Malachi 3:17

Verse: “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day I act in judgement, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child.”

Insight: Oh to be chosen. I remember being chosen last during kickball in grade school, not a good feeling.. We can carry this same feeling into adulthood. Grace and blessing is for others and not me. Why has God passed me? Let’s be reminded of how untrue this is. We see above the Lord saying what my wife and I love to tell our two adopted children, we chose you and are so glad that we did!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for choosing me. I sometimes don’t understand why you do, I so often feel inadequate. Today, I choose to act as a child of yours! I will walk with freedom, confidence, and grace knowing that I am treasured by you. In Jesus name, amen.

Josh

Psalms 1:2-3

Verse: “But they delight in the Law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”

Insight: Do you know how many hours of planning and preparation it takes for an NFL quarterback to throw the game winning touchdown in the last seconds? Lots. Development of our faith is the same. At newhope, we strive to be a church that is full of grace and is marked by truth. We look to the Bible as our filter and final word. Let us be marked as people that know what Jesus says through the word of God!

Prayer: Lord, I am so thankful today for all you do. Help my life to be one that is full of your presence by time spent with you in prayer and the reading of scripture. I want to bear fruit in my life, not to wither, and to prosper. I realize that only happens in intimate time spent with you. I love you and look to you today Jesus, amen.

Josh

Acts 2:46-47

Verse: “They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity - all the while praising God and enjoying the good will of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”

Insight: Joy. Generosity. Hope. Multiplication. We can read these verses and feel like these days are in our history, but not in our personal future. Every conversation, every moment we express love, every heartfelt prayer given, is showing the joy and hope we have in Jesus. As we live out generosity, the Lord does the difficult work of saving the hearts of those we love.

Prayer: Jesus, help me to remember that you bring hope to this world through me. Help my heart to be full of hope and joy today. Help me to be generous with my attitude, my time, my talents, and my finances. I realize as I am obedient in these things, it will open the door for my friends and family to come and know you as well. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

Acts 2:44-47

Verses: All the believers were together and had everything in common.They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Insight: When the church began on the day of Pentecost God poured out his Spirit and the people began to work and live in unity. They met together in Gatherings and Groups that stirred their faith, strengthened their friendships and propelled the gospel. We continue to do that weekly at newhope. There’s something powerful about connecting with others both in large gatherings like on Sunday and in smaller groups like at Community Groups.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the opportunity to grow as I lean into both gatherings and groups just like the early church. Help me to create space in my week to invest into others and to be poured into myself. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Jeffery Portmann

Nehemiah 6:15; 7:1-2

Verses: So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levites were appointed. I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do.

Insight: The walls of the city have been torn down for nearly 150 years and under Nehemiah’s leadership God has made what had seemed impossible, possible. Nehemiah then wanted to keep what had been done from being undone so he chose godly people who he knew he could trust to continue leading and serving the people.

Prayer: Lord, help me to choose people who fear you and walk in integrity to be the loudest voices in my life. Bring great friends into my life and help me to be the king of person others can look to when they need someone of integrity and Christian character. Amen.

Jeffery Portmann

Nehemiah 6:11

Verse: But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!”

Insight: Do you know who you are as a man or woman of God? Nehemiah understood that how he handled the enemies attacks and false accusation would have a ripple effect on those watching and following him. He knew that he was a man of God on a mission. Ask God to tell you or remind you of how He see’s you and then boldly walk in it!

Prayer: Dear Lord, I choose today to walk boldly as the person you’ve called me to be. I will stand strong, walk humbly, and declare your promises over my life.

Jeffery Portmann

Luke 23:20-25

Verses: Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.” But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

Insight: Jesus was an innocent man whom Pilate (the Roman official) found to be free of any wrong doing. But the crowd was insistent on having him crucified. While that seems unfair and totally messed up, God allowed the process to unfold so that Jesus could die in our place, taking our sins onto the cross. What seemed like the worst thing possible was turned into hope for all humanity.

Prayer: Thank you Jesus for taking my place on the cross. For willingly sacrificing your life for me and everyone who would one day surrender their lives to you. Help me to remember today that what may seem like the worst thing possible may just be used by You to bless me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Jeffery Portmann

Nehemiah 1:2-4

Verses: Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

Insights: Nehemiah could have got the news from his brother of the pain and suffering the people of Judah were experiencing and thought to himself, “I’m sure glad it’s not me who is hurting…” But he was moved by compassion and began to fast and pray asking God for what his role would be in helping them. His openness to be used by God brought brought about an incredible miracle that you’ll read about later this week.

Prayer: Oh God, I invite you to help me respond to the hurting and helpless in our world with compassion and kindness. Use me I pray. Amen.

Jeffery Portmann

Ezra 7:6

Verses: This Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him.

Insight: God was pleased with Ezra and showed him great favor with the King. Like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego before him, his life was marked by faithfulness to God. When we study God’s word we experience a closeness to Him as well as a deeper understanding of how to show the love of God to those He places us around.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray that you’d give me a hunger to reach and study the Bible. I ask for your favor over my life today. Lead me like you did Ezra. In your name, Amen.

Jeffery Portmann

Luke 19:5,7

Verse: When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

Insight: Jesus was interested in connecting with people who others viewed as “too far gone” or “unlikely to be saved” Zacchaeus was a wealthy man who had stolen money from lots of people. But Jesus invited him into relationship with him. He does the same thing for us today. You’re not too far or even slightly unlikely in from Jesus’ perspective.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for loving people like me and Zacchaeus - people who others might think are too far gone or unlikely to be reached and loved by you. Help me to show the same love to others today. In your Name, Amen.

