Today's Good News

February 2005

2/01   Eph 1:1-2
This letter is from Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.  It is written to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. 2 May grace and peace be yours, sent to you from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

PEACE
Today, peace is a rare commodity.  One of the things so many people face is the chaos of the world that robs their peace.  In Jesus we can claim peace.  We know who we belong to, how He feels towards us and how we are going to wind up.

 

2/02   Ephesians 1:3
How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ.

JESUS
Jesus is God’s everything.  We start with Jesus and we will wind up standing face to face with Christ in Glory.  The Lord is good and Jesus equips and enables you and me to live a Godly life.

 

2/03   Galatians 1:3-5
May grace and peace be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. He died for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.  That is why all glory belongs to God through all the ages of eternity. Amen.

PEACE
Peace is an important commodity.  Life wants to run away from us.  The Lord is in control and will not let our life get away from us.  As we face the reality of our life this is a truth we can live by, the Lord will not let us be destroyed.  Jesus gives us peace.

 

2/04   Galatians 2:19-20
For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ.  I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

FAITH
We seek to serve the Lord and be like Jesus.  Sometimes we fall short.  We don’t do it on purpose but we are simply human.  Our humanity pulls on us everyday.  Jesus knows this and will equip us to follow Him.  The Lord will not turn His back on us.  Therefore, I can have faith that the Lord will be faithful.

 

2/05   Galatians 2:21
I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.

SALVATION
Salvation is a work of grace that the Lord has done so that you and I might have the opportunity to be saved.  It is a gift of God.  We can accept that gift and live our lives with the full confidence that what the Lord gives He will not take away.

 

2/06   Galatians 3:6
In the same way, “Abraham believed God, so God declared him righteous because of his faith.”

FAITH
Faith is based on trust.  We can trust the Lord to do what He says.  Our faith is reflected by our actions.  The more we act like Jesus the greater our faith in the Lord.

 

2/07   Galatians 3:9
And so it is: All who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.

FAITH
We believe and we receive.  It is a simple truth from the Word of God.  What the Lord says we internalize and live our lives based upon it.  The Lord is God and He is worthy of our faithful living.

 

2/08   Galatians 3:13-14
But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Through the work of Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, and we Christians receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.

FORGIVENESS

The Father has done for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  Jesus has paid the price for our sin and we are now at peace with God.  The Lord lives in each one of us that asks Him into our heart.

 

2/09   Galatians 3:22
But the Scriptures have declared that we are all prisoners of sin, so the only way to receive God’s promise is to believe in Jesus Christ.

SIN
Sin is real and really is evil.  It is aggressively seeking to condemn man to eternal separation from the Father.  Jesus brings us into the family of God and cