Pastor Hutchins is burdened by the moral decline in America. The church is the spiritual heart of our country.  2 Chronicles 7:14 says “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
As a church, we’re asking all our members to commit themselves to the discipline of praying, fasting, and reading God’s word.

 

*****  DAILY DEVOTIONAL  *****

 

WEEK 1 FAST FOCUS:  No Sweets

3/13/23

“For the love of money is the root of all evil. And some people craving money have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10, NLT

“Deal With the Root”

The abuse of illicit drugs, alcohol and other addictive agents are not just an epidemic in America, it’s a global epidemic. 20% of people in the world have a substance abuse problem, according to article in Our World in Data. Substance abuse is a problem for humanity. Why is it a global epidemic? Illicit drug trafficking is a $300 billion business and prosecuting people for drug related charges is a $3.3 billion industry in America. That’s a lot of cheese, law breakers and makers are making! Since, both sides of this human race epidemic are making money, who’s really trying to eradicate it?

The Bible says “…the love of money is the root of all evil…“ Not some but all evil! The evil of pushing and using! Selling and consuming! Breaking the law, making the law! Who doesn’t love money? I would venture to say most people love money. We love the things money affords and allows us to do! We work hard and long hours for it! The Bible warns us not to make the love for it the principal way of living! Our way of life! When we do, we may find ourselves on the side of an evil. Ask yourself, has money become my principal way and motivation?

Heavenly Father, help me examine my love for living. If I am out of alignment with your will, help me to correct course and line up with your will and word. In Jesus name Amen!

Inspired by: Pastor Keith McCarty
Executive Pastor, New Life Community Church

 

3/14/23

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41, ESV

“Pleasure in Watching and Praying”

I have a confession to make. As an immature high school student, I indulged in the occasional recreational use of the cannabis and consumption of C2H60, commonly known as alcohol. If you ever run into my mom, don’t tell her! The statute of limitation on stupid may not have expired. Thank God my juvenile behavior didn’t progress into something more serious like an arrest, a life altering accident or an addiction.

Addictions have been known to destroy careers, marriages, relationships, even lives. The addiction changes brain function and structure, leading to bad decision making, harmful behavior and sometimes death. As Americans, we are only 5% of the world’s population, yet we consume 80% of opioids produced in the world. We have a crisis! But there is hope along with treatment programs and detox facilities. God’s word and Holy Spirit have power to rescue and transform any addict!

Jesus told His disciples to overcome temptations by watching and praying. Drugs and alcohol use releases dopamine in the brain, causing feelings of pleasure. Who doesn’t want pleasure! So, Jesus encouraged His disciples to watch and pray. To intentionally pay attention to God’s revelations and instructions. Secondly, His word encourages us to be intentional about talking to God in prayer. Cultivating a relationship with Him. Watching and praying can help us experience pleasure in appropriate ways. God made us to enjoy pleasure. But, in godly ways!

Heavenly Father, help us to desire you more than drugs and alcohol to feel good. Prompt us to always watch and pray! And to overcome our natural weakness of being human. Amen!

Inspired by: Pastor Keith McCarty
Executive Pastor, New Life Community Church

 

3/15/23

Ephesians 5:18 says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.”

While this verse specifically mentions drunkenness, the principle it teaches can be applied to any form of addiction. Addiction is a form of bondage, where we become enslaved to a substance or behavior that we feel powerless to control.
As Christians, we are called to live in the freedom that Christ has given us. Yet, addiction can prevent us from fully experiencing that freedom and can hinder our relationship with God.

The spirit of addiction is prevalent in America, with many struggling with addiction to drugs, alcohol, pornography, and other vices. Addiction can have devastating consequences on individuals, families, and communities, leading to broken relationships, physical and mental health problems, and even death.
But the good news is that there is hope in Christ. Through His power and grace, we can overcome addiction and experience true freedom.

Ephesians 5:18 reminds us to not rely on substances or behaviors to fill the void in our lives, but to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, He empowers us to resist the temptation to indulge in addictive behaviors and to pursue righteousness and holiness.

