picture of Jesus, His face shining like the sun and His clothes becoming as white as light. I can only imagine how amazing the scene was for Peter, James, and John. To see a glimpse of Jesus' true glory. As if that weren't enough, they see two heavyweights of the Old Testament, Elijah, and Moses. Scholars have observed that this is a crucial moment showing that Jesus really is the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets (Matt 5:17). Makes sense, but it's still an awe-inspiring scene...there are no words.

But bless his heart, Peter just has to say something, doesn't he? When Peter suggests making three tents, God speaks up and says, "Listen to Him." I think I get it. I often open my mouth and offer commentary when none is needed. Instead of standing in awe of God and what He is doing, I think I have something to add. I get in my own way of seeing the awesome things God is doing more than I'd like to admit.

Today, take time to appreciate what God is doing all around you. That's easier to do on some days than others, but spend a few moments pondering where you see Him every day and start looking for Him more. Perhaps that is the transfiguration that is needed most.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 17 Reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2017...

Image: Shutterstock Illustration ID: 139382126
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Matthew 16

"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" That's Jesus' question to the apostles. Their answers range from recent well-known people like John to Old Testament prophets. People obviously have a lot of ideas about Jesus. When Jesus presses them to respond with who they think He is, Peter gives his great confession, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Reading a passage like this encourages me to ask, "Who is He to me?" For some, Jesus is a good friend or confidant. For others, Jesus is just an idea or a man with good virtues. Who is He to you?

Peter's response reveals that Jesus is much more than a rabbi, miracle worker, prophet, or healer. Peter's confession reminds us that Jesus is the promised deliverer from God. He is the One who gave His life so that we might have the hope of eternal life.

Before Jesus can be a friend, confidant, or example for us, He must first be the Christ. He must be recognized as the Lord of our lives. He is the One we should seek to become more like each day. Only then can we understand how amazing it is that He can be our friend, confidant, and example.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 16 Reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+16&version=ESV

Image: Shutterstock Stock Photo ID: 1677618448
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Matthew 15

Traditions help us create stability, continuity, legacy, etc. Many memories that become important to our families are steeped in tradition. When Sally and I married, there were traditions from our upbringing that we wanted to be part of our family. Those traditions have become an important part of our family legacy.

But traditions can also become a distraction. There are times when we are so concerned about a tradition that we forget the meaning behind the tradition. In Matthew 15, Jesus challenges the traditions of the Pharisees and scribes because the tradition itself has become more important than the reason for the tradition, leading to them ignoring some of God's commands.

Just as traditions can create division in a family (think about a newly married couple trying to please both sets of in-laws at Christmas), traditions can push us away from one another in the faith. Jesus calls for unity, not division.

Our spiritual traditions should never be considered equal to God's word. Many of the traditions we hold to are beneficial for our spiritual growth, but we must never forget the why behind those traditions. If a tradition becomes a distraction, it no longer serves its intended purpose.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 15 reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+15&version=ESV
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Matthew 14

Peter walked on water. Let me repeat it, Peter walked on water. This is one of my favorite accounts in all of the Bible. The amount of pure, trusting, powerful faith it took to get out of that boat and walk on water, knowing that it has no properties to support a human, is amazing. Peter wanted to trust in Jesus, but Peter also trusted in himself, and so, Peter also sank.

We don't know how far Peter walked before he took his focus off Jesus and began to sink, but when he started paying attention to the wind and waves, the miracle was over. He sank because water isn't designed to hold us up. It was Jesus who was holding Peter up.

Perhaps, like me, you find yourself more like Peter than you'd like to admit. Too often, I trust in myself and my understanding and rely on the water to hold me up. That's when I start focusing on the wind and waves more than Jesus. It's not that I lack faith; it's just that the winds and waves are more real to me. Water isn't designed to hold you up, but Jesus is.

I don't think Jesus spoke in an angry tone to Peter. I think Jesus' tone was more like pity. Jesus was sad that Peter lost his confidence in Him and didn't experience the full measure of the miraculous moment. But Jesus didn't let him drown; Jesus reached out to lift him from the waters. He will do the same for you if you only look to Him for rescue when your faith is floundering. And let's be honest; we all have moments of floundering faith.

My favorite part of this account is that Peter walked on water twice that day. As he began to sink, he cried out to Jesus and was saved. They walked back to the boat together. Both times, Peter trusted in Jesus. If your life is a little stormy today, I hope you'll read this passage multiple times and find the hope it is meant to bring. I'm not sure what walking on water looks like for you, but Jesus does. The winds and the waves will always be there, but so will Jesus, standing amidst them, encouraging you to get out of the boat and come to Him.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 14 reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2014&version=ESV

Image: shutterstock
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Matthew 13

Stories. Our lives are a collection of stories. Some of those stories make us smile. Some cause us to recall deep heartache and pain upon our remembrance of them.

