Today's Good News

April 2000

April 1, 2000 Ps 31:23
Love the LORD, all you faithful ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes all who are arrogant.

I don’t often think of myself as a faithful one.  It is difficult for me to evaluate my thoughts, actions and emotions over the course of a day and get a sense of rightness or wrongness.  I am always prejudiced in my favor.  God sees all things and knows my sin better than I do.  He too is prejudiced in my favor because of Jesus.  Father I want to be faithful.  Forgive me when I am not and restore me when I drift away.

April 2, 2000 Ps 26:3
For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.

The previous day had been a washout and the night came all too quickly.  In my morning devotional, I was reassured of His love by Him as I asked for forgiveness.   God’s love never fails.  When I am weak, He is strong.  I can trust the Lord when all else about me fails.

April 3, 2000  Mt 10:37
If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.

This is a difficult requirement.  I can see my parents and appreciate the specific things they do for me.  I see my children and have a love for them deeper than they will ever know.   Lord help me to grow in my trust for you so that I see all of the wonderful things that you do for me and know them in my inner being.   This will enable me to develop the kind of love that places you first.

April 4, 2000  2Pe 2:13
Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They revel in deceitfulness while they feast with you.

I always think of others when I think of double mindedness.  An accusatory finger points at that evil person.  Recently in my holiest moment I noticed that when I pointed my index finger at another person, there were three fingers pointing back at me.  My own duplicity and evil had found me out.  Lord forgive me in my moments of double mindedness.

April 5, 2000 1Jo 3:18
Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.

The standard response by a clerk when I go into a retail store is “how can I help you?”  Father, help me to grow in Christ likeness so that when I meet people in need my response will be “how can I help you.”

April 6, 2000 1Jo 3:16
We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.

My family is really difficulty to deal with.  Some of them are Christians but they are very immature Christians and tend to be very self-centered.   I am grateful they are saved and really would fight to the death for them.  My difficulty is getting along with them.  It is very troubling for me to consider their desires ahead of mine.  Help me Lord to be willing to live with my family and not demand my rights.

April 7, 2000  Mt 19:19
Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

Time is a priceless commodity.   We only have so much of it.  I am just now beginning to realize that Jesus is saying that I must make time to think about, to care for and to spend time with my parents and my neighbor.  God loves people most of all.

April 8, 2000  Mt 22:37
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’

Stop signs and speed limits irk me.   I have developed the California stop habit and push my speed to utter most limits of societal acceptability.  I am discovering that the Lord is not calling me to develop an ability to live my way to the very limits of acceptability but to surrender myself to him.  For me this is a daily, lifelong challenge.

April 9, 2000  Mr 10:21
Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him. “You lack only one thing,” he told him. “Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

What I do with my life is the evidence of my love for Jesus.  I struggle with anger and low self esteem a lot.  When I let His love conquer my anger and heal my low self esteem, it is evidence that I have given up all things and am following Him.  Help me Lord not to protect old habits and foolish ways.

April 10, 2000  Ps 31:16
Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, save me.

Every breath I take is evidence of God’s love for me.  When I kneel before Him I am declaring my love for Him.  The difference is I am only making a declaration and God is making a statement of fact.  God cannot lie.  Unfortunately I can.  Help me Lord to think of you as you are and not as I am.  Help me to look beyond what I can see, feel and touch and by faith grab hold of your promises.

April 11, 2000  Ps 31:7
I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.

I am hurting about a lifelong problem.  This problem is seldom far from me.  It always inserts itself in my thoughts in times of trouble.  Oh Lord, remember me in my despair and send a sense of joy to heal my hurt.  He always heals me because He constantly loves me.

April 12, 2000  Ps 25:7
Forgive the rebellious sins of my youth; look instead through the eyes of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD.

Lord, when will I grow up?  Even now, I do things that shock me at the immaturity of the act.  I am so easily upset.  Oh Father, help me to grow up.  Put a watch over my heart that I might not sin against you.

April 13, 2000  Mt 23:6
And how they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the most prominent seats in the synagogue!

Confession time.  I am guilty.   I want to be lauded for my humility.  Singled out for my kindness.  Uplifted for my sacrifice.  I am a sinner of the highest order for in my piety I seek exaltation of myself.

April 14, 2000  Mark 12:30-31
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’  The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

One day I will see God’s grace.  No not an emotion but a person, the Lord Jesus Christ.  His grace enables me approach God the Father.  The grace given me by the Lord Jesus Christ enables me to have the kind of relationship with God that my sin works against.

April 15, 2000  Ps 25:10
The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all those who keep his covenant and obey his decrees.

Do you ever have those philosophical days where you scrutinize yourself?  When I do I have a bad day.  I just cannot measure up.  Oh I can fool you but I can’t fool me.  Then, in prayer as I cry and plead with the Lord, Jesus reminds me that I never measured up.   He measures up for me.  Praise God for He is worthy of praise.

April 16, 2000  Ps 32:10
Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD.