Let us pray for those struggling with addiction, that they may find hope and freedom in Christ. Let us also ask for God’s wisdom and guidance in how we can support and minister to those who are affected by addiction. And let us always strive to live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, resisting the spirit of addiction and pursuing a life of righteousness and holiness.

Inspired By: Min. Zacque’t Walter
Youth Minister, New Life Community Church

 

3/16/23

“Are any of you sick? You should call for the Elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with the oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:14-16

“Let’s Pray Together”

As pervasive as substance abuse and alcoholism are, people can be healed and delivered from the grip of addictions. The success rate of recovery increases when a spiritual element is integrated into the treatment. According to the Journal of Religion and Health, 73% of treatment facilities in the US incorporate spirituality in their treatment protocols. Many refer to it as a Higher-Power.

Those of us who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are clear that God is that Higher Power. The Creator of mankind! Jehovah-Ropha, the Lord who heals! There is no sickness beyond His ability to heal. That is why James encourages Christians to band together in prayer before God on behalf of those suffering with addictions.

When Christians pray collectively, believing God to heal an addict, God may be inclined to move in their favor and grant their request. “…the earnest prayers of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” V.16b

It doesn’t mean God overrides the will or actions of the addict. S/he must want to be healed! S/he must still acknowledge they have a problem and submit to treatment. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” v.16a God forgives!

Heavenly Father, I touch and agree with my brothers and sisters in the faith for addicts, desiring to be set free from the stronghold of drugs and/or alcohol to be healed. I believe by the authority of your word, they are healed and delivered. In Jesus name, Amen!

Inspired By: Pastor Keith McCarty
Executive Pastor, New Life Community Church

 

3/17/23

“…in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.” Psalms 18:6, NLT

“The Lord Hears”

For anyone or family suffering with addiction from drugs and/or alcohol know that your cry and anguish is not ignored. The God of the universe loves and hears you. He loves you so much, that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ to die for you! By the blood of Jesus Christ, y(our) sins are forgiven!

A friend of mind, Elder Simon, shared a story about a young man who was battling with a drug addiction, went through two !2-step programs. During his addiction, he would steal from his parent to support his addiction. Until one day out of love and anguish over their son’s addiction, his parents started leaving money out for him to easily find. They didn’t want him to steal from someone else and invite even more tragedy on himself. At that point the young man had an encountered with God and decided to enter a treatment program for the third time. The third time was more than a charm, it was transformative.

In their distress, I believe God heard the parents and this young man’s prayer. God delivered that young man from his addiction. Rather or not that young man and/or his parents were in church when they cried and God heard, I don’t know. I don’t think it matters where we are when we cry out to God, it will “…reach His ears.” V.6c

If you or someone you know is battling a drug or alcohol addiction, cry out to God for deliverance. Heavenly Father, I’m interceding on behalf of (insert the person’s name you may know of), set me, him/her free! Thank you for hearing my prayer! In Jesus name, Amen!

Inspired by: Pastor Keith McCarty
Executive Pastor, New Life Community Church

 

WEEK 2 FAST FOCUS:  No Media (TV/Radio)

3/20/23

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23, ESV

“Sin Kills”

Let me just start off by saying, sin is pervasive and deadly. I truly believe that sin is the greatest threat any person faces. Sin mars all the relationships people are in with others, themselves, and most significantly with God. Sin causes suffering, disease and death in the physical and spiritual realms. It can ultimately cause eternal separation from God in Hell, if repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior doesn’t occur.

Because sin is so deadly, I need to carefully define it so we can understand and hopefully avoid it. 1 John 3:4 sums up the essence of sin when it says, “Sin is lawlessness.” Sin is refusing to obey God’s law; it is rejecting God’s standards! it is in fact, living as if God does not exist!

