Today's Good News

February 2004

2/1/04 Jude 1:24
And now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling, and who will bring you into his glorious presence innocent of sin and with great joy.

TRUST
Trust God.  Read His Word.  Get to know His voice.  Deceivers will be evident when we know the voice of the Living Lord Jesus.  Trust the Lord and He will not fail you.

2/2/04  3 John 1:4
I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children live in the truth.

TRUTH
When we know Jesus we will know the truth.  The world is always trying to deceive.  The only way we can make wise decisions and not fall into deadly sin is to listen to the Lord Jesus and obey Him.

2/3/04  2 John 1:12
Well, I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to say it in a letter. For I hope to visit you soon and to talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.

TRUTH
There is a great deal of false teaching in the world.  You and I must grow in Christ and combat false teaching that can trap us to live ungodly lives.  If I will spend time with Jesus, false teaching will always be evident.  If I have a question about what I am doing or the way I am living I can ask the Lord and He will correct my life.  Our life must always square with the Word of God.  If it doesn’t we are living an ungodly life.

2/4/04  1 John 1:4
We are writing these things so that our joy will be complete.

TRUTH
Truth is the basis for our fellowship with the Lord and with each other.  If I know the truth of God and practice the truth then I can live in fellowship.  If I am ignorant of God’s truth or do not practice the truth then I am out of fellowship.  The truth is in the Word of God and is given to us by Jesus.

2/5/04  1 Peter 4:13
Instead, be very glad – because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world.

TRIALS
When we suffer for Jesus, He will be with us.  Suffering prepares me for the next opportunity of service.  Suffering is always an opportunity for growth.  Suffering itself is not enjoyable but when I suffer for Jesus my life will be changed.  I will know Him better.  The end result is that I will be stronger and more useable.

2/6/04  1 Peter 1:8
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

JESUS
One of the common phrases of the day is “seeing is believing.”  We see Jesus.  We see Him as He works in our hearts.  We see Him as He ministers to our hurts and heartaches.  His hand is visible as He works in our lives directly and through others.  Jesus is alive.

2/7/04    1 Peter 1:6
So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.

SUFFERING
I don’t like to suffer.  But when I feel the hand of the oppression of evil and know that I have not been the cause of what I am going through I remind myself to take heart.  For the moment it is painful.  For a short time there will be dark clouds.  But the Lord will use this time of trouble to help me grow.  I will see His love, I will feel His encouragement and I will be better equipped to serve the Lord.

2/8/04  James 1:2
Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.

SUFFERING
Evil is always seeking to destroy each one of us.  Don’t be surprised when trouble comes to you.  Instead, use this experience as an opportunity to speak with the Lord.  Talk with Him specifically about what you think.  Explain your reasoning even if it is through tears.  Then listen, trust and learn.  Once you see the Lord at work in your problems you will begin to see Him at work in your everyday life.  The more you recognize the activity of the Lord in your life the stronger you will become in serving Him.

2/9/04  Hebrews 12:2
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven.

SUFFERING
We are victorious in suffering when we trust the Lord.  The suffering and trouble may continue but our love for Jesus grows.  God loves me.  God is always good.  As this confidence grows in my heart my ability to express my love for Jesus and experience His love for me will grow.  Jesus loves me.

2/10/04            Hebrews 10:34
You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail. When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew you had better things waiting for you in eternity.

SUFFERING
When your trouble is more than you can stand and your suffering is overwhelming ask the Lord to help you see just a little glimpse of heaven.  Heaven is where we will see Jesus face to face.  Heaven is where we will know the Lord without any limitation.  Just a little glimpse of heaven will help you to survive through your troubles and thrive.  We are just passing through and heaven is our home.

2/11/04            Hebrews 1:9
You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”

EVIL
I want to be able to hate evil.  I want to see evil for the vile and venomous thing that it is.  Never again do I want to cozy up to my secret sin.  No more will I set aside my time with Jesus for a little reveling in evil.  Evil looks good but it conceals death.  Help me Lord to always be focused on You.  The Lord Jesus is life and light and is worthy of all our attention.

2/12/04            Philemon 1:7
I myself have gained much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because your kindness has so often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.

ENCOURAGEMENT
People always need encouragement.  I can be an encourager.  I can affirm others value and worth by listening to them, showing them respect, asking their opinion, and in many other ways that clearly express my value of them.  Also, I can be kind.  Kindness is a habit.  It is a good habit.  It is inexpensive but valuable.  Kindness is simple and yet speaks to the complex depths of the human heart.  I am representing Jesus in all that I do.

2/13/04            2 Timothy 1:4
I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.

FRIENDSHIP
Christ brings people together.  My Christian brothers and sisters will be with me in eternity with Jesus.  It is important for me to build friendships today that will be eternal relationships.  Jesus loves each one of us and you are a treasure in human form.  I want to value what Jesus values.  The Lord Jesus values friendships.

2/14/04            1 Thessalonians 3:9
How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy in the presence of God.

GRATITUDE
We have a choice.  We can ignore the people around us and miss many opportunities for growth.  Or we can choose to see those around us as blessings from the Lord and interact with them accordingly.  One of the most amazing experiences you will ever have is to see people respond positively to being treated positively.  We are always where we are.  Where we are is the place where we should be praying, serving and rejoicing.

