Skip to content

December 2

Scripture:​​ ​John 1:1-14

Advent is a season of expectation as we look forward to Christmas Day, the time we celebrate God sending His own Son, Jesus, to the earth. Jesus came to minister the hope of heaven to us and become the bridge for all who would believe in Him. Our Advent reading begins in John 1 as a reminder that from the very foundations of the earth and in all of Scripture, Jesus has been the foundation for us. He is the Creator who stepped down from His place in heaven to become like us, so that from the inside out He would conquer our sin.

In these coming days, we will reflect on Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus existed before anything else, and in Him all creation holds together. (​Colossians 1:17​) As we look throughout the Bible at the story of Christ’s anticipated arrival, our prayer at New Life Church is that you would remember that Jesus came to be the embodiment of God’s promises for salvation and redemption. All our hopes and prayers are answered in the Person of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us.

Jesus, we look to You. Show us more of who You are and why You came unto us as we study the story of how You love the world.

December 3

Scripture: ​​Genesis 3:1-15 

This is the first prophecy of a Savior that we can see in Scripture. Adam and Eve have just shifted blame for their sins to others and yet, as God looks on what they have done, He responds with truth and grace. Yes, Adam and Eve choosing the forbidden fruit has earth-altering results. But God’s love would prevail; He already provided a way for His people to be reconciled back to Him and saved from their sin.

In verse 15, the Lord declares that although Satan will strike out at Eve’s descendants, there will be One (the Savior) who will conquer and crush the deceiver. God’s immediate response to Adam and Eve’s sin isn’t one of rejection or abandonment, but of provision. He first brings light to the situation by calling out what was done wrong, then covers Adam and Eve, knowing that they needed shielding from their shame. This is the first sacrifice we see God make for His creation—He fashions clothing from animal skins for Adam and Eve, a foreshadow of Christ being given for the sins of the world many generations later. ​As a church we pray you would see how valued you are in the Lord’s eyes. You belong here not because of a right you have to earn, but because of the love God has poured out for you!

From the beginning, God knew that loving humanity would be costly. But He did it anyway. As you pray today, thank the Lord that His plans to save us were set in motion from the very start! 

December 4

Scripture​​​​:​​ ​​Micah 5:2-5

When Israel heard that a ruler was coming to them, one who would save them from oppression, they probably imagined an incredibly strong leader who would rise up to take a king’s throne in their capital city. He was likely thought of as a warrior who would overthrow Israel’s captors and restore their freedom. But the promised Savior would be born quietly in the unassuming city of Bethlehem, into the most humble surroundings.

Bethlehem wasn’t known for being mighty. It was a small town, a humble place associated with bread making (which is delicious, but valiant warriors aren’t typically raised up in bakeries). Yet how often do we see in Scripture that it’s the delight of God to bring greatness out of the unexpected? It was in Bethlehem generations before Jesus that God spoke to the prophet Samuel, “The Lord doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (​​1 Samuel 16:7​​)​ W​hile the rest of the world may not have expected much of Bethlehem, God chose this quiet, unassuming place to be the first to encounter the long-awaited Messiah. ​From the start of New Life Church, our prayer has been that you would know you are seen and valued and the church isn’t the same without you in it. We hope that as you’ve read these words about Bethlehem you are reminded that your place in the story of Christ is not unnoticed!

Today, focus on finding a few moments of quiet away from your typical routine. Reflect on God’s attention and kindness. Remember that out of infinite options and possibilities, He chose to give His best for you. You are seen and loved wherever you are!

December 5

Scripture:​​ ​​Isaiah 9:1-7

As he spoke of a light dawning on those who have been living in great darkness, Isaiah was referring to the Messiah living in Galilee and beginning His ministry from there. This area was a place where many Gentiles lived, though it was originally the land of two of the tribes of Israel, Zebulun and Naphtali. At one point we know that this area was even given away to a neighboring kingdom by King Solomon as payment for timber. For various reasons, it seems this territory wasn’t highly esteemed by the Israelite people.