In 1 John 5:17, KJV, the apostle John adds to his definition of sin, describing it as “unrighteousness.” The Apostle James defines sin as “…whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17, ESV). Sin is the ultimate act of ingratitude towards God. Sin pollutes the sinner as Paul refers to it as the “defilement of flesh and spirit” from which sinners are in desperate need of cleansing (Ref., 2 Corinthians 7:1, ESV). If I may add, no amount of human effort can cleanse a person of sin than through the death of Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice for sin. It is through Him forgiveness and cleansing are available.

Heavenly Father, deliver us, our political and social leaders from the deceitfulness and subtlety of temptation to sin. In Jesus name, Amen!

Inspired by: Elder Frank Williams
Director of Facilities and Property, New Life Community Church

 

3/21/23 –

 

3/22/23

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other, you cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24, ESV

“Greed is Not Godly”

I love movies, I find myself thinking of their quotes. I think most people today are more apt to think of a film quote than a Bible quote. One quote that is often remembered is a quote by actor Michael Douglas in the movie “Wall Street” he said, “greed is good”! A commentary on capitalism in the stock market. Corporate America seems to live by that mantra. It doesn’t just try to get some of the money or most of the money but all the money. Capitalism by designed takes advantage of the greed that naturally exists in mankind. There is a positive side of capitalism, encouraging businesses to grow, innovate and provide better products for the consumer. It has also encouraged a culture of increasing excess and unsustainable growth at any cost. Fraud, embezzlement, and bribery, among other “white collar” crimes, run amok.
Capitalism maybe new, but the greed that thrives in it is not. The Bible has much to say on the subject. In the New Testament, Jesus was rather verbose on the subject and on an occasion as stated in our verse, he warned man can’t serve both money and God. Money in this context, is treated as a false god to whom mankind sometimes is beholden to. As children of God, we must realize that greed is foolishness, nothing in this world will last. Greed makes no sense for the Christian; we understand fundamentally what’s most important in this world is our soul.
Heavenly Father keep me from becoming overly consumed with money or materialism. Let me not be deceived by my desires to take care of my family and the fine line of greed. In Jesus name Amen.

Inspired By: Earl Simon
Administrative Assistant, New Life Community Church

 

3/23/23

“Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.” Proverbs 20:17, ESV

“Integrity Where You Work”

This verse warns us against the temptation to gain wealth through deceitful means, which is often the root of corporate crimes, more commonly called white-collar crimes. Corporate crimes are crimes committed by businesses or organizations, such as fraud, embezzlement, or environmental violations. These crimes can have devastating consequences on individuals, employees, communities, and even our economy.

In America, we have seen many instances of corporate crimes, where companies and/or people prioritize their own profits over the well-being of their customers, employees or the environment. These actions not only harm those directly affected by the crimes but also erode trust in the corporation and can damage the integrity and reputation of their industry.

The scripture reminds us that while deceitful gain may seem sweet at first, it ultimately leads to a bitter end. The consequences of corporate crimes can be severe, both legally and morally. Companies and individuals that engage in these behaviors will face criminal charges, fines up to and including imprisonment.

As Christians, we are called to live with integrity and honesty in all areas of our lives, including our business dealings. May we be a light in the world, shining the truth and love of Christ in all that we do.

Lord, we pray for businesses and organizations in America, that they may operate with integrity and be held accountable for any actions that harm others or the environment. Please grant us wisdom and discernment in our own personal and professional lives, that we may resist the temptation to gain wealth through deceitful means and instead pursue righteousness and justice in all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Inspired By: Min. Zacque’t Walter
Youth Minister, New Life Community Church

 

3/24/23

“For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;” Psalm 94:14, ESV

“He may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it”

Pain in one area can keep you from having even worse pain in another area; it protects you from greater harm. In this way, pain can be a blessing in disguise! For example, a fever warns you of an infection that needs to be dealt with. It’s a small pain that can alert you to a life-threatening illness. The painful effects of deceitful business dealings can linger for years because it introduces distrust. People are behind every corporation and “we know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.” Psalm 94:2.

