Today's Good News

April 2008

04/01                    2 Corinthians 7:1
Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God.

PROMISES
The promises of God span the ages unto eternity.  We cannot comprehend this idea and yet it is truth.  How fearful our Lord is because He made all things that are.  How wonderful is this glorious Lord and how much we should fear Him.  Thanks be unto God that even in our fear we can claim relationship through His wonderful gift of life in Christ.

 

04/02                    2 Corinthians 7:2-4
Please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone. We have not led anyone astray. We have not taken advantage of anyone.  I’m not saying this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts forever. We live or die together with you.  I have the highest confidence in you, and my pride in you is great. You have greatly encouraged me; you have made me happy despite all our troubles.

REALITY
The Christian life is not without its challenges.  Even the great Apostle Paul faced difficult days with the Church at Corinth.  As we should Paul deals with the issues with honesty and openness.  When you face problems remember to face them with honesty and truthfulness.

 

04/03                    2 Corinthians 7:5-7
When we arrived in Macedonia there was no rest for us. Outside there was conflict from every direction, and inside there was fear.  But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.  His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. When he told me how much you were looking forward to my visit, and how sorry you were about what had happened, and how loyal your love is for me, I was filled with joy!

JESUS
Jesus is involved in our everyday activities.  He is not detached or unapproachable.  Talk with Him to get the wisdom you need to deal with complex and difficult issues.  We are not alone.

 

04/04                    2 Corinthians 7:8-10
I am no longer sorry that I sent that letter to you, though I was sorry for a time, for I know that it was painful to you for a little while.  Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to have remorse and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way.  For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death.

REPENTANCE
People lead self-centered lives.  It is also very easy for us to forget that we can be thinking wrongly about an issue.  Step one in inter-personal relationships is to make certain that you have confessed your sin to the Lord and then lay your issues before the Him.  Let Christ guide you in the way you should go.  We are a part of the kingdom and not the ruler of the kingdom.

 

04/05                    2 Corinthians 7:11
Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish the wrongdoer. You showed that you have done everything you could to make things right.

BLINDNESS
Sometimes we have personal blindness because of our own sinfulness.  When we get before the Lord with a willingness to confess our sin, letting the Lord remove the covers of sin from our eyes and then change, we will see the right way to go.  For all of us, changing from the way we are to the way that Christ is requires spiritual growth and humility.  It’s hard for people to recognize their sin because of the pride of life.  Bend the knee and let Jesus change you.

 

04/06                    2 Corinthians 7:12-16
My purpose was not to write about who did the wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you so that in the sight of God you could show how much you really do care for us.  We have been encouraged by this.  In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was at the way you welcomed him and set his mind at ease.  I had told him how proud I was of you – and you didn’t disappoint me. I have always told you the truth, and now my boasting to Titus has also proved true!  Now he cares for you more than ever when he remembers the way you listened to him and welcomed him with such respect and deep concern.  I am very happy now because I have complete confidence in you.

VALUE
People, all people have real value.  Salvation in Christ sets us free to recognize others value and to live our lives as value givers.  Change is required to be this kind of person.  Christ calls us to be world changers, to be different than the world and to impact the world one person at a time.  Pray for a heart that is pure and a life-style that values each person you meet.

 

04/07          2 Corinthians 8:1
Now I want to tell you, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia.

POWER
God’s power is available for you.  He will intervene in times of trouble.  The Lord will see you through difficult times.  You are important to Him and He will give you the wisdom, mercy and grace to accomplish the task He has placed before you.  Jesus is able and He will make you strong.

 

04/08          2 Corinthians 8:2
Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity.

GENEROSITY
The Lord encourages us to give.  Our giving is an evidence of our confidence in Him.  Our giving enables His work to move forward.  Our giving strengthens our faith and enlarges our vision.  Giving enriches our joy.  Be a joyful, faithful giver and grow.

 

04/09          2 Corinthians 8:3-5
For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more. And they did it of their own free will.  They begged us again and again for the gracious privilege of sharing in the gift for the Christians in Jerusalem.  Best of all, they went beyond our highest hopes, for their first action was to dedicate themselves to the Lord and to us for whatever directions God might give them.

DEDICATE
Dedicate yourself to the Lord.  This calls for time and focus.  We will need singleness of heart and mind to focus on spiritual things.  Jesus will guide us but the world will seek to distract us.  Stop right now and try to pray for ten minutes without thinking of anything but the Lord and what He wants you to do.  The world will pull you away.  Focusing on the things of God are difficult.  But you can do it in Christ.  Spend time with Jesus and the Word and let Him guide you in spiritual things.

 

04/10          2 Corinthians 8:6
So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to complete your share in this ministry of giving.

PARTNERS
We are partners together with the Lord when we give.  We have a share of what the Lord has called someone else to do.  Giving is part of changing the world for Christ.  We give what we have not what we plan to have.  We give now not later.  What we give makes a difference.