Still, it’s the place where God keeps His word. The Light of the World began His message and ministry in Galilee (see ​Matthew 4:12-25​) and its people responded with repentance and faith, bringing all who were sick to His healing presence. God doesn’t forget us; He is the God who comes to us! ​As a church, we believe we are called to bring the light of Jesus into dark places, first in our own lives and then to others.

Is there any area of your life that you think is lost in the dark? Maybe it’s a dream that now seems hopeless or a desire for healing that you’ve given up on. Whatever it is, find a trusted friend and ask them to pray with you in faith for that today.

December 6 

Scripture:​​​​​​ ​​2 Samuel 7:10-13​​, ​Acts 2:25-32

God called David a man after His own heart. (​​Acts 13:22​​) Even though David made some really big mistakes in his life, we see God honor His promise to forever establish the throne of David by Jesus’ birth into his family line. In fact, we see this connection between the heart of God and David even as Jesus died on the cross, when Christ quoted ​​Psalm 22​​ as a cry to the Father in His suffering.

Just like in David’s life, we may not see the promises of God come to pass in the timing we expect or want. (David’s promise came generations after he passed away, and Jesus didn’t sit on the political throne many assumed He would take.) But know that God keeps His word—in Jesus, we can see that God is faithful to us! His personal promise to David became an eternal gift to all the earth. God models follow through for us and, as His people, that same Spirit of commitment abides within us.

Faithfulness is a quality we see God embody through the fulfilled promise of Jesus. Today, think about how you’ve personally seen His faithfulness. Ask Him how you can model this to those around you. Make good on that lunch commitment or help that friend paint their house. Faithfulness is a gift for you and is your assignment as a believer in Christ! ​Our pastors are praying for you, that you would see God’s faithfulness in your life and how to live it out in your world.

December 7

Scripture:​​​​​​ ​​Isaiah 61:1-9 

Jesus would quote these verses during the beginnings of His ministry. But during the days Isaiah wrote them, these words were a far-off hope that hadn’t yet been recognized. For a people who had been enslaved, taken captive, and war torn for much of their nation’s existence, these words were a hope they desperately needed to keep going.

But perhaps one of the greatest moments in this passage is the beginning of verse six, where it’s indicated that the veil (a barrier in the temple between people and the presence of God) will be torn and all people will be able to approach the Spirit of God directly. Before Jesus came, only certain men were appointed to approach God on behalf of all people. Everyone would have relied on these priests to connect them with the Lord. Jesus came to remove the barriers between us and become our way to the Father! “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.​ ​​For He Himself is our peace . . .” (​​Ephesians 2:13-14a​​) ​While we love our campuses and gathering together in those buildings, it’s ultimately the people who make up the body of the church and carry the presence of God throughout the earth. Because Jesus has removed the veil, our hope is that you would daily abide in the loving presence of the Lord!

Isaiah lists powerful ways that the Lord will bring hope and healing to the earth. Which have you personally experienced? Spend five minutes in prayer, thanking Jesus for coming to us and bringing the hope of heaven to Earth. 

December 8

Scripture:​​ ​​​Genesis 28:10-14

As Jacob encounters heaven during this passage, the Lord promises him that his legacy will include a descendant through which all families will be blessed. In Matthew 1 we see that Jacob is included in the lineage of Jesus’ earthly family, meaning that God did what He said He would. Through Jacob’s descendants God gave His only Son, and whoever believes in Him will be saved. (​​John 3:16​​)

Jacob wasn’t a perfect man by any means, but he held fast to the promises of God through the highs and lows of his family’s story. He pressed on to keep his family together in the face of death, tragedy, and failure. Imagine where we would be if not for the perseverance of people like Jacob, who refused to give up on the promises of God. You don’t have to be the perfect parent or perfect child to be used to bring the Father’s love into your home. Just keep your eyes set on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. (​​Hebrews 12:2​​) ​From the beginning, we’ve always wanted New Life Church to be a place of support for families. Whatever your family circumstance looks like, good or broken or lost, we believe there is healing for you and a home for you in the church!