In chapter 13, Jesus tells a series of parables about the kingdom. Parables are simply stories that teach. If you notice, there is always some kind of interaction between humans and the Kingdom in each parable. Jesus is telling us that the story of the Kingdom will play a part in the story of our lives. The outcome of that story is up to us. The story of the Kingdom can be the greatest part of your story, or it can be the lost opportunity. It's up to you.

One of the most familiar parables, the parable of the soils (or sower), teaches us what is required for the Kingdom to have the greatest impact on our life. We must have open hearts prepared to receive the word. If our hearts are hard, we haven't allowed the word to be planted deeply, or we don't weed out the deception of the world, we won't experience the true blessing of the Kingdom.

Something to consider about your story is that it is still being written. There will be chapters of life that are a struggle. There will be chapters where you want to stop writing...don't. You never know when the greatest chapter of your life will be written.

The parable of the soils is written so that we can identify what type of soil is in our hearts, but it doesn't mean that it has to stay that way. The condition of your heart can change. You can cultivate the soil to become good ground for the word. Allow God to be the author of your story.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 13 reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13&version=ESV
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Matthew 12

Sometimes I am guilty of talking a good game but not delivering on it. Words come easy to me but are empty if not followed with action. I should never preach a sermon to others that I have not first preached to myself.

In Matthew 12, the Pharisees are looking for ways to discredit Jesus. They go so far as to say He is working miracles through the devil's power (12:24). They use words to combat Jesus' actions. Jesus responds by calling them out for their hypocrisy. They were willing to save a sheep on the Sabbath but not heal a human.
How often have we said we care about people, want to help people find Jesus, and serve the needy, but then take no action? Maybe you've tried to serve before and received criticism or found yourself overwhelmed because you ended up doing it all alone.

As I said, I'm guilty of preaching like this sometimes. Let us all resolve to make sure that our words are not hollow and empty but full of action.

May God bless you today as you seek to be a blessing. ~Jeremy

Matthew 12 reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2012...

Image by Sasin Tipchai pixabay.com
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Matthew 11

"Come to Me..." Matthew chapter 11 ends with an invitation. Jesus invites us to come to Him when life is challenging and we are weary.

Satan likes to come after us when we are in a downtrodden state. We can be easy prey. I heard a preacher use an acrostic illustration years ago that reminds us of specific times when we may be more susceptible to temptation. It's the acrostic H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). The statement Jesus makes in Matthew 11:28 shows that He knew that long before any of us did.

Because Jesus knows this, He invites us to come to Him to find rest for our souls. In a world where we are constantly on the go, it is easy to become anxious because our souls are often restless trying to figure out how we are going to navigate several important things all at once. Jesus tells us that we can find rest if we come to Him. If we connect ourselves to Him (the idea of being yoked to Him), He will remind us how to find peace.

Connecting ourselves to Christ allows us to bear more because we rely on His strength, not just our own. Connecting to Him through His word, prayer, meditation, etc., serves as a constant reminder of what is most important...our relationship with Him. The further away we are in our relationship with Christ, the more restless we become.

Jesus wants you to succeed spiritually speaking (My yoke is easy, My burden is light). He understands the trials you go through daily (I am gentle and lowly in heart). Jesus constantly seeks to restore, reconcile, rebuild, and renew your life, not ruin it. When we answer His invitation, He provides a calm and peace that the world can never give. He invites you to find rest today; accept His invitation.

May God bless you as you seek to be a blessing today. ~Jeremy

Matthew 11 Reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+11&version=ESV
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Matthew 10

Persecution is not a word I fully understand. I've had people question me, disagree with me, unfriend me, unfollow me, etc., but I've never had to put my life on the line for what I believe. That's precisely what Jesus tells His apostles will happen when they preach in His name.

The send-off message Jesus gives to His newly appointed apostles is not necessarily the motivational speech I would give if I were sending them out on such a critical mission. He tells them that they will face persecution. He tells them that they will be dragged into courts, hated, and even disowned. He shares with them the reality that some will reject the message of hope, and that rejection will not be passive.

As He tells them all about the persecution they will face, He also tells them not to fear the persecutors. It's a message Christians need to listen to today. As our society continues to accept things God has said are sinful, we find ourselves being called intolerant, ignorant, or bigots. Standing up for what you believe as a Christian can get you canceled or fired. We must always be willing to share the truth with the world, even when it is unpopular. We should always do so in a loving manner, however.

Jesus' message to His apostles is a reminder that not everyone will listen to the truth. His message is also a reminder that we never give up on sharing the truth, though. Notice that Jesus told them to go to the next town. In essence, He told them never to give up because there will always be someone who will listen to the message of hope.

When you face the cancel culture because you cling to the truth that transcends culture, just remember that the message you carry is one of true love and true hope. Keep your confidence in Him, shake off the dust, and carry on in the name of Christ.

May God bless you as you seek to be a blessing today. ~Jeremy

Matthew 10 reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+10&version=ESV
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Matthew 9

Criticism. I don't like it, and I don't enjoy receiving it. I even have a hard time accepting "constructive criticism." My first reaction is often defensive rather than reflective. I'm working on it. I need to work on it more.