I always question my faith when I am suffering.  How, why, for what reason and on I go.  If I were is a choice phrase.  What happened?  Then the Lord patiently reminds me that   life is a journey of pain for everyone.  His promises are true but life will attack them with full force.  My relationship with Him is a relationship of faith.  Faith in Jesus equips me to survive in this life and stand in the experience of failure and sorrow and pain.

April 17, 2000  1Jo 2:15
Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you.

What does this mean?  Can I not like a spring day?  What about the joy of travel or loving my job?  Must I reject everything around me, pack up and trudge out to a deserted area?  Lord Jesus I struggle with this.  My answers change some times but the question is still there every time I read 1 John.  Help me Lord to answer this question honestly and rightly by the way I live.

April 18, 2000  Mark 12:33
And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbors as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

I know the right things to do.  Two problems.  Sometimes in my rebellion I just don’t want to do the right thing.  Other times through laziness or self-centeredness I foolishly do the wrong thing.  Both are sins.   Father I repent of my sinful ways today.   Help me to change.

April 19, 2000  Lu 6:35
“Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked.

I find in my life that the way I act puts me in the camp of the enemies of God.   My position is saved by my action is of the world.  Lord forgive me when I act like your enemy.  Bring me back into your loving presence.

April 20, 2000  1Jo 2:5
But those who obey God’s word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him.

Have you ever called anyone a hypocrite?  Jesus did.  It is heart breaking that he called those that claimed to be intensely committed to God hypocrites.  That causes me to look at myself.  Am I who claim to be an intense follower of God a hypocrite?  Am I obeying God’s Word?  If I am not obeying, no matter how intense my proclamation, I really am a hypocrite.  Help me Lord to life my life in obedience to you.

April 21, 2000  Ps 40:11
LORD, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. My only hope is in your unfailing love and faithfulness.

Some days I get out of bed on the wrong side.  I feel it and know in my morning devotional time.  I’m hurried and insensitive to the movement of the Lord.  Before the day is over I am crying out, Lord please guide me.   In the midst of my confusion Christ encourages me and guides me through the trial or tribulation that the day holds.

April 22, 2000  1Jo 3:17
But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help – how can God’s love be in that person?

I am my brother’s keeper.  I cannot ignore a person in need.  My sin and guilt was so great and Christ died for me.  His love compels me to help others.  His love calls me to see the need around me and do something about it.

April 23, 2000  1Jo 3:14
If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to eternal life. But a person who has no love is still dead.

How do I talk about this?  I cannot judge another person as to their salvation.  Maybe this simple definition of one who is alive is a reassurance for me in my daily walk.  God’s Word gives me a clear word on the reality of my faith.  I am because He is.  My love evidences my life.

April 24, 2000  Ps 26:8
I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glory shines.

Lord thank you for reminding me of your precious presence.  Help me Father to remember to complain to you in private and praise you in public.  Encourage me Lord to prepare for public worship.  And Father when I come to your sanctuary help me to see you.

April 25, 2000  1Jo 2:7
Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment, for it is an old one you have always had, right from the beginning. This commandment – to love one another – is the same message you heard before.

I am called to express my love through self-sacrifice and service.  My faith is real when it reaches beyond my friends and touches my enemies and persecutors.  My growing relationship with the Lord will result in growing relationships with others.

April 26, 2000  1Jo 3:11
This is the message we have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

He died for me.   When he met the soldiers on the Mt. of Olives he did it for me.  He endured the ignominy and persecution for me.  He was battered and bruised for me.  His pain was my gain.  He died for me.   And when He said “Father forgive them” He meant me.  Thank you Jesus for saving me.

April 27, 2000  1Jo 3:23
And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.

My faith is an action.  When I am His I become yours.  I serve Jesus by serving you.  I love Jesus by loving you.

April 28, 2000  Ps 59:16
But as for me, I will sing about your power. I will shout with joy each morning because of your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety in the day of distress.

The pain is so great the power seems far away.  Only when I force myself will I say it and then I shout, the Lord is good and worthy of my praise.  In the midst of destruction I will trust thee.  When my power is gone I know He is strong.  Praise the name of the Lord.

April 29, 2000  Ps 57:3
He will send help from heaven to save me, rescuing me from those who are out to get me. My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

There is a lot going on in the spiritual realm.  The Father does not tell us a great deal about it.  I think that He doesn’t because my mind is so tiny and my thinking is so shallow.  I believe.  He reminds me of His personal help coming to me and I accept it.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

April 30, 2000  Ps 33:5
He loves whatever is just and good, and his unfailing love fills the earth.

There is nothing I can do that is hidden from God.   Help me to conquer my private sins that I keep hidden from view and turn to again and again.  Search me and cleanse me from all my sin and put me on the everlasting way.  Confession heals me of my unrighteousness.  God is faithful to renew my fellowship with Him.

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Clay Corvin

Clay Corvin is Co-Pastor at Bethel Community Baptist Church. He is the VP Business and Professor of Admin at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He was the pastor at the Brantley Baptist Center for twenty-five years. He is married to Carol Corvin and the father of three children and has three grandchildren.