Because you can’t see the whole picture that God sees, you often get impatient asking “Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?” Job 21:7. When you get discouraged thinking that your pain is someone else’s gain, remember John 13:7, where Jesus says, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand”. Justice delayed is not justice denied. You will not fully understand here on earth why some things have happened to you—but you will one day. And while you wait, you can trust that God is working and using your pain to guard and protect you. Your pain will not be wasted!

Inspired By: Robert Sam
Director of Operations, New Life Community Church

 

WEEK 3 FAST FOCUS:  Daily Act of Kindness

3/27/23

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” James 4:1, ESV

“Stand Firm, Be Ready.”

We are seeing a proliferation of guns and gun violence in the United States. Mass shootings have increased almost 70% since 2016, with over 600 in the past 3 years – averaging almost two a day. No doubt – these are unsettling times!

As America drifts further and further away from God, people are giving into their emotions – rage, hate, fear, revenge, entitlement, and selfishness. Emotions that can lead to behaviors unpleasing to God. For example, fear can trigger violence, and violence can trigger fear. All these emotions are brewing internally and boiling over externally. The Apostle James asked the question we must all ponder!

While living on the front lines in a world full of tribulation, let’s stand firm and be ready! Standing firm in our faith so we are not easily shaken by the influences of the world. As the Apostle Paul encourages, “Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, having done all to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13, ESV. Let’s live a life aligned to Christ so we are always ready for His return. “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Luke 12:40, ESV. Let’s take heart of our emotions! Check-in on family members and friends, especially if we think they are acting different than their normal selves.

Heavenly Father help us to be your eyes, ears and be in tune with people close to us. Help us to intervene when we sense potential danger. In Jesus name Amen!

Inspired By: Deacon Steve Blakely
New Life Community Church

 

3/28/23

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, ESV

“Permit to Pray”

Many in the world have chosen guns as a means of protection. They believe it is the ultimate thing to keep them safe. Safe from home invasions, robbery and attacks from others. While there may be some advantages of having a gun, it cannot always be with you. You can’t take it on an airplane, you can’t take it to the courthouse and many other places.

There is a weapon that can go with you anywhere and you can have it at all times! No one can take it away from you and you can’t be denied entry because you have it. That weapon is prayer! We are permitted to pray! We can carry it openly and we can conceal it when necessary. It’s a weapon we don’t have to hide from our kids. In fact, we want our children to find and use it.

Prayer destroys yokes! Prayer disarms the weapons of the enemy! Prayer disrupts the forces of Hell and engages the armies of Heaven! Prayer breaks cycles and dismantles curses! When you pray, darkness flees! Choose prayer as your weapon!

Pray: Father God, thank You for being a God that hears and answers the prayers of Your sons and daughters. Thank You that our prayers don’t have to be perfect just sincere. Because of Jesus, we have victory in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Inspired By: Min. LaTonya Green
New Life Community Church

 

3/29/23

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

“Faith Walking”

Daily, there are stories of attacks on people with guns. Fear has gripped the United States and many other countries because of it. Children are afraid to go to school and parents are afraid to send their children to school. Active shooters are so common that schools and business have trainings and drills to prepare for such attacks. The evening news across the nation shares the horrors of stories of people who use guns to harm others.

How do we as Christians live without fear when everything around us says we need to live in fear? The Bible says, “we walk by faith, not by sight.” Living and walking by faith doesn’t mean that we ignore what is happening in the world and walk around with blinders on. However, it does mean that we choose to focus on God and believe that He is greater than anything that happens in the world.

It’s easy to panic and allow fear to take over. That’s when you need to slow down, get still, and focus on Jesus. He’s always with you, available any time of the day for you to cry out to Him for His supernatural peace.

