Today's Good News

December 2004

12/01               Mark 6:31
Then Jesus said, “Let’s get away from the crowds for a while and rest.”

REST
The Christmas season is beginning and most of us will have very activity filled days and weeks.  Remember to set aside some time to rest so that you don’t miss the reason for the season.  Jesus is alive.  He is alive in you therefore you can rejoice.

 

12/02               John 3:3
Jesus replied, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.”

NEW BIRTH
The Father has no grandchildren.  Our salvation is a personal decision that is between us and Jesus.  Make sure that you have asked Jesus to forgive you of your sin and take control of your life.  A child of God is always growing in Christ likeness.

 

12/03               John 12:20-21
Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem to attend the Passover paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.”

EVANGELISM
Telling about Jesus is simple.  When Christ is the center of my life people will come asking me about my life.  Jesus makes a difference in everything I do.

 

12/04               John 17:25-26
“O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me.  And I have revealed you to them and will keep on revealing you. I will do this so that your love for me may be in them and I in them.”

CHRIST-LIKENESS
If I want to grow in Christ-likeness I will need to spend time with Jesus.  I do this by reading His Word, meditating on His Word and putting His Word to work in my life.  The Word of God reveals Jesus and God’s directions for my daily life.

 

12/05               Acts 9:3-6
As he was nearing Damascus on this mission, a brilliant light from heaven suddenly beamed down upon him!  He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”  “Who are you, sir?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!  Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”

EXPERIENCE
My salvation experience was totally different from Paul’s.  Yours may be too.  My salvation experience was a point in time where I knew that I was lost and that Jesus was the only way.  I asked Christ into my heart and surrendered my life to Him.  Jesus saved me and bears witness to His salvation every day of my life.

 

12/06               Acts 10:19-20
Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. Go down and go with them without hesitation. All is well, for I have sent them.”

ACTIVITY OF GOD
The Lord is active in our lives.  Sometimes we don’t realize the Lord’s activity until afterwards.  There are times that we know without any doubt that we are specifically being directed by the Lord.  My life belongs to Jesus.  I want to know Him more and to see His activity in my life more clearly.  A growing relationship with Jesus will reveal His activity more each day.

 

12/07               Eph 1:4
Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

SALVATION
Our relationship with Jesus is not an accident.  Christ came looking for us.  Jesus loves you and me and is seeking the best for our lives.  Eternity beckons but life right now is very important.  I want to be what the Lord planned for me to be.  I want to be used by Jesus.

 

12/08               Eph 2:4-5
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s special favor that you have been saved!)

MERCY
I never get what I deserve.  My life is so rich in Christ.  Everything that happens to me can be used to develop my relationship with the Lord.  I belong.  I am loved.  Jesus is alive in me and active in my life.

12/09          Ephesians 3:6
And this is the secret plan: The Gentiles have an equal share with the Jews in all the riches inherited by God’s children. Both groups have believed the Good News, and both are part of the same body and enjoy together the promise of blessings through Christ Jesus.

Plan
Jesus loves me and you.  His concern for us is much greater than the human mind can comprehend.  I am His.  As I face the struggles and uncertainties of life I can live with the absolute confidence that Jesus loves me.

 

12/10          Ephesians 4:1-2
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.  Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

LOVE
Love is shown by the way I act.  My actions towards the unlovely and uncaring are a significant indicator of the way that I feel about Jesus.

 

12/11          Ephesians 5:2
Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.

LOVE
Love is an action that is always combined with sacrifice.  I cannot make anyone love me.  No one can stop me from loving them, it is always my choice.  When I love like Jesus loves, heaven knows and the Father is pleased and it will hurt.

 

12/12          Ephesians 6:11-12
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.  For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

EVIL
Evil is an aggressive force seeking to devour us.  Do not let evil control you or sidetrack you from what the Lord has called you to do simply turn back to Jesus.  The solutions to our problems, especially when we make bad choices take time to materialize and always require the presence of our loving Lord Jesus.

 

12/13          Philippians 1:3-6
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.  I always pray for you, and I make my requests with a heart full of joy because you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.  And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.

THANKS
You are always in my prayers.  I write these devotions to you so that you may know that someone is praying for you.  Pouring out my heart gives me a chance to be encouraged and to share what the Lord can do in any Christian’s life.  I too must confess that I am chief of sinners but Jesus loves me and the Lord is in control.  Be blessed and be a blessing today.

 

12/14          Philippians 2:8
And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.

SACRIFICE
As we stood in Jerusalem in the place where Christ was imprisoned we were overwhelmed by the realization of the magnitude of His suffering.  He gave me more than I can comprehend.  He gave me more than I could give.  Jesus is Lord.  He is Lord of my life.

 

12/15           Philippians 3:1
Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy. I never get tired of telling you this. I am doing this for your own good.

JOY
The Lord makes us whole.  I make bad choices and am a sinner.  Yet the Lord continues to work in my life every day helping me to grow, to change and to survive.  His presence equips me in the face of fear or failure or frustration to say that I can have joy.  Life is an opportunity for me to be what the Lord planned for me to be.  Joy in the Lord is my choice.

 

12/16          Philippians 4:4-5
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!  Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.