Jeffery Portmann

Luke 18:16-17

Verse: But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Insight: Many of us have experienced heartaches that makes it hard to trust in anyone. Not understanding enough who God is makes it hard to embrace God’s promises for our lives. We must set aside our past, close that chapter, and surrender our lives to Jesus so that we can experience His kingdom here and now.

Prayer: Father, restore my heart so that I can come to you as a child comes to the father, full of trust, excitement, security, anticipation, and love. May I never forget that you are with me until the end of time. I love you! In Jesus name, Amen.

Victor

Luke 17:17-18

Verse: Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Insight: Unfortunately, sometimes outsiders are more grateful than family members. We are part of the family of Christ; we are His body, we are the bride. The bridegroom is “joined” to us through the new covenant. Being saved from eternal separation should be reflected with an attitude of gratitude. When we are thankful, people around us will notice and will want to know about the Source of our joy. Our faith in Christ will make us well.

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for not being as grateful as I should be. Sometimes I tend to focus more on what I don’t have instead of what you’ve done for me. Help me develop a grateful heart so that I can radiate your love and hope to others. In Jesus name, Amen.

Victor

Luke 16:31

Verse: “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Insight: The rich man was begging Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family about the torment they were to face if they didn’t turn away from their ways. As Christians we must always have a sense of urgency because Christ’s return is imminent. Our passion for Jesus and compassion for others will stir our hearts to help those in danger of spending eternity away from God.

Prayer: Lord, help me see in others the need of you. Guide me as I reach out to those who don’t know you and give me the wisdom to share the Good News with them. In Jesus name, Amen.

Victor

Luke 15:8-10

Verse: “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Insight: God leaves the 99 in search of the one sheep that is lost. As His hands and feet, we get to share with the lost how precious they are, and the wonderful experience they will have by walking with Jesus.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord for the opportunity I have to share with others your love and your desire to dwell among them. May I never forget how precious every person is in your sight. Make me aware of those divine appointments with the people around me so that they can also experience your love and salvation. In Jesus name, Amen.

Victor

Luke 14:34-35

Verse: “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.”

Insight: We have been uniquely positioned in our sphere of influence to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. God has given us the privilege to bring flavor to others’ lives because we have within us the Hope that is the anchor of our souls. We get to share the Good News to a hopeless world.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for choosing me to make an eternal impact in people’s lives. Please, help me not get so focused on my personal life that I have no room to love others as you love me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Victor

Luke 13:18-19

Verse: Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”

Insight: We might feel insignificant like a mustard seed but we are full of potential because we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Surrendering our lives to Jesus and dying to self like a seed allows us germinate. This is how we become part of His kingdom and we get to see the blessings of God in and through us.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for giving me the opportunity to choose you and live for you. Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. May your kingdom be reflected through my life for your glory. In Jesus name, Amen.

Victor

Luke 12:6-7

Verse: Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Insight: It is hard to feel at peace in the midst of hardship but God reminds us that He is our Provider. That as long as we seek Him first everything we need will be taken care of. We are His workmanship and we are special. We are worth more than we can imagine. When our goal is to be more like Him, His desire will be done in our lives. 

Prayer: Thank you, Father for reminding me who I am in Christ Jesus. Give us today our daily bread. Help me take advantage of the moments of need so that I can depend more on you than in my circumstances. In Jesus name, Amen.

Victor

Luke 11:34-36

Verse: “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.  If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”

Insight: Where there is light there can be no darkness, and the presence of darkness in our hearts is evidence that we have sin in our lives, and we are rejecting the light of Christ. When our hearts are filled with Christ’s light it should be evident to those around us. We must remain vigilant in pursuing a close relationship with God so that our light remains brightly lit. 

Prayer: Lord, you are the source of the light within us and where your presence is darkness cannot remain. Cleanse me today of all sin so that darkness will be banished from all corners of my heart. Let your light fill me so that I am living a life of overflow and those around me will come to know you. Thank you, Jesus, Amen.  

Nathan Patrick

 

Luke 10:25-28

Verse: One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”

The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

Insight: The religious expert's answer is the greatest of the commandments for our lives. Our love for God and love for one another is the true testament to our identity as Christians. The only path to heaven is through Jesus who lived and died as the ultimate example of loving God and loving others. 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for providing us a clear path to salvation and eternal life. Help us to live in obedience by loving you with all that we are and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus, let us always strive to follow your perfect example in all that we do. In your name, Amen.  

Nathan Patrick 

Psalm 127:1-2

Verse: Unless the Lord builds a house,
    the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
    guarding it with sentries will do no good.
It is useless for you to work so hard
    from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
    for God gives rest to his loved ones.

Insight: On the coat of arms of Edinburgh, Scotland can be found the Latin phrase, Nisi Dominus Frusta, or in English “Without the Lord in Vain.” The Psalmist understands that God is the source of all that we have, and putting faith in our own work, strength, and abilities is an exercise in futility. God blesses the faithful and obedient who work and live to bring him glory.  

Prayer: God, you are the source of all that is good. Help us to live every part of our lives in a way that brings you honor and glory. Thank you for the overwhelming blessings that you have given and will continue to give those who are faithful and obedient. In your wonderful name, Amen.

Nathan Patrick