Pray: “Father, thank You for Your amazing love and how good You have been to me. Your strength, guidance and protection make all the difference in my life. Help me to always keep my eyes focused on You and receive Your supernatural peace as I “walk by faith and not by sight.” In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

Inspired By: Min. Mark Green
New Life Community Church

 

3/30/23

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalms 27:1, ESV

“I’m Not Afraid”

Gun violence is running rampant in our society. We are constantly being bombarded with story after story of mass shootings. This is causing the spirit of fear to settle among us. We are fearful of going to large gatherings. We are fearful of sending our children to school. Some of us are fearful of attending the House of God. There is a cure for this fear of gun violence. The Bible tells us in Psalms 27:1, The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

If I am in God, what shall I fear? God’s word promises us that it will perform that which it is sent to do. If we are declaring the “…Lord is my light and my salvation…” we should have no fear of things that may or may not to come. God’s word also declares in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” The word that stands out is sound mind. Sound mind means the ability to discern what is good for our soul or harmful to our soul.

The people committing these heinous acts are turned over to a reprobate mind. To change these people minds, we (Christians) must stand in the gap through prayer and fasting. It is paramount as Christians we become the watchmen on the wall and talk about Jesus Christ in the market street and in our communities to help make our communities, cities and country a safer and better place to live.

Inspired By: John Murray
New Life Community Church

 

3/31/23

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NIV

“What’s Behind the Gun”

Guns are deeply ingrained in American society and the nation’s political debates. The U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms according to the 2nd Amendment. At the same time, policymakers over the years have made changes for restrictions on firearm access to address gun violence. We usually respond to the symptoms of gun violence and mass shootings, but not the root cause. The root in this case is not the gun, but the person behind the gun. The condition of the heart behind the gun!

Guns do not fire themselves! There is a person with intention and spirit behind each shot from a gun. Let’s examine ourselves! If we are sick and don’t know what’s wrong, we go to a doctor for an examination. If the doctor can’t determine what’s wrong, s/he might order some tests or a CT scan. Why? To detect what’s inside that’s not visibly seen by the eyes!

Our scripture tells us that the Word of God is like a CT scan. It has the power to examine the arguments, pretensions and thoughts and demolish and heal the sicknesses of the heart and mind. Therefore, I hope and pray we let the Word of God examine us, America, heck the world. Let’s allow Christ Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit cleans us for all lawlessness and iniquity.
Prayer: Father God, we earnestly pray for protection, safety, and godly love for ourselves and our neighbors. Deliver us from gun violence, mass shootings, and senseless killings in this world. We trust in Your name Father and in Your safety. In Jesus name, Amen!

Inspired By: Deacon Travis Washington
New Life Community Church

 

WEEK 4 FAST FOCUS:  Watch Your Words

4/3/23

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.”  Titus 1:15, ESV

“Immorality In My Thought Life”

Ever had an immoral thought pop into your mind and wonder – Where did that even come from? Ever laughed at a dirty joke? Ever willingly engaged in a conversation you know you should not have been a part of? If we were honest (we need to be) we all have. The world’s system orchestrated by Satan has an agenda to normalize sin and immorality. To influence us so that we look no different than the world. We are so bombarded with inappropriate images through social media and television, it easy for our mind and conscience to be defiled and seared. Don’t fall for the world’s immoral “okee doke! There’s hope!

I want to encourage us that the best thing we can do is press near the heart of God and stay in step with the Holy Spirit. I must keep my relationship with Jesus pure and simple and anything beyond that can easily be corrupted. Stay simple! Stay pure! Stay near the heart of Jesus!

Holy Spirit, please convict me to repent immediately, claiming the cleansing blood of Jesus over my immoral and impure thoughts so that I may continue my day anointed for God’s Kingdom service. Father, thank you for forgiving me! Lord Jesus, please help me to keep my eyes on You and not stray from the simplicity of loving You and loving others. Amen!

Inspired By: Pastor Andre Brackens
Assistant Pastor, New Life Community Church

 

4/4/23

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,[a] drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do[b] such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Galatians 5:19-21

“Read the Warning Label”

Everything we buy today has a warning label or disclaimer. Danger, High Voltage! Do not operate a vehicle while on this medication! The purpose for warning labels is to protect us from possible injury or death. This scripture is a warning label against participating in the works of the flesh. These works of the flesh are evident or plainly recognized.