JOY
Joy is something that enables me to break through the barriers of separation that sin has caused in the world.  I can meet people where they are and not be overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness or frustration.  Joy equips me to love others no matter how they treat me.

 

12/17          Colossians 1:6
This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is changing lives everywhere, just as it changed yours that very first day you heard and understood the truth about God’s great kindness to sinners.

SALVATION
When Jesus came into my heart I was never the same again.  I can truthfully say that the Lord has consistently and aggressively intervened in my life to guide me, to discipline me and to equip me to grow.  Sometimes things looked dim but then the day came when I realized the presence of His joy.  Jesus loves me and you.

 

12/18 Colossians 2:3
In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

LIFE
Everything I need to live an abundant Christian life is found in Jesus.  Whatever I need, if I stay close to Jesus and submit my way to Him He will direct me in the right way.

 

12/19          Colossians 3:1
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power.

REALITY
What we see, feel and touch is passing away.  Heaven is an eternal reality.  I want to spend my life growing in an awareness of the presence of Jesus and the reality of heaven.  Indeed I have an eternal reward but I also have a present help when I can realize that I am not alone and that the resources of the Father are used to equip me to accomplish His plan for my life.  Jesus is alive and is alive in me.

 

12/20          Colossians 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

PRAYER
Prayer is work.  Prayer is challenging.  Time works against us.  It seeks to veil the activity of the Lord Jesus in our lives.  Work hard at prayer remembering that the time is short and that all around us people need strengthening.  Christian spiritual growth involves all of us and our prayers are a major contributor to the maturing of a fellow believer.  Prayer is also important as we seek to work out what the Lord has called us to do.  Prayer is work.

 

12/21          Luke 2:1-4
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 this 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.

CONTROL
God is able to accomplish His purpose in our life.  He knows what is going on.  He will provide us with a solution.  Every thought that Jesus has towards you or me is a thought for good.  The key for me is to make sure that my life is Christ focused.  Jesus loves me and you.

 

12/22          Luke 2:5-7
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.

WISDOM
What the world saw as defeat was a victory for God.  So many times in my own life when I see a situation that is discouraging I can take heart because the Lord turns defeat into victory.  My life is in Christ and He has saved me.  That alone is a great victory of the Lord.

 

12/23           Luke 2:8-14
That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep.  Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among 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!  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.

PEACE
Jesus brings peace.  Though my world is upside down the Lord brings peace into my heart.  The Lord of life is also the Lord of my circumstances.

 

12/24           Luke 2:15-20
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.  Then the shepherds 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.  The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said.

PRAISE
Jesus is born.  Immanuel has come.  The Messiah is with us.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Jesus is Lord of all.

12/25           Matthew 2:1-6
Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,  “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.”  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
Shiloh has come.  Jesus is alive.  The King came as one of the lowliest so that He could identify with anyone of us.  He saw my need before I was born and came into this world for me.  I love Jesus and He loves me.

 

12/26           Matthew 2:7-12
Then Herod sent a private message to the wise men, asking them to come see him. At this meeting he learned the exact time when they first saw the star.  Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

After this interview the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!  They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  But when it was time to leave, they went home another way, because God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

CONTROL
When my world is tumbling out of control I can remember that nothing surprises the Lord.  He is able to guide me and equip me to face the chaos of this world.  I am not alone and the Lord is seeking that I know Him.  If I will obey He will equip.  And when I do something foolish, I can have absolute confidence that the Lord will forgive me and help me correct my actions.  Jesus loves me.

 

12/27 John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

CHOICE
I choose Jesus.  My life is His.  I cannot control the events of my life nor can I change who I am.  I can choose the One I will follow and it is Jesus.  He is Lord and He is interested in me having a growing relationship with Him.

 

12/28 John 12:26
All those who want to be my disciples must come and follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And if they follow me, the Father will honor them.

DISCIPLESHIP
I can be a disciple.  Discipleship requires that I spend time with Jesus, let Him have the concerns of my life, obey Him and trust Him to use me.  I have value and worth and the Lord loves me.  Jesus is Lord.

 

12/29 John 17:9
“My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.

CHILDREN
I asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me.  He did.  Not everyone that prays to the Lord or seeks to get Him to do things for them is His child.  A child of God knows that he/she belongs to Jesus and that the Lord is their Father.  Jesus is praying for you at this very moment.  Choose Jesus as your Lord.

 

12/30 Acts 9:27
Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus. Barnabas also told them what the Lord had said to Saul and how he boldly preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus.

FRIENDSHIP
People count with Jesus.  Everyone I meet is important to the Lord.  I need to develop myself as an encourager.  The way I treat others will change the way I feel about myself.  If everyone I know and meet is important to me, my self esteem will grow and the way I see my life will change.  Life will be full of opportunities.  My troubles will become smaller and my victories will increase.  Jesus loves me.

 

12/31 Acts 10:34-35
Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God doesn’t show partiality.  In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.

 

LOVE
I show love by the way I act towards others.  Love will cause me to reach out to people I know and help them deal with their life.  I will not patronize people nor will I preach at them.  I will be a helper.  I will meet the needs of the people that I can.  What I do counts and it changes me.

 

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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.