Have you caused pain in your family or been hurt by a family member? Bring it to God in prayer and ask Him to heal what has been damaged. There is grace for your brokenness!

December 9

Scripture:​​ ​​​Psalm 40:1-5

This is the season leading up to Christmas Day—days of hope and expectation as we remember the arrival of a child that an entire nation of people once waited thousands of years for. Yet how often does an expectation turn to discontentment—or even pain—as our waiting starts to seem like it’s no longer a part of the process but a permanent state of being? As if someone was paving a road through the wilderness and just suddenly decided to stop right in the middle.

If we can see anything in the story of Jesus, it’s that a promise so often comes through a process. That miracle you are waiting for would be amazing if it came in the snap of a second. . . . But there is a depth and richness in the process of walking with God faithfully, daily, side by side in the waiting. Leaning into the presence of God in the quiet but also in the chaos. It’s beautiful to find God in the promises and experience Him there, but know that He is just as real and available to you in the times of waiting.

Here at New Life, we’ve seen so many who were believing for a child , but continued to have to wait for their miracle. As they watched the Lord move on behalf of others dream for a family, they took heart knowing that He could also do it for them. Over time we’ve seen God fulfill this desire again and again, and we all get to celebrate the fulfillment of the dream we waited for.

As you find yourselves in places of waiting today, whether it’s in the grocery store or a meeting at work, take note of what’s going on around you rather than worrying about where you can’t be right then. How might God be moving around you? How can you move closer to Him in the waiting?

December 10

Scripture:​​​​​​ ​Matthew 1:1-17

We don’t have to be Bible scholars to see that Jesus’ family tree has a few people who aren’t what you’d expect in the line of a king. Judah was a natural leader but also used that strength for harm when he sold his brother Joseph into slavery. Ruth was an incredibly faithful and loyal woman, but as a Moabite widow she was both a foreigner to Israel and a reminder of ancestors who didn’t remain faithful to the Lord. King Josiah restored the temple and the law of the Lord to his kingdom, but was only eight years old when he took the throne.

No one in the line was perfect or who we might expect to be there, but each person was included in the process of bringing a holy Savior to the world.

Your background doesn’t disqualify you from the Kingdom of God. In fact, Jesus came as He did—in a manger, to an average girl—in many ways to show the world that, just like the prophet Samuel anointed David as king, so Jesus also wasn’t the typical expectation of a Savior. God isn’t looking for the typical person, or even popular, most unique, or most talented person. He’s looking for a willing heart.

Think about what you consider to be your greatest disqualification from God’s Kingdom, then ask Him to show you His perspective on it. What does your weakness look like in the light of Jesus? ​Our prayer is that you would begin to see the strength of His grace in your life and it’s power to redeem all things!

Note: ​​The number 14 was special in Hebrew culture, which the author knew, so he left out some generations in the list to make a point of three different sections of 14 generations. This would have been obvious to readers in the author’s time, but you can read more about how and why ​​here.

December 11

Scripture:​​ ​Matthew 1:18-25

Joseph is put into a pretty tough situation. Of course we can see from our vantage point in the story what is really going on, but Joseph? He was living out what is probably a newlywed’s worst nightmare. Like Mary, Joseph is given a message by the angel of the Lord; and, like his bride, he responds with obedience and humility. We can learn so much from Joseph about choosing to remain faithful even when things don’t appear the way we thought they would.

Joseph would go on to raise the child as his own and give him the name Jesus, just as the angel commanded. The name Jesus actually means “Jehovah is Salvation.” This is incredibly significant to understand because Jehovah is the proper name of God, it means “The Existing One.” Here, salvation means “to be saved; be delivered” particularly from moral struggles. So even within this child’s name, God is telling people that He is real, He exists, and He is giving Himself to save us from sin. How incredible that Joseph’s obedience in the simple act of naming his child actually began ushering in the good news of the gospel! Before Jesus was even old enough to speak, His name would declare His mission in the world.