2/15/04            1 Thessalonians 3:6
Now Timothy has just returned, bringing the good news that your faith and love are as strong as ever. He reports that you remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us just as much as we want to see you.

SERVICE
I can serve the Lord where I am placed.  Those that I serve with will become closer than I could have ever imagined.  When they go elsewhere to serve it is a personal loss.  I should pray for them.  Any opportunity to visit with them will bring great joy.  God loves people most of all.

2/16/04            1 Thessalonians 2:20
For you are our pride and joy.

PEOPLE
People count with the Lord.  People are eternal.  We are here to serve people.  Our growth is focused on helping us build our relationship with the Lord and learning to serve the ones Jesus died for.  Jesus loves me.  I need to be constantly growing in my ability to love and serve people.

2/17/04            1 Thessalonians 2:19
After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what is our proud reward and crown? It is you! Yes, you will bring us much joy as we stand together before our Lord Jesus when he comes back again.

PEOPLE
The focus of the Christian life is to become more like Jesus.  Jesus died for people.  He is the Creator and has chosen to use you and me to reach the lost and build the family of God.  I am a bond servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am responsible to care for His children.

2/18/04            1 Thessalonians 1:6
So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.

SUFFERING
Suffering is a normal part of the Christian life.  I will suffer because I care for the lost.  I will suffer because I bring light into a dark world.  I am always striving to share the Gospel because I love people.  Lost people will often respond negatively to me, even when I struggle to serve them.  Saved people will sometimes respond negatively to me because they are human.  Suffering is real and it is normal.

2/19/04            Colossians 1:11
We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy,

HOLY SPIRIT
The Lord will be with you as you seek to grow.  The Holy Spirit will help you deal with the negative aspects of your life and the negative ways that people may choose to deal with you.  Jesus is Lord and He will equip you to lead an abundant life.

2/20/04            Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Protect them, so all who love your name may be filled with joy.

JESUS
On a tough day, during hard times, I turn to Jesus.  I spend time with Him.  I open the Word of God and let the Lord speak to my heart.  As I seek refuge in Christ I find joy which changes my emotions and refocuses my perspective.  I am reminded of whose I am and of where I am headed.  I am just a pilgrim representing the Lord here on earth.  Jesus is Lord.

2/21/04            Psalm 9:2
I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

JOY
Joy does not come from things or emotions.  It is the result of the activity of the Living Lord in our hearts.  When I spend time with the Lord and surrender my will to His the result is an abiding sense of the Father’s love and concern.  When I have the right perspective, Jesus as Lord, then I will have real joy in my life.

2/22/04            Psalm 16:11
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

JOY
I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sin and take control of my life.  When I did this I became a member of the family of God.  God loves me.  He will spend time with me.  I have a once and forever relationship with Jesus and will eternally be with Him.  That is real joy, knowing that the Lord loves me and holds me in the palm of His hand.

2/23/04            Psalm 19:8
The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight to life.

LIFE
My life belongs to Jesus.  All that I do and have belongs to Him.  I am valuable and my life is worthwhile because I belong to the Lord.  If I obey the Lord, live by His commandments and do the things that I can, I will have a successful life.  If I live my life focused on what I can’t do or don’t have, the evil one will always have control of me.  I will not have joy but instead will lead a life of desperation.  God loves me and obedience to the Lord will produce joy in my life.

2/24/04            Psalm 21:6
You have endowed him with eternal blessings. You have given him the joy of being in your presence.

JOY
Everything I have and all of my gifts and skills belong to the Lord.  What I don’t have and cannot do are not the things that control me.  My life belongs to Jesus.  Real life is disciplining what I can do and controlling what I have as a sacrifice to the Lord.  I can have the kind of relationship with the Lord that will enable me to have real joy in life.

2/25/04            Psalm 22:26
The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the LORD will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.

JOY
Jesus brings joy to any person’s life.  His joy is found in everyday situations.  Christ’s joy is not lost or found in things but in our relationship with Him.  In Jesus we are complete.  In Christ we find fulfillment.  We can rejoice in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

2/26/04            Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

HELP
When I am in trouble I call on the Lord.  If I am sad or discouraged I call upon the Lord.  Jesus is never too busy to help me.  Jesus is Lord and He is Lord of my life.  I can take every aspect of my life to Jesus and have full confidence that the Lord will hear me and help me.

2/27/04            Psalm 30:5
His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.

SIN
The Lord loves me and wants me to have an abundant life.  His activity in my life will sometimes cause me discomfort but the end result will be a closer walk with the Lord.  God hates sin but loves the sinner.  I must make sure that I am always confessed up and Christ focused.

2/28/04            Psalm 30:11
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,

POWER
I go to the Lord with my troubles and woes.  I plead with Him to help me even when I have caused my own problems.  When I discover that Jesus has responded in a way that I can understand I rejoice.  Seeing the Lord in the everyday things of my life underscores His love for me and the natural result is great joy.  Rejoice in the Lord, He loves you.

2/29/04            Psalm 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.

CARE
Jesus cares for me.  He knows what I will face and how I will handle it and is always seeking to help me grow.  When I face defeat or commit the same sin the 1,000 time Jesus still listens to me as I confess my sin and seek His help.  What a Savior.  He really cares for me.  Jesus loves 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.