 

04/11          2 Corinthians 8: 7
Since you excel in so many ways – you have so much faith, such gifted speakers, such knowledge, such enthusiasm, and such love for us– now I want you to excel also in this gracious ministry of giving.

MINISTRY
Some of us have a hard time seeing ourselves as ministers.  Giving is a ministry.  As we give we are ministering to the body of Christ.  What we give is important for those that receive the gift and important for us as we give.

 

04/12          2 Corinthians 8:8
I am not saying you must do it, even though the other churches are eager to do it. This is one way to prove your love is real.  You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.

RICH
We are rich, wealthy in Jesus Christ.  He has forgiven our sin, and brought us into a relationship with the Father.  We are members of God’s household.  We have been grafted into the family of God and we are rulers together with Jesus.  Think about that.  He died so that we might live.  He is the first of many brothers and sisters.  Our life is to be modeled after Him.

 

04/13          2 Corinthians 8:10-12
I suggest that you finish what you started a year ago, for you were the first to propose this idea, and you were the first to begin doing something about it. Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it. Give whatever you can according to what you have.  If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have.

GIVE
The key to giving is to give.  Give generously and joyously.  Give more than you think you can and in so doing recognize that the Lord is calling you to give all you can.

 

04/14          2 Corinthians 8:13-14
Of course, I don’t mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be some equality.  Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone’s needs will be met.

GIVE
Give regularly, consistently out of the resources that you have.  Talk with Jesus and ask Him what you should give.  He will tell you.  Do not live selfish lives focused on just your needs instead think about those around you and ask what the Lord would have you do.  The gift benefits the giver as much as and sometimes more than the gifted.  Do what you can.

 

04/15          2 Corinthians 8:15
Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.”

SATISFACTION
The Christian life is a life that is “satisfaction guaranteed.”  Try Jesus.  Let Him talk with you about your needs and your resources.  Think carefully with Him about your attitude of gratitude to the people around you.  You have one life and one opportunity so live it.

 

04/16          2 Corinthians 8:16
I am thankful to God that he has given Titus the same enthusiasm for you that I have.

ENTHUSIASM
We are members of God’s family.  When we come together we are to develop love for one another.  There is to be a sense of value and focus in our meetings.  People count with Jesus and they should count with us.  Worship is a privilege that the Lord gives us and when we get together we can have real fellowship with one another.

 

04/17          2 Corinthians 8:17-19
He welcomed our request that he visit you again. In fact, he himself was eager to go and see you.  We are also sending another brother with Titus. He is highly praised in all the churches as a preacher of the Good News.  He was appointed by the churches to accompany us as we take the offering to Jerusalem – a service that glorifies the Lord and shows our eagerness to help.

HELP
Help one another.  Help one another in the ordinary things of life.  People need help with their children, with their work, with maintaining their home and many other things.  Find out what the people in your life need and help them.  One thing we can all do is to be an encourager.

 

04/18          2 Corinthians 8:20
By traveling together we will guard against any suspicion, for we are anxious that no one should find fault with the way we are handling this generous gift.

APPEARANCES
We should recognize the responsibility we have as Christians to live above reproach and do nothing that would be an appearance of evil.  We can’t stop people from gossiping but we can live carefully.  The appearance of evil can sometimes cause a great many problems.  We don’t want to be a stumbling block for another Christian.

 

04/19          2 Corinthians 8:21-24
We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to know we are honorable.  And we are also sending with them another brother who has been thoroughly tested and has shown how earnest he is on many occasions. He is now even more enthusiastic because of his increased confidence in you.  If anyone asks about Titus, say that he is my partner who works with me to help you. And these brothers are representatives of the churches. They are splendid examples of those who bring glory to Christ.  So show them your love, and prove to all the churches that our boasting about you is justified.

VALUE
We bring value to life.  We are sojourners in this world and we know that those we partner together with for the Gospel are people we will get to know for eternity.  Additionally, those that we proclaim the Gospel to are worthy of our best.  They may not accept the Lord as their Savior but they are valuable to Him.  Let us glorify God by the way we live each day of our life.

 

4/20 Psalm 89:1-2
I will sing of the tender mercies of the LORD forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness. Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.

TESTIMONY/WITNESS
Closeness with God is a testimony we share. We know Him by our awareness of who He is. The Lord is love. He is faithful. His faithfulness never ends. We are blessed by His love and faithfulness.
4/21 Psalm 89:3-4
The LORD said, “I have made a solemn agreement with David, my chosen servant. I have sworn this oath to him: ‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever; they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.'”