There is infinite power and hope in the Name of Jesus. As the church, we exist to lift up this Name above all other names! Today, invite Jesus into every moment of your day. Ask God what it looks like to honor Him in every task before you. Remember that the Lord is for you and has come to you: He is your ever-present help in every need! 

December 12

Scripture: ​​Luke 1:5-25

Isn’t it funny how when we’ve been waiting for something, hoping beyond all reason for it, then when we realize it’s actually going to happen, we’re in disbelief? Sometimes we even get frustrated or angry with the timing. Zechariah and Elizabeth had wanted a child for years. Yet it is still difficult for Zechariah to believe the angel Gabriel. Nevertheless, God is faithful to fulfill His word to the couple.

Out of their single hope for a child, we see that many people are brought into the Kingdom of God. Their son is John the Baptist, the man who prepares the way for Jesus to begin His ministry. In the same way, the things you hope for may seem simple or even too insignificant to ask the Lord for. But ask again. Know that you are heard (​Psalm 145:18​) and that He has far higher hopes for you than you could even imagine.

Today, ask the Lord to give you faith to believe in the good things you see or hear. Where can you surrender skepticism and choose to embrace what is good instead? Write down your thoughts and thank Him for these good things. As you are praying and believing for new things, we would love to stand with you in faith. Our pastors and staff pray weekly over the prayer needs shared on Connect Cards. While these are available every weekend in our campus services, you can also share what you need prayer for ​here​ at any time in your week.

December 13

Scripture​​: ​Luke 1:35-45

How incredible to read these stories of Elizabeth and Mary, two rather ordinary and quite unlikely women who are chosen to usher in the promised words of generations before. Mary giving birth to Jesus had been prophesied since Adam and Eve, and Elizabeth’s son John was the messenger Isaiah foretold would prepare the way for the Savior. “For the word of God will never fail,” the angel told Mary in ​Luke 1:37​, and how true this is in both of these women’s lives.

The Word of God doesn’t fail us; the Word of God is not just text, but a Person—and that Person is Jesus. “In the beginning the Word already existed, and the Word was with God.” (​John 1:1​) Hold onto the promises and words of the Lord and believe that those words are embodied by the coming of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. Maybe, like Elizabeth, it seems your time has passed; or, like Mary, you feel so unlikely and unworthy. But remember that there is a blessing we get to experience when, like these two women, we believe that the Lord will do what He has said He would. Have faith and take part in how He is working in the world around you!

Just like the encouragement Elizabeth and Mary gained from talking with each other, we can gain perspective when we share our needs with others. Take some time to write down things about your purpose in life that are difficult for you to believe. Ask God to give you faith for those things and ask people in your life group to be praying for you! Relationships have always been the heartbeat of our church, so if you don’t have a life group check out our upcoming 2019 groups beginning in January. 

December 14

Scripture​​: ​Luke 1:46-56

Worship speaks the eternal into the temporal. Worship declares who the Lord is; it puts the focus on God because we are choosing to look through the fog and noise of the world to what He is doing.

For Mary, there was a lot she could have been consumed with as she visited Elizabeth, but she chooses to engage her mind and speech in worship. She recognized that there was so much more at work in her life than a new marriage and pregnancy. Generations of expectation and hope were about to be fulfilled and the future of humanity would shift into redemption through her son’s birth. Maybe your task list and calendar seem overwhelming during this holiday season, but ask the Lord to remind you what Christmas is really about. Remember we’re here to celebrate Jesus coming to us!

Today, spend ten minutes in worship and recall specific ways that the Savior has given you an abundant, full life. Worship is vital in our relationship with the Lord and keeping our eyes focused on Him, so we’ve created ​this Spotify playlist​ to help you stay in a worshipful state of mind wherever you may be today! 

