Today's Good News

December 2003

12/01/03                      Psalm 43:5
Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my savior and my God!

HOPE
Jesus is always faithful. I can hope in Christ. When I face the impossible, the Lord is there. I may not see the solution but the Lord Jesus Christ always has a solution for me. God is good. I am His child. Jesus is with me.

12/02/03                      Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

HELP
I am not alone. In failure or defeat I can go to the Father and find strength. I pickup my Bible and begin my journey. I talk with Jesus. He listens to me. My heart cries out the truth as I see it and Jesus listens. I spend time with Jesus. I continue talking with Him. At some point the Lord will speak to me. The result will be that I will get what I need to move ahead. I may continue to suffer but I will be changed. I will not feel hopeless and I will not feel alone. The Lord is with me.

12/03/03                      Psalm 46:11
The Lord Almighty is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

HELP
The world is a tough place. I often feel like I am pushed around by life. The Lord is my fortress. He is the defense against a pointless life. Jesus has a plan for me and His plan is for good. I am important. I count. The Lord says so and proves it by His protection of me.

12/04/03                      Psalm 49:15
But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of death.

HELP
Jesus died for me. Jesus was raised by the power of God from the dead. His power gives life to me. One day I will die but at the point of death Jesus will take me into the presence of the Lord. God loves me.

12/05/03                      Psalm 50:15
Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.

TRUST
Trust in the Lord. When life is blue and I am too, I trust in the Lord. My life is bound up in Christ. I have no other advocate, I have no other source. Jesus is able to save me now, enable me now and will keep me safe for eternity. I belong to the Lord.

12/06/03                      Psalm 50:23
Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.

SERVICE
I choose salvation. God came looking for me but I am presented with the opportunity to choose Him. When I choose Christ I am saved and I belong to Jesus. If I belong to Jesus I will follow Him. If I wander away from the Lord, Jesus brings me back. If I stumble and fall Jesus picks me up.

12/07/03                      Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

RENEWAL
I have troubled days. I have disappointing experiences. I am prone to sin. My daily devotional is the time that I must surrender to the Lord. If I will surrender my will to Jesus He will take control. If Jesus is in control I will change. My sadness will become gladness. My hopelessness will change to hope. Joy will be restored. Jesus will change me from rebellion to responsibility. I will experience renewal and my heart will willingly serve the Lord.

12/08/03                      Psalm 55: 17-19
Morning, noon and night I plead aloud in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. He rescues me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, even though many still oppose me. God, who is king forever, will hear me and will humble them.

LIFE
I am not very wise. It is hard for my ego to admit this but the truth is I am not very wise. I cannot see into the future. I cannot see the spiritual forces of evil arrayed against me. I cannot act against unseen germs. Jesus sees all of these things and knows what I will do even before I do it. I can become wise by trusting Jesus. If I talk with Christ about everything and know that He already knows what I don’t know then I will become wise. Wisdom results in obedience to the Lord. When I obey Jesus I am acting wisely.

12/09/03          Psalm 56: 3-4
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. O God, I praise your word. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?  What can mere mortals do to me?

COURAGE
Fear seeks to hide in us.  It prods us to excuses.  It wasn’t my fault.  I’m not responsible.  I don’t care.  The truth is fear stops us from doing the right thing.  I am responsible for me.  I am the only one that can make right choices for my life.  When I spend time with Jesus on a daily basis, Christ will give me the courage I need to live a Holy life.

12/10/03          Psalm 57:1
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!  I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this violent storm is past.

MERCY
God is rich in mercy.  He sees us intentionally do the wrong thing and He continues to forgive us.  Jesus is with us and even in our foolishness does not ignore us.  So many bad things in my life have been caused by lack of vigilance or just outright sinfulness.  Yet the Lord Jesus loves me.  Thank you Lord for your mercy.

12/11/03          Psalm 58:11
There truly is a reward for those who live for God; surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.

PRESENT
God is here with us.  We often do not pay attention and seldom do we really believe that the Lord is actively involved in the minute events in our lives.  But the Lord is here.  Nothing escapes the attention of the Lord.  My hurts and losses are His hurts and losses.  The Lord loves me and will enable and equip me to face the reality of my life and become more like Jesus.

12/12/03          Psalm 61: 1-3
O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth I will cry to you for help, for my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

HELP
God will help me.  He has never let me down.  The evidence of my many years is that the Lord is faithful and trustworthy.  God is good and is seeking my good.  When I surrender to Christ and let Him lead me good is always the result.

12/13/03                      Matthew 2:3-6
Herod was deeply disturbed by their question, as was all of Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law. “Where did the prophets say the Messiah would be born?” he asked them.
“In Bethlehem,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘O Bethlehem of Judah, you are not just a lowly village in Judah, for a ruler will come from you, who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

KING
God loves me and wants to help me live a Godly life but I must never forget that Jesus is the King.  Each one of us has the opportunity for a personal relationship with Jesus.  This relationship with the Lord will equip us to live Godly lives and to proclaim the love of Christ to all.  And in addition it will instill in my heart a longing to see the Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Jesus is coming back.

12/14/03                      Luke 1:26-28
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

SOVEREIGNTY
God is at work in our world.  The Lord Jesus has me and you on His heart.  We are always on the mind of the Lord.  The birth of Christ, his death on the cross and his resurrection from the grave were not afterthoughts.  God has a plan for my life and your life.  God is love.

12/15/03                      Luke 1:30-33
“Don’t be frightened, Mary,” the angel told her, “for God has decided to bless you!  You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!”

KINGDOM
Kings and kingdoms come and go but Jesus will never disappear.  He is here now for me and you so that we can live an abundant life and be involved in His work in the world.  This world will pass away.  One day Jesus will come back for all of His children.  Hurry and tell everyone you know that Jesus loves them.  Christ is coming back.