VIEW
The Lord gives us an inside view of what He is thinking. He reveals Himself to us. He prophecies the future, eternity to us. He is speaking to David and to us. His Word never changes, it is His testimony to us of His nature and intentions. The Lord is always good. When we are wrong He is right. When we lose hope He gives us His hope. When we sin He offers us forgiveness.
4/22 Psalm 89:5-7
All heaven will praise your miracles, LORD; myriads of angels will praise you for your faithfulness. For who in all of heaven can compare with the LORD? What mightiest angel is anything like the LORD? The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God. He is far more awesome than those who surround his throne.

PRAISE
The Lord is always being praised. Man cannot control Him. We can praise Him. But whether we do or not He is always praised. Our praise of Him puts us in a position to learn about Him. Praise ye the Lord as you come into His presence and learn of Him. The Lord is awesome and worthy of all praise and honor and glory.

4/23 Psalm 89:8-10
O LORD God Almighty! Where is there anyone as mighty as you, LORD? Faithfulness is your very character. You are the one who rules the oceans. When their waves rise in fearful storms, you subdue them. You are the one who crushed the great sea monster. You scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

CONTROL
God is in control. We can trust Him with our lives. He knows what is going on and will not lose touch with us. He is holding us in the palm of His hand and will not drop us or let us go too far astray. The Lord is God and He is our God and we belong to Him.
4/24 Psalm 89:11-14
The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours – you created it all. You created north and south. Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon praise your name. Powerful is your arm! Strong is your hand! Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength. Your throne is founded on two strong pillars – righteousness and justice. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.

LOVE
The Lord created us out of love. His word to you is that He loves you. Disregard the physical situation you find yourself in, Jesus loves you. Do not let your circumstances detract from your awareness of your value and worth to the Lord, Jesus loves you. God is love and He loves you.

4/25 Psalm 89:15-18
Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD. They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation. They exult in your righteousness. You are their glorious strength. Our power is based on your favor. Yes, our protection comes from the LORD, and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.

WORSHIP
Worship the Lord by the way you live and things you do. Worship the Lord in truth and joy. Honor and glorify Him. Sing His praises. Think about Him and His love for you. Know the Lord and worship Him. Christ is all and in all. We can do nothing without Him. Worship the Lord. Give the Lord all honor, praise and glory, for He is good and worthy of our praise. Worship the Lord now, this very moment. Praise the Lord.

4/26 Psalm 89:19-21
You once spoke in a vision to your prophet and said, “I have given help to a warrior. I have selected him from the common people to be king. I have found my servant David. I have anointed him with my holy oil. I will steady him, and I will make him strong.

WARRIOR
The Lord will fight for you. Take stock of His love for you. What is His plan for your life? The Lord loves you and would that you accomplish the plan He has for your life. People count with Jesus and His plan for us always involves our service to others. Get busy and serve the Lord and He will equip and enable your service. The Lord will fight for you. He has ordained this plan as your plan, be about the Lord’s business.
4/27 Psalm 89:22-24
His enemies will not get the best of him, nor will the wicked overpower him. I will beat down his adversaries before him and destroy those who hate him. My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him, and he will rise to power because of me.

SERVICE
We serve, Jesus conquers. The world looks at service with disdain. We look at service as opportunity. The victory has already been won. We live in victory. Because of this we are never on the losing side. Bend the knee in service and you will find real victory.
4/28 Psalm 89:25-33
I will extend his rule from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the east. And he will say to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ I will make him my firstborn son, the mightiest king on earth. I will love him and be kind to him forever; my covenant with him will never end. I will preserve an heir for him; his throne will be as endless as the days of heaven. But if his sons forsake my law and fail to walk in my ways, if they do not obey my decrees and fail to keep my commands, then I will punish their sin with the rod, and their disobedience with beating. But I will never stop loving him, nor let my promise to him fail.

VICTORY
When you look at you life what do you see? Did you know that the Lord looks at our surrendered life and sees victory? In Jesus we have everything we need for a victorious life. The world cannot defeat us. Circumstances cannot deter the hand of God. Service, service, service is the path to victory in Christ. We are walking in His triumph. Jesus is Lord and we belong to Him.
4/29 Mark 8:4
“How are we supposed to find enough food for them here in the wilderness?” his disciples asked.

JOY
What do you hold in your hand, a life of failure and disappointment? When you think about your life do you ever feel that you have been shortchanged? If you do that is simply the world and Satan trying to make you feel second class. Don’t look at another Christian and think if only. You have everything you need in Jesus. No man can feed five thousand with just five loaves and two fishes but Jesus and a boy did it. You can do and be what the Lord called you to as long as you remember it is always all of Jesus and surrender from you.
4/30 John 8:31
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings.

BELIEF
Belief works. It is a thought and an action. When I believe it changes the way I see myself and others. We are beneficiaries of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. If I believe this I live like it. My time with the Lord takes on new meaning. He is the author and finisher of my faith. The things I do are directed by Him and I live under His control. I spend time in Bible study and prayer. My quiet time becomes a special joy because I know He is speaking to me. I am His disciple.

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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.