They are seen almost as common place today on social media and in television programs. People have been desensitized by overexposure to immorality in our society. They are no longer sensitive to the cries of its victims. In 2019, over 652,676 women were raped. Rape statistics show that less than 20% of rapes are reported due to the reluctant victim’s feelings of shame. This shame robs women the opportunity for justice, and many suffer in silence from issues associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is important to acknowledge that when we find ourselves or someone we know in this situation, that Psalm 34:4-5, paraphrasing, states that we are to seek the Lord. When we seek him, He will answer and deliver us from our fears. The scripture also let us know that when we look to Him, our faces will begin to shine, spirits be uplifted and not ashamed. We also should take solace in the second part of Gal. 5:21. Even if justice doesn’t happen here on Earth, the scripture says that those who partake in the works of the flesh will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Prayer: Lord I pray for healing and restoration for those who suffer in silence due to sexual immorality. Please give them the strength to seek you, so they can get out of that dark place of shame. Comfort them. In Jesus name. Amen!!

Inspired By: Min. Yolonda Simon
New Life Community Church

 

4/5/23

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Galatians 5:19-21, ESV

“Hope In The Lord”

This passage helps us to see what immortality looks like. While some of these characteristics are not publicly displayed does mean they are not secretly going on. On the other hand, we see and/or hear many of these characteristics visible in America every day. These behaviors tare taking our country into a downward spiral.

As a nation, America has a rich history and has experienced great success in many areas, but we also face many challenges. We see evidence of the works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:19-21 in our society, including sexual immorality, idolatry, and enmity. These behaviors can lead to division and strife within our communities and weaken the moral fabric of our nation. However, the passage also offers hope. It warns us of the consequences of these behaviors and encourages us to turn away from them. As we seek to live in obedience to God and His Word, we can find redemption and restoration for ourselves and our nation.

As we pray for the immortality of America, let us seek God’s guidance and ask Him to give us the strength to resist the temptations of the flesh. May we strive to live in a way that honors Him and brings blessings to our communities and our nation.

Lord, we pray for a revival in America, that we may turn away from the works of the flesh and instead live in the power of the Spirit. May we be a nation that seeks after righteousness and truth. Help us to strive to live morally in alignment with your word. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Inspired By: Min. Zacque’t Walter
Youth Minister, New Life Community Church

 

4/6/23

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”  Proverbs 14:34, ESV

“A Nation’s Choice”

When a nation embraces immorality, it can lead to a wide range of negative consequences. For example, when people prioritize their own desires and disregard the needs of others, it can lead to a breakdown in community and relationships. When people engage in corruption, dishonesty, and deceit, it can erode trust. When people engage in violence, aggression and conflict, it can tear apart the fabric of a nation.

In contrast, when a nation upholds righteousness, it can lead to positive outcomes for its people. Righteousness involves living in a way that is consistent with God’s principles of justice, compassion, and love. When people prioritize these values and seek to live in harmony with one another, it can lead to greater social cohesion, cooperation, and mutual support. When people practice integrity, honesty, and fairness, it can build trust and strengthen the foundations of society. When people seek peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness, it can promote healing and transformation.

As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to uphold righteousness in our nation. This means working for justice and equality for all and seeking to promote healing and reconciliation in our communities. It means being willing to speak out against immorality, injustice and working towards a society that reflects God’s values of love, compassion and justice.

Let’s pray, God help us to uphold righteousness in our nation. Grant us the wisdom, courage, and strength to work towards a more just, compassionate and righteous society. That we may experience the blessings that come from living in harmony with your principles. Amen!

