Today's Good News

December 2007

12/01          John 12:1-2
Six days before the Passover ceremonies began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus the man he had raised from the dead.  A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus sat at the table with him.

MIRACLES
Miracles happen and then life goes on.  You and I are called to live our lives daily with the understanding that the Lord is in control and He has a plan for our life.  Sometimes things we cannot understand happen.  This we can know for sure Jesus loves each one of us and is seeking the best for our life.

 

12/02          John 12:3
Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with fragrance.

FOCUS
This is real focus.  The best that Mary had was focused on Jesus.  The question for you and me: are we focusing the best we have on Jesus?  Do we give Him our all?  Check the quality and quantity of your experience with Jesus.

 

12/03          John 12:4-8
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples the one who would betray him   said,  “That perfume was worth a small fortune.  It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.”  Not that he cared for the poor he was a thief who was in charge of the disciples’ funds, and he often took some for his own use.  Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did it in preparation for my burial.  You will always have the poor among you, but I will not be here with you much longer.”

TRUTH

We cannot fool Jesus.  We can fool ourselves.  Why are we doing what we are doing?  Are we following God’s plan or fooling ourselves?  Jesus is Lord.  We are called to give Him our life.  We are called to give Him our service.
12/04          John 12:9-11
When all the people  heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead.  Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.

MIRACLES

The Lord has worked in all of our lives.  He has worked miracles in our lives whether we are aware of them or not.  One of the things we can do that will help us as we serve Jesus is to keep a written prayer journal.  We can list in our prayer journal specific answers to prayers and anytime the Lord reveals to us a miracle in our life.  Later when times are tough that written record becomes a Lazarus that will impact our life.  God is at work in us even when we don’t realize it.

 

12/05          John 12:12-13
The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A huge crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God!  Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!”

PRAISE
Jesus is worthy of all of our praise.  Jesus is present now and is worthy of all praise and honor and glory.  When you meet Him in your morning devotional remember that you are meeting the Lord of glory and simply begin by praising Him.

 

12/06          John 12:14-15
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: “Don’t be afraid, people of Israel.  Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

PROPHECY
Prophecy is foretelling the future.  This is a promise fulfilled.  Prophecy is also forth telling proclaiming the truth before our eyes.  Jesus is the truth, the way and the life.  He is our guide and our Lord.  Look your King is coming!

 

12/07          John 12:16
His disciples didn’t realize at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered that these Scriptures had come true before their eyes.

TIMES
We are living during one of the most exciting times in history.  Today we can see so many of the ancient Biblical prophecies fulfilled and in some cases begin fulfilled before our very eyes.  Rejoice in the day.  You count, Jesus is alive and we are partners together with Him in His plan for mankind.

 

12/08          John 12:17-18
Those in the crowd who had seen Jesus call Lazarus back to life were telling others all about it. That was the main reason so many went out to meet him because they had heard about this mighty miracle.

TELL
These folks were telling others about a miracle they had witnessed.  The witness we have for others is not what they should do but what we have done.  Dry and dying churches have removed the power of God from their midst.  Impotent Christian witness is simply a matter of not telling others what Jesus is doing in your life.  Let Him have control and He will use you.

 

12/09          John 12:19
Then the Pharisees said to each other, “We’ve lost. Look, the whole world has gone after him!”

WORLD
The world and everything that is clinging to this world is dead.  The world will never follow Jesus.  Don’t worry what the world will do.  Focus on what the Lord is doing in your life.  Submit every aspect of your life to Him and let Him give you direction for your life.  You are loved.

 

12/10          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.”

JESUS
We are called to be salt and light.  Our lives and our words should cause the world to want to know what is different about us.  Why do we live a peaceful life that isn’t falling apart like the rest of the world or when our life is falling apart why are we able to recover so quickly?  Jesus is the reason.  He lives in us to strengthen us and to partner with us in sharing the Good News with everyone we meet.

 

12/11          John 12:22-24
Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus.  Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory.  The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels a plentiful harvest of new lives.

LIFE
Jesus brings us life.  He enables us to live an abundant life right where we are.  We belong to Him and He belongs to us.  His life in us equips us to truly be ourselves and be glad about it.  We count and Jesus enables us to see that.

 

12/12          John 12:25
Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who despise their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

SOJOURNERS
Sojourners know they are just passing through.  We have one life and one opportunity to live that life and then we go to be with the Father for eternity.  This world is not our home and the things of this world are not the things that equip us for eternity.  As children of God we are committed to eternal things.  Rejoice, Jesus is alive and lives in us.

 

12/13          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.

SURRENDER
When we give our life to Jesus it is for life and into eternity.  Here on earth we spend time with Him to cultivate our spiritual surrender to the Father.  It takes time, lots of time for us to grow into Christ likeness.  It takes time with Jesus for us to deal with our daily life and our deep seated habits that separate us from spending time with the Lord.  Start now and joyously become His disciple.

 

12/14          John 12:27-28
Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from what lies ahead’? But that is the very reason why I came!  Father, bring glory to your name.”Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought it glory, and I will do it again.”

DEVOTION
Jesus was fully devoted to the Father.  His example is worthy of my attention.  I am to be devoted to the will of the Father.  I can only find that will in surrender.  God is not waiting on my okay, He is seeking my surrender.  Help me Lord to bend my knee daily to you and let you have control of me.