December 15

Scripture​​: ​Luke 1:57-66 

What a beautiful story of this family’s struggle to have a child and then see them experience God answering their prayers. Friends and family gather around them at their son’s birth to celebrate this miracle child born to them in old age. While visitors encourage them to name the baby after his father, Elizabeth and Zechariah remember the word of the angel and named the child John, which means “Jehovah is a gracious giver.”

What a powerful and true name for this baby! Not only was John a precious gift to his parents, but he would be the messenger going out ahead of Jesus to prepare people for His ministry. Our hopes and desires are not lost on the Lord. He is the God who gives good and perfect gifts. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He was generous to Elizabeth and Zechariah; He will be generous to us, too, and is ready to do more than we can ask or imagine!

Take time today to write down five things the Lord has given you. Thank Him specifically for each of these gifts and tell Him why they are important to you. Then this weekend at church, ask the Lord to show you someone you can encourage with what God has given you. We believe that what God has done within you He will also use to move through you to bless others!

December 16

Scripture​​: ​Luke 1:67-80

Zechariah must have been anxious to say so many things after the birth of a son and restoration of his speaking ability. He sets a powerful example for us when he chooses to quickly declare the goodness of God and how He is faithful to the promises made throughout Israel’s history, inviting others to praise the Lord with him. Zechariah was among the first to declare that the Savior was arriving: the One the Lord promised would come to save and set captives free.

The last portion of Zechariah’s prophecy was over his son. He speaks directly to the infant, telling him he would be a prophet of the Most High who would prepare the way for Christ to bring the message of salvation to all people. Some of the first words John would have heard were of the mercy of God, who brings light into the dark places. We have this same opportunity to speak heavenly life over the world around us! One of our core values at New Life has always been that we believe in life-giving relationships and communication. We encourage you to choose words that line up with who God has called you to be and to speak life over others.

Who are you declaring life and kingdom-purpose over today? Take time to pray for three people and send them a message to encourage them in their faith. 

December 17

Scripture​​: ​Luke 2:1-7

Jesus’ birth had been prophesied for hundreds of years of Israelite history. It’s something you would expect parades for. Have you seen how people react when a well-known leader or public figure has a child? Hashtags and videos are created, photos and articles document the occasion, crowds wave flags and hold up signs of congratulations. Yet the exalted Savior comes quietly, not just in a humble place but in a place that really isn’t fit for people to stay in. Without a vacant space to be found in the inn, Joseph and Mary brought the Savior into the world within a stable.

So often we think that the promises of God come to us by ease and prosperity. But Joseph and Mary obeyed every part of the Lord’s instruction about parenting Jesus and still faced a difficult journey to Bethlehem. They had to abide by the decrees of an oppressive government as they registered for the census. Then the Savior was born in a stable and laid in a manger as His first bed.

Don’t mistake difficult circumstances as a lack of God’s purpose or presence in your life. His plans are not hindered by hardship—believe that His love is with you, even when it has to meet you in the stable because the inn is full. We are praying that you and every member of New Life Church know that the Lord has powerful plans for your life, no matter what your season may look like!

Pray this today: Jesus, thank you for coming to us, for bringing heaven’s love to the earth and living among us. You entered our vulnerability and hardship so we could learn how to walk in our Father’s purpose through all seasons of life. Give us grace and faith to follow You in every moment of our lives! In Your Name I pray, amen.

December 18

Scripture​​: ​Luke 2:8-20

Can you imagine the serene, or possibly even mind-numbingly boring, act of sitting out in a field with sheep all night? Any excitement that occured for the shepherds was usually the danger of thieves or an attacking animal. Of course they are terrified when they first see the angels! However, they quickly change their attitudes as they begin to grasp that these were heavenly messengers sent to bring them the good news of the Messiah.