12/16/03                      Luke 1:46-49
And Mary responded: “Oh, how I praise the Lord.  How I rejoice in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and now generation after generation will call be blessed. For he, the Mighty One, is holy and he has done great things for me.”

OBEDIENCE
God loves obedience more than sacrifice.  Obedience requires daily time with Jesus in prayer and in His Word.  Forgiveness is a critical element in a Christ like life.  If I don’t practice the  basic elements of my Christian faith I will not grow.  The power of God in my life is my choice.  Will I let the Lord Jesus have control of me or will I control myself.

12/17/03                     Matthew 1:18-21
Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiance’, being a just man, decided to break off the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said,” do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

BIRTH
The birth of Jesus was planned before time began. God knew that we needed help and He always planned to provide it. At the right time Jesus was born. He lived a perfect life. From birth to death my need was on the heart of Jesus. He died for me that I might be free.

12/18/03                      Luke 1:68-70
Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited his people and redeemed them. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.

SALVATION
God provided my salvation. I need it and cannot earn it. It is a grace gift. Jesus loves me and is always seeking my best good.

12/19/03                      Luke 1:76-79
And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.

SIN
You and I must deal with sin in our lives. The testimony of the Word of God is that sin is a pervasive, serious issue for all of mankind. When I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, it does not put me in a position of priority. It places me in a position of responsibility. All I have to do is tell about what Jesus has done for me. Jesus is the light of the world and all need Him.

12/20/03                      Luke 2:1-5
NOW in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

BIRTH
I have days when I feel alone and helpless. We are never alone and we are never beyond the ability of the Lord to help us. He will not forsake you. Jesus knows exactly where you are and what you need. Ask Him for it. Trust in the Lord.

12/21/03                      Luke2:1-7
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. All returned to their own towns to register for the census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancé, who was obviously pregnant by this time.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

BIRTH
Jesus came into our world. He lived His life with the same resources available to each one of us. The Lord is powerful and able to save. The Lord will enable us and equip us to lead worthwhile lives and serve a valuable purpose. Your life counts with Jesus.

12/22/03                      Luke 2:8-11
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside of the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the City of David!”

FEAR
Do not be afraid. Your life is important. You count with the Lord. You may not understand what is going on and you may have feel like running but stand firm. The Lord is with you. Here is the good news. Jesus loves you and created you for a good purpose. Bless you today.

12/23/03                      Luke 2:11-14
“The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the City of David. And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”

LIFESTYLE
Jesus wants me to spend time with Him. When I spend time with Jesus I get to know Him. The more I know Jesus the better equipped I am to live my life. Jesus is life and in Him I can find everything I need for an abundant life.

12/24/03                      Luke 2:16-19
The shepherds ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in a manger. Then the shepherd told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often.

GOOD NEWS
God has come to be with us. I am not at the mercy of the world the Lord is here. My life counts because Jesus has given me life. His life provides the light that I need to live a worthwhile and rewarding life. Hallelujah.

12/25/03                      Isaiah 9:6
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!

KING
Jesus is here. He came for me so that I would have real life. I belong to Jesus. I spend time with Jesus. He is the king. He is Lord. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

12/26/03                      Luke 2:28-32
Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God, saying: “ Lord, now I can die in peace! As you promised me, I have seen the Savior you have given to all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel.”

PROMISES
God never forsakes His child. The Bible has 7,000 plus promises that the Lord has made to His children. Read the Word. Find His promises. Claim them for your life and see what the Lord will do. God is faithful.

12/27/03                      Isaiah 11: 1-5
Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new branch bearing the fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will never judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay. He will defend the poor and the exploited. He will rule against the wicked and destroy them with the breath of his mouth. He will be clothed with fairness and truth.

PROMISE
Christ fulfilled this promise from God. He has come to us. He knows us. In Jesus we have righteousness. This gives us access to the Father. When we pray we are literally entering the inner chambers of the Lord. God will hear us and will answer us. The Lord is here and I belong to Him.

12/28/03                      Psalm 63:7-8
I think how much you have helped me; I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I follow close behind you; your strong right hand holds me securely.

LIFESTYLE
So many people live quiet lives of desperation. At the edge of their mind is a nagging sense that nothing is going to work out right. Jesus fixes lives. When I ask Christ into my heart, Jesus gives me a new heart. The Lord will guide me to grow and encourage me to service.

12/29/03                      Psalm 64: 10
The godly will rejoice in the Lord and find shelter in him. And those who do what is right will praise him.

LIFESTYLE
I am a child of God. The Lord is active in my life. Everything I say and do comes under His scrutiny. The Holy Spirit will guide my heart and hands. I will live a life that is precious to the Lord Jesus Christ. I will look to Jesus to deal with the issues I face each day and ask Him for wisdom, mercy, and grace.

12/30/03                      Psalm 66: 8-9
Let the whole world bless our God and sing aloud his praises. Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling.

WISDOM
Quiet time with the Lord is where I will find the wisdom I need to live my life in the real world. The world is always troubled. Everyday someone in the arena of public life is claiming that they know what to do. If I am not led by the Holy Spirit of God I will not know what to do.

12/31/03                      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.

LOVE
Jesus knows everything about me and still loves me. He calls me to obedience because He loves me. He knows what is best. Every day I must deal with my feelings. My emotions are constantly changing. One day I am happy and another day I am sad. I must learn to live my life in the light of the Lord’s love. Joy is a promise I can claim. Not because only good things happen but because the Lord loves me and is on my side. The Lord is good, all the time.

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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.