Inspired By: Min. Zacque’t Walter
Youth Minister, New Life Community Church

 

4/7/23

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murders, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8, NKJV

“The Cost of Immorality”

Sometimes during my drive home from work I will either stop to pick up dinner or go into a store to purchase items that are needed for our household. Too often when the cashier presents the cost of the food or items purchased, I reach for my wallet, pay the amount due; and continue my journey home without considering either the near- or long-term impact on the household budget (shame on me)! In much the same way, we can easily, without considering the cost associated with immoral behavior, which for the moment provides satisfaction or gratification, the impact it can have on our lives both now and in eternity can be grave!

The devil, the accuser of the brethren, the tempter, know that his eternal fate is sealed. But he wants to bring others along with him into the lake of fire. We must be vigilant and prayerful! We must follow the directions of the Holy Spirit and resist what the devil has to offer. We must recognize that God has better things waiting for us, even in eternity.

Father, I thank you that Jesus is my Savior and that He has already paid my sin debt! Thank You, Father, for the promise of eternal life with you! Because of Jesus I am not subject to the eternal state of the second death. Amen!

Inspired By: Pastor William Garrett
New Life Community Church

 

WEEK 5 FAST FOCUS:  Mend Broken Relationships

4/10/23

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”  Hebrews 13:3, ESV

“Put Yourself In Their Shoes”

It’s been 50 years since the U.S. prison population began to surge. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, over 5 million people in total are under supervision by the criminal legal system. Also, nearly two million people, disproportionately Black, are living in prisons and jails instead of their communities. In the early 1970’s, the number was only 360,000. With this drastic increase in incarceration, people in society have turned a blind eye to the impact this surge has had on families, friends, and communities that are left behind.

People of God must respond differently to these mass incarcerations than others in society. We must use the guidance from the Word of God to help us approach incarceration as a social issue. Hebrews 13:3, Paul is asking the Jewish Christians to remember or be mindful of prisoners in order to care for them. This was reminiscent of Paul asking the Colossians (Co. 4:18) to “remember his imprisonment”. We should remember the incarcerated pray for them. As Christians we are also to identify with prisoners as if we are in prison with them. In other words, we must understand the love of God expresses itself in identification with others in difficulty. And even though this scripture may be more applicable to the imprisonment of fellow Christians due to their religious convictions, Christianity teaches us to sympathize with all who are oppressed and suffering. Prison reform starts with us!

Heavenly Father, help us to be mindful of those who have been put behind physical bars and separated from family, friends, and community. Strengthen and guide those who have been called to minister to the incarcerated, so that they will be recipients of God’s Love. I pray that our Nation turns back to you instead of depending on our broken worldly system. Help us to seek to free people from bondage not keep them in bondage. In Jesus name, Amen!

Inspired By: Min. Yolando Simon
New Life Community Church

 

4/11/23

“to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Ephesians 4:22-24, ESV

“A New Me”

One of the definitions for reform in Merriam Webster’s dictionary is: to put or change into an improved form or condition. Governments put prison reform in place to provide a way for prisoners to change their ways. Reform is a choice that must happen first in the mind of a prisoner to truly be effective. It is the same when we try to live a life without accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. We are spiritually and psychologically incarcerated within our own mind! We may think we are not in prison because there are no physical bars or doors to prevent us from coming and going as we please. However, we have committed a crime (sin) which keeps us bound. Consequently, we are entrapped in sinful habits and behaviors. That’s what Paul describes as “…corrupt through deceitful desires…”

The prison reform available to us is Jesus Christ. He makes a way for us to leave our old ways behind and choose a new mindset. That is “…be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” It’s up to us to do as the bible says and change our old ways, put on the new self. We don’t have to wait for the governor or president to issue a pardon. God through Jesus Christ has already issued it! The choice is ours to be reformed and set free!