We should take note of how these humble shepherds receive the news of Jesus. They don’t question why they are chosen to hear this message or if they are worthy of this news. Instead, they quite literally run with this news all the way to the presence of the newborn King, falling in adoration before Him.

Why might you question God’s love for you? Whose authority is higher than His, that you could believe you don’t have as much access to grace as anyone else? Jesus came for you! Rather than focusing on why you are or aren’t worthy, find your identity in the selfless love of Jesus stepping down from the throne of heaven to become our Savior. We often say “welcome home” when you come into New Life Church, and it’s because we’re convinced that you belong in the family of God because Jesus came just as much for you as anyone else. You belong here because of who Christ is and what He has done, there’s nothing more or less you could do to make him love you!

Find one verse that reminds you of the Lord’s love for you and write it down somewhere you can see often throughout your day. Remember that you are chosen on heavenly authority to carry the good news of Jesus’ arrival in your life! 

December 19 

Scripture:​​ ​Luke 2:21-24​, ​Matthew 5:17

These verses in Luke about the dedication of Jesus at the temple may seem mundane compared to angels and shepherds visiting, but these details are crucial to understanding how Jesus came to fulfill the law. Moses set these requirements in place many generations before and Joseph and Mary obediently abided by them.

Jesus didn’t come to undo the laws God had in place. Being God’s Son didn’t mean He was above the law—it actually meant He would abide within the commandments as they were meant to be obeyed. The law was always meant to provide God’s people with the ability to connect with Him, to be in right standing with Him. Jesus’ sinless life within the bounds of God’s requirements made a way for us to be restored to the Father. He fulfilled what we could not so that the barrier between humanity and the presence of God could be removed! Pastor Rick always reminds us that we have to have both grace and truth. The grace that Jesus provides doesn’t mean that we do whatever we want, it cleans the slate so that we have a free conscience to walk in the truth.

Is there an area of your life you know God has asked something of you but you aren’t yet obeying? Ask Him for forgiveness and write down your course of action to walk in obedience moving forward. Now share these steps with a trusted friend or leader as you start making this obedience a reality.

December 20 

Scripture:​​ ​Luke 2:25-35​, ​Proverbs 3:5-6

Remember the Old Testament family lines of people who longed for a Savior who would establish an eternal Kingdom? Today, we read about Simeon in the temple as Jesus is being dedicated to the Lord. Simeon had been waiting for the Savior to the point that he was basically on death’s door, yet he refused to give up hope to meet Him!

Like so many before him, Simeon was waiting for the One that the Lord promised. As he aged, there must have been moments when he didn’t understand how he could see the Savior within his time. Year after year passed, but at just the right moment, God brings the Messiah right to this incredibly faithful man. Though we may not always understand the timing of God’s movement, we can trust that as we seek the will of the Father He will surely show us how to walk in His promises to us.

Write down three things that are difficult for you to trust God for because of a lack of understanding. Surrender them to the Lord as you pray and ask Him to give you the faith to trust Him for them. Our pastors and staff are praying that your faith will increase this Christmas and that you will see the faithfulness of God like never before!

December 21

Scripture: ​​Luke 2:36-40

Anna doesn’t have the most cheerful story; we see that the author has taken time to explain that she is a widow with a lonely life in many respects. Yet Anna is one of only a few people who recognize the newborn King firsthand! The key to Anna’s part in this story is her proximity. Anna chooses to dwell in the house of the Lord, worshiping day and night. It is her devotion to the house of God that allows her to be among the first to know of the Savior’s arrival. When we center our life around being in the presence of God and glorifying Him, we can trust that He will draw near to us as well.

Anna doesn’t keep her joy over the Savior’s birth to herself. She finds those who were also waiting expectantly for Jesus and told them the good news. Our story may not look how we expect, but we’re all invited into the greater story of God’s love and can rejoice in that! Let’s remember that our hope is not only our own, but that Jesus came for all.