 

12/15          John 12:29-32
When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.  Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine.  The time of judgment for the world has come, when the prince of this world will be cast out.  And when I am lifted up on the cross, I will draw everyone to myself.”

FORTH-TELLING
Jesus tells us the truth.  He is what we need and who we need.  In Jesus my life has meaning and worth.  In Christ we are partners together with Him in telling the world the Good News-God loves you and has a plan for your life.

 

12/16          John 12:33-34
He said this to indicate how he was going to die.  “Die?” asked the crowd. “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. Why are you saying the Son of Man will die? Who is this Son of Man you are talking about?”

TRUTH
The world is invested in things that are perishing.  In Christ we are invested in things that are eternal.  Christ died for you and me and paid the price for our reconciliation with the Father.

 

12/17          John 12:35
Jesus replied, “My light will shine out for you just a little while longer. Walk in it while you can, so you will not stumble when the darkness falls. If you walk in the darkness, you cannot see where you are going.

SPIRITUAL
This world is not our home but it will gladly blind us.  The wisdom of this world will not get you through the next crisis or opportunity.  Spiritual wisdom comes from Jesus.  If we are interested in spiritual wisdom we will ask Him.  He will give us the wisdom we need to accomplish the plan the Lord has for our life for today.

 

12/18          John 12:36
Believe in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.” After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.

LIGHT
Today is the day of salvation.  Today is the only opportunity we have to proclaim the Good News.  Do not lose the opportunity to serve, rejoice, proclaim and claim Christ as Lord.

 

12/19          John 12:37-40
But despite all the miraculous signs he had done, most of the people did not believe in him.  This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: “Lord, who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power?”  But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said,  “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts so their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.”

LIGHT
Jesus is the light and He brings light to us.  Spiritual wisdom is critical for us to follow the Lord.  His light will bring spiritual wisdom to us if we will ask Him and believe that He will give us what we need.

 

12/20          John 12:41
Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he made this prediction, because he was given a vision of the Messiah’s glory.

FULFILLED
Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies about the Messiah in the Bible.  He is here and lives in each one of us that have asked Him to save us.  We live our lives with confidence because we know the Eternal One and He has given eternal life to us.  Rejoice and do not fear.  We are part of the family of God.

 

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.

CHRISTMAS
Christmas is a celebration of the worth and value that the Lord gives us.  He came to us in the flesh.  He came for us because we could not solve our sin problem.  The Romans were in charge of the world but the Lord is in charge of all things.  He is Lord.

 

12/22          Luke 2:5
He took with him Mary, his fiancé, who was obviously pregnant by this time.

FACTS
This is a fact.  It is not a negative fact, just a fact.  But this fact is also a divine fact because it was prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled by the will of God.  He is not at the mercy of the world.  The Father is in control, has a plan for our life and will use us if we will let Him.

 

12/23          Luke 2:6-7
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
The birth of Jesus was not a condemnation of the people of Bethlehem.  It is in fact a celebration of the coming of God to man in a way that we can understand.  Any one of us could have experienced this kind of birth.  Any one of us could be at what appears to be the mercy of the world.  The difference is that when we have Jesus we have everything we need.

 

12/24          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.”

FAVOR
We have favor with the Lord.  He is waiting to hear from us.  When you stop and pray you can have confidence that the Lord is listening.  Remember whenever it gets tough you have favor with God.

 

12/25          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.

JESUS
Jesus came for each one of us.  This is our story-THE LORD HAS COME.

 

12/26          John 12:42-43
Many people, including some of the Jewish leaders, believed in him. But they wouldn’t admit it to anyone because of their fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue.  For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.

COURAGE
Do not fear.  Jesus has changed everything.  He has brought us favor with the Lord and He brings us light and life for living.  We believe in Jesus and we do not fear men.

 

12/27          John 12:44
Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are really trusting God who sent me.

TRUST
Trust is a choice.  It is a choice that we make in the moment.  I can trust Jesus and every time I trust Him it is easier the next time to trust Him.  It is important that we know that trust is a like a staircase, we must start at the beginning to get to the top.  Trust Jesus in everything and you will succeed as you seek to live a life of trust.

 

12/28          John12:45
For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me.

GOD
Jesus is God.  He is God come to man so that we can understand His great love for us and that He is in this together with us.  We are not alone.  We belong to Jesus and He is here with us.

 

12/29          John 12:46
I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness.

WALK
Walk in the light.  When you walk in the light of Jesus each day will be a day of discovery and growth.  The choices we make each moment and each day make the difference in the kind of life that we will live.  Claim Christ and serve Him.

 

12/30          John 12:47-48
If anyone hears me and doesn’t obey me, I am not his judge for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.  But all who reject me and my message will be judged at the Day of Judgment by the truth I have spoken.

JUDGMENT
Judgment is coming and it will come upon the ungodly.  Do not worry about those who are evil.  Do not worry about those that refuse to accept Christ.  All we must do is tell them and remember them.  Each person has to make up their own mind about Jesus.

 

12/31          John 12:49-50
I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me gave me his own instructions as to what I should say.  And I know his instructions lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say!”

TRUST
We go to the Lord and He hears us.  This is significant as we pray and fellowship with Jesus.  Our confidence grows day by day because we know He listens to us.  This is also true, if I ask Him for wisdom, mercy, grace and understanding He will give it to me.  Time with Jesus equips me to act like Jesus and to know how to respond like Jesus would respond.

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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.