Let’s pray this prayer! Heavenly Father, I thank you for sending your son Jesus so that I can have the choice of a reformed life and choose to let go of the old me and put on a new me, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

Inspired By: Min. LaTonya Green
New Life Community Church

 

4/12/23

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Romans 8:1

“Not Condemned”

Jesus was sent by God to save the world and not condemn the world. This is the reason we need Jesus because he knows that we don’t have the power to do it on our own. Many churches and organizations have set up Prison Ministries. They pray, talk with prisoners and offer Jesus Christ to them. These services can affect the outcome of those incarcerated, offering hope and better mechanisms to deal with emotional and mental traumas for example. But the choice remains with the individual to make the change necessary to be reform. They must make the choice to not only choose Christ as Savior. He stands at the door and knocks and even though He chooses us, we must open the door and let Him in. Then, submit our ways to His way and live according to His word.

Even when we are sinking in sin, His love and glory still reigns. That’s why Paul says “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Because through Christ the law of the Spirit who gives life has set us free from the law of sin and death. That’s not all, Paul goes on to say that same Spirit comes to live within us to empowers us to live victorious over sin and death! To form new behaviors in righteousness!

Let’s pray, Heavenly Father we ask that you cover those who are incarcerated. We ask that you keep their minds. Keep your arms of protection around them while they are incarcerated. Let them know that your love for them is still there. And that your grace and mercy has forgiven them of their sin and crime(s). In the name of Jesus, Amen!

Inspired By: Min. Mark Green
New Life Community Church

 

4/13/23

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18 ESV

Webster defines prison as a state of confinement or captivity. Webster also defines reform as to put or change into an improved form or condition. This means prison reform is an improved condition for those in a state of confinement or captivity. Most of us think of prison as being physically confined to a cell. Although this is a hard place to be in, being imprisoned in your own mind is an even harder and worst place to be in. Once the mind is lost, the behavior and action will also follow. This is where the enemy wants us. Satan wants us trapped in the mind. If he gets our mind, he knows our actions will follow his plans.

Those that are trapped (physically or mentally) are brokenhearted and their spirit is crushed. Scripture lets us know “the Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” That’s good news! The Lord is letting us know that no matter the state we are in, He can solve our issue. All we must do is reach out and take hold of His unchanging hand. He is there waiting on us.

If we want change, then we must invite Jesus in and allow the change to take place. Prison reform can happen when we take God to the prison and allow Him to make the change. Jesus cares about the imprisoned “…I was in prison and you visited me.” Mathew 25:36, NLT One of the four types of people God will commend Christians for being compassionate towards.

Heavenly Father, we pray for those in prison physically and/or spiritually. May there be a reformation of mind, spirit and body. In Jesus name Amen!

Inspired By: Min. John Murray
New Life Christian Church

 

4/14/23

“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me…then these righteous ones will replay…”  Mathew 25:36-37

“The Church, R&R”

The term R&R is often referred to as rest and relaxation. Those who withdraw from their daily grind, routine and responsibility is say be on R&R. When the topic of prison reform is mentioned, it appears as though Christian leaders, the faith community is on R&R. Whenever the conversation of prison reform comes up, people look to the government, their legislators and law makers to make the reforms. While they are essential to prison reform, Christian leaders should not be on R&R. The questions need to be answered, what’s the R&R of the faith-based community? That is what’s its role and responsibility? Does it have a role and/or a responsibility?

Well, according to our passage Jesus thought so! He included prisoners among the list of people in society that are vulnerable and marginalized. A prisoner according to this passage deserve just as much compassion, attention and resources as those suffering from hunger or homelessness, who have been exiled and or called refuges, even those who suffer with mental or physical illness. He even calls those who provide care, charity, support to prisoners, as righteous. V.37 “…then these righteous ones will reply…”

The faith community has a R&R to play in prison reform. Not just to visit the incarcerated, taking them Bibles or facilitating church service. While that’s important, they also need to be involved upstream influencing social policies and legislation that lead to change. That lower crime rates, incarceration and recidivism.

Heavenly Father, help me and Christian leaders to play my R&R in prison reform. Give us wisdom and understanding to affect real transformative prison reforms. In Jesus name, Amen!

Inspired by: Keith McCarty
Executive Pastor, New Life Community Church

 

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25631 Smotherman Road
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