The heart of New Life Church has always been to reach the one. You were once that “one” who someone else brought to church and to encounter the presence of Jesus. Who can you bring with you to church this week to celebrate Jesus? Write down the names of three people you want to come, pray over them, and invite them to a Candlelight service.

December 22

Scripture​​: ​Matthew 2:1-12

We live in a fast-paced world where our attention is being fought for in every direction we look. The amount of information being thrown at us can be overwhelming and the temptation to disengage is all too real. The magi are clearly wealthy and well-educated people. But they don’t use their knowledge or resources to avoid the world; rather, they choose to lean in closer, look up, and acknowledge the signs of the times.

When they reach the land of Israel, King Herod takes note of their presence and inquires as to why they are visiting his territory. It’s here we see wisdom and humility on the magis’ part. They don’t give into flattery or Herod’s deceit; they keep their eyes on the sign of the star and follow it to the Savior.

God has shown us the way to salvation and how to live it out through His Son, Jesus. But it’s up to us to choose to follow His lead. Paul says it this way: “Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” (​Ephesians 5:15-17​)

Practice pausing today before each thing you do or say. Be thoughtful in your actions and speech, always evaluating if you are living in a way that the Lord desires. Michelle Bezet has often told us that we have to walk slowly through the room if we want to be able to see what’s really going on around us. Don’t just blaze through this week, take the time to engage in what the Lord is doing around you.

December 23

Scripture​​: ​Matthew 2:13-18

Herod has been appointed to his throne by the Roman empire, so we can reasonably guess that he doesn’t have Israel’s best interests in mind from the start. As we see him act out in fear and rage at the news of Jesus’ birth, we can begin to understand how unstable this king actually is. The orders Herod proclaims once he realizes that the magi won’t be reporting the young Messiah’s location to him are horrific. Herod is responsible for the murder of hundreds of innocent children—his own citizens—in his failed attempt to kill Jesus.

In the midst of so much tragedy and heartbreak, we can take heart knowing that Jesus has overcome all evil and terror. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (​John 1:5​) Jesus accomplishes the will of the Father by submitting Himself to the cross on our behalf and overcoming the grave once and for all! This child came to walk in our broken world so that He could bring comfort to all who mourn and win us freedom from the oppression of the world. As the church we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We believe that we are all created with abilities to serve the local church and reach the world with the hope of Jesus. It’s our prayer that you wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the needs of the those around you, but that you would boldly come alongside us as we carry the Name of Jesus into the earth!

Pray this today: Jesus, thank You that the light of Your truth and grace still shines in the world and that it cannot be overcome! Age to age Your love has been the light of all, unchangeable and eternally shining on us. I pray today for peace in areas of conflict and terror. Show me how to carry the light You’ve given me to the people in my world. Thank you for the peace that reigns in my life through every season. I honor you. Amen.

December 24

Scripture: ​​Matthew 2:19-23

Have you ever noticed that Jesus was a refugee? His family had to flee a terrifying king and take refuge in the land of Egypt. In fact, there are a lot of notable situations Christ experienced very early on in His life that connect with many different circumstances we as humanity face. He was humbly born in a stable under less than ideal conditions. Because of the visits from the shepherds and the magi, He was acquainted with those on the social and economic fringes, as well as with the elite. As a child who was dependant on Mary and Joseph to care for Him, Jesus experienced vulnerability and the limitations of infancy.

Jesus came to identify with humanity’s struggles and trials, to bear our pain in holiness. He bore our sins and our struggles and conquered their power at the cross. He has come unto us. ​Unto us​​: here on this earth, a child was born and a Savior came to rescue us. God’s promise of salvation is fulfilled and we rejoice in the precious gift of heaven that reconciled the earth to its Creator! We love you New Life Church,and we pray that this Christmas is full of joy and wonder for you. Celebrating this season with you will always be a glimpse into heaven and we’re so thankful we get to do this life with you.

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV