Today's Good News

December 2008

12/01               Ephesians 5:1-2
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.  Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us[a] and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

EXAMPLE
We are an example.  When we claim the name of Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we testify to the world what kind of Savior we have by the way the live.  We can live a victorious life because our Lord is victorious.

 

12/02               Ephesians 5:3-5
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.  Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.  You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

ATTITUDE
Let your attitude be gratitude.  Remember what He has done for you.  Remember the wonderful miracles He has worked in your life.  Remember and be grateful for to Him belongs all glory and honor and praise.  Praise ye the Lord.

 

12/03               Ephesians 5:6-9
Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.  Don’t participate in the things these people do.  For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!  For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

LIGHT
Christ has come in our life.  No longer are we to be caught up in worldly things.  Set aside those former times of self-pity and doubt.  Live a victorious life because Jesus lives in you.  Let Him know your needs then go and walk in the truth.  In His time He is always faithful.  Remember that and live the life.  Jesus is Lord.

 

12/04          Ephesians 5:10-12
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.  Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.  It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.

RESPONSIBILITY
It is our responsibility to conduct ourselves in a Godly fashion.  It takes time to understand the Word of God and put it to work in our daily lives.  Today take time to consider what the Lord would have you to do.

 

12/05          Ephesians 5:13-14
But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

ACTIONS
Our actions will have consequences.  Even the mighty will be properly judged.  The thing for us to remember is that what we are doing is known by God.  He is with us and walking with us every moment of every day.  The Lord is active in His creation and we are the recipients of His love.

 

12/06          Ephesians 5:15-16
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

WISDOM
Wisdom comes from God.  As we spend time with Him we discover anew how much He loves us.  He will give us what we need.  We need wisdom for living an abundant, joyous life.  Ask the Lord for wisdom and He will give it to you.

 

12/07          Ephesians 5:17-19
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.  Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.

ACTIONS
Pay attention to what you are doing.  When you are down seek the Lord.  Read the Word out loud.  Sing some Psalms.  Pray with the full knowledge that the Lord is standing with you and will hear you.  You are not alone.  Pay attention to what you are doing.

 

12/08          Ephesians 5:20
And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

ATTITUDE
The Lord will change you if you will let Him.  He will open our eyes so that we can see the wonderful and complete resource we have in Jesus.  He is God’s everything.  When He becomes our everything it will help us to maintain a positive attitude and will equip us to give thanks for what we have.  Jesus is the reason that our life is abundant.

 

12/09          Ephesians 5:21-30
And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.  As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.  For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.  He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.  In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.  No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.  And we are members of his body.

SACRIFICE
The significant teaching is that the Christian life involves sacrifice.  We are not on our own.  We will face serious opposition in living a Christian life.  Jesus will equip us to face it and live victoriously.

 

12/10          Ephesians 5:31-33
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”   This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.  So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

LOVE
Christ loves the church.  He gave us the church so that we would be better equipped to face life.  When we marry the two become one and together are better equipped to face the daily trials of life.  An abundant life is possible if we will model our self after Christ’s example.  Die to self.

 

12/11          Ephesians 6:1
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,[a] for this is the right thing to do.

RIGHT
Obedience is something that is important in our Christian walk.  The Lord loves obedience more than sacrifice.  Obedience is critical because it equips us to properly deal with our egotism.  Think about what you are doing and do the next right thing.

 

12/12          Ephesians 6:2-3
“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise:  If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

HONOR
It is easy to honor those who love us and have our best good at heart.  Today when so many homes are broken and parents are acting like children we think that we can get away with dishonoring them.  This isn’t an optional verse.  There is no if.  Think carefully about how you treat your parents and what it does to you.  Do the next right thing.

 

12/13          Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

EASY
Today our society is often self-centered.  What I want is most important. Parents too often deal with their children by expediency.  They either don’t discipline their children or deal with them harshly.  Children take time and they deserve our time.  Carefully discipline your children under the leadership of the Lord.  Gentleness and consistency is always important.

 

12/14          Ephesians 6:5
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.

SERVICE
The quality of our service is the key to a growing relationship with Jesus.  Are we listening to Christ?  Am I living the way that I say I am living?  If I am trying to squeak by on subpar performance, I will be the only one that I am fooling.  I must do what I do to the best of my ability.  The quality of my life is a spiritual issue.

 

12/15          Ephesians 6:6-8
Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart.  Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.  Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.

CARING
I want the Lord to care about me and what I do.  Do I care about those I serve?  Am I concerned about whether or not I am doing my best?  If I am I will do everything I do to the best of my ability.  If I don’t then I will simply be getting over on myself.  Poor service hurts me most of all.

 

12/16          Ephesians 6:9
Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites.

LEVEL
The ground at the cross is level.  Salvation is a grace gift.  The only way that any one will experience new life is in Jesus Christ and He is no respecter of persons.  All of us have the same Father.  All of us struggle and strive to grow in Christ.  All of us have the same access to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ.  Jesus is Lord and He is God’s everything.