In Matthew 9, Jesus hears and is subject to much criticism (not the constructive kind either). When He heals a paralytic man, He is criticized for forgiving the man's sins. He is questioned (which can feel like criticism) about why His disciples do not fast. I can only imagine the criticism He receives for asking a tax collector to follow Him as a disciple. He's laughed at and accused of being an agent of Satan. All of this seems to happen in a fairly short span of time. I think I would quit. A person can only take so much criticism, right? But this is Jesus we're talking about. He uses those moments of criticism as teaching opportunities.

Sometimes we receive criticism that is unwarranted and underserved. As I've said, my knee-jerk reaction is to become defensive and lash out. Jesus always responded perfectly. Often, Jesus just simply let His actions speak for Him. Also, He focused on those seeking to learn, not those who thought they knew better than the Son of God. The next time you feel like you are being criticized unfairly, consider the following:

*Remember that people of action are often criticized. If you step out, the odds are you'll eventually get stepped on.

*Is there some truth to the criticism, even though it's being delivered harshly? There may be a grain of truth that will help me improve.

*Who is criticizing me, and what is their motivation for criticizing me? Let's face it, some people are just mean, but others just don't communicate well. Learn the difference.

May God bless you as you seek to be a blessing today. ~Jeremy

Matthew 9 reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+9&version=ESV
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Matthew 8

"I will." It's a statement we read a few times in chapter 8. There are many times Jesus makes this simple statement. Sometimes it references that He is able to do something amazing such as when He tells the man with leprosy that He will heal him. On other occasions, He makes promises. Consider some of the "I will" statements from Jesus:

Matthew 11:28 I will give you rest
Matthew 16:18 I will build My church
Mark 1:17 I will make you become fishers of men
John 4:14 I will give him (living water)
John 6:40 I will raise him up on the last day
John 14:3 I will come again
John 16:22 I will see you again
John 16:26 I will ask the Father on your behalf

The God we serve acts. He moves mountains. He calms storms. He walks on water. He heals. He spends time with the desperate, the lonely, and the heartbroken. When I am tempted to think that God is not working in my life this year, I hope I remember this simple phrase, "I will." He doesn't always act on my schedule or take the action I desire, but He is always at work doing His perfect work.

May God bless you as you seek to be a blessing today. ~Jeremy

Matthew 8 reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+8&version=ESV
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Matthew 7

Storms get our attention. Storms should be respected. If you've ever helped with disaster relief, you understand why. Storms can destroy.

The storms of life demand our attention. There are times when a simple phrase like, "You have cancer," can bring one's entire world to a stop. Maybe it's the news of the sudden loss of a friend or loved one that overwhelms you in a moment. If you've never experienced one of those moments, you probably know someone who has.

In the account of the two houses in the storm in Matthew 7:24-27, both houses experience the storm. The same wind, rain, and floods impact both homes. The difference is the foundation of the home. Those who hear the words of Christ and act on them are the ones who survive the storm. They are called wise. Those who make their foundation the shifting sands lose their homes in the storm. They are called foolish.

We're not guaranteed that we will escape the storms of life as Christians. Just because we are faithful doesn't mean we get a pass on the trials of life. What we do have, however, is a storm-ready Savior.

In Matthew 8, we find Jesus in a storm. The storm doesn't bother Jesus, does it? In fact, He is asleep. Jesus is okay with storms because they provide Him the opportunity to remind us that He is the Master of the storms. Whatever storm you are facing today, Jesus is storm-ready. He is ready to be your life preserver, rescuer, and calming force. Just make sure He's in your boat and the foundation of your home.

May God bless you as you seek to be a blessing today! ~Jeremy

Matthew 7 reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7&version=ESV
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Matthew 6

Image. As an enneagram 3 image means a lot to me. It's not necessarily about how I look; it's more about how others perceive me. I want them to see me in a certain way. That can get me in a lot of trouble. I find myself caring too much about what others might think of my actions or words. I want to control how others see me. Again, it can get me in a lot of trouble.

Jesus spends much of this part of the Sermon on the Mount talking about appearances. He reminds us that we should not do good works so that others will perceive us as good people. We should do good works because we desire to serve God by serving others. It's not about Citizen of the Year awards, dinners in our honor, etc. It's simply about serving from a pure motive of caring for one another as God cares for us.

I love those moments when someone receives an award, and they are genuinely shocked. Everyone in the room knows they deserve to be recognized except them. Jesus reminds us that God sees all we do, but He also sees the heart behind the effort. For me, this is huge. I can find peace knowing that when I am trying to help, I don't have to waste mental energy thinking about what everyone else will think about what I'm doing (enneagram 3 anxiety anyone??). It allows God to become my image maker, not me.

May God bless you as you seek to be a blessing today. ~Jeremy

Matthew 6 reading: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6&version=ESV
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