 

12/17          Ephesians 6:10
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

STRENGTH
We will need to learn to surrender our will to His will to experience His strength.  In our weakness He is strong.  We come to Jesus with our time and talents and give them to Him for His use and we will find real strength.  Christ is King.  He is Lord.  In Him we find the wisdom, mercy, grace and understanding that we need for real kingdom service.

 

12/18          Ephesians 6:11
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

STAND
The Lord is able to equip us for service.  He will see us through all of the evil schemes of the devil.  We cannot stand in our own power.  Equip yourself for living.  Only by the power of the Lord Jesus can we stand in the face of evil.

 

 

12/19          Luke 2:1-2
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.)

REALITY
We live in a real world.  Our world is just like the world in the time of Christ.  We can only stand by the power of Christ.  Only Jesus can overcome the sin that entangles everyone’s life.  Today is the day that you need Jesus.  Now is the time that you need Jesus.  Ask Him and He will help you.

 

12/20          Luke 2:3-5
All returned to their own ancestral 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.  He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

TRUTH
The world creates myths to tell their story of a relationship with the creator.  Our creator is our Lord and Savior.  This is truth told by real people at a specific time in a specific location.  There were many who could verify the facts of this story.  The Bible presents the facts and the people and the situation.  This is how it happened.  Jesus is Lord.

 

12/21          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 lodging available for them.

BIRTH
Jesus was born in a cattle trough in as rough a situation as we could experience.  The Lord chose to come as the least of us so that He could provide salvation for each one of us.  His mother provided for Him as best she could.  The Lord has come to earth to save us.

 

12/22          Luke 2:8-10
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, 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 terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.

FEAR
All of us have things that cause us to be afraid.  Fear is debilitating.  Fear destroys us.  The angel said to the shepherds and to you and me-DO NOT BE AFRAID.  The Good News is that Jesus did come and He came for you and for me.  He died for us and arose from the dead by the power of God and is alive for us now.  Do not be afraid because Jesus lives.

 

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

CALVARY ROAD
Christ’s journey begins here in a cave in Bethlehem smoky, stinky, lots of germs and not very warm.  The King of Glory was born in an animal feeding trough.  This road leads directly to the cross and His sacrifice.  His whole life was a sacrifice.  Christ lived and died for us.  Can we do any less?  God loves people most of all.

 

12/24          Luke 2:15-20
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.  After seeing him, 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 kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.   The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

WITNESSING
Telling about Jesus is a natural thing for us to do.  Witnessing is just that, telling folks about Jesus, what He has done for us and the difference He has made in our life.  When you are walking with Jesus it is easy to share what He is doing in your life with everyone you meet.

 

12/25          Matthew 2:1-11
Jesus was born in 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 saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”   King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.  He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”  “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:  ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”  Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared.  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. And the star they had seen in the east guided 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 and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

BIRTH
Jesus is alive and He lives in you and me.  What a joyous time to live.  We have the opportunity to share the life of Christ in us with others.  Remember what Jesus has done for you.  Be faithful in living a Christ like life.

 

12/26          Ephesians 6:12
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

ENEMY
We face a real, powerful enemy but Jesus is Lord of all.  He is able to stand with us.  He is able to defeat any enemy that we face.  Surrender your life to Jesus and He will give you real life.  He has already won the victory when you are asking Him to intercede.

 

12/27          Ephesians 6:13-15
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.   Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.

STAND
We are required to stand.  To stand takes faith.  The more I know Jesus the stronger my faith grows.  Spend time with Jesus.  It is a spiritual circle.  Spend time with Jesus, grow, stand, spend time with Jesus, grow, stand and on and on it goes until that day we stand face to face with Christ.  Our journey is long and short, strong and weak and the Lord is all we need.

 

12/28          Ephesians 6:16-17
In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

WORD
The Word of God is alive.  It is written in His Bible and we let Him write it on our hearts.  When it is written on our hearts it lives in us to give us life.  Jesus is Lord of all and in all things He is victorious.

 

12/29          Ephesians 6:18
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

PRAY
Prayer is hard work.  We are called to pray at all times.  Be on the alert.  Pray every day and in every way.  Spend time with Him and pray.  As you work hard pray.  When you are at ease pray and in all things pray.  If we will be faithful to pray we will change the world.  Jesus is Lord.

 

12/30          Ephesians 6:19-20
And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.  I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

PRAY
Pray for one another.  Pray for our pastors and other Christian workers.  Pray for our leaders.  Pray for wisdom, mercy and grace.  Pray for revival.  Pray that all might be saved.

 

 

12/31          Ephesians 6:21-24
To bring you up to date, Tychicus will give you a full report about what I am doing and how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper in the Lord’s work.  I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.  Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness.  May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.

GRACE
Grace is the Lord giving us what we need and cannot earn.  We need His grace every day.  We need to learn how to give grace to others just as our heavenly Father gives grace to us.  Pray that not only will you receive grace but that you will learn how to be a grace giving person.  Love your enemies and pray for those that hate you.  Jesus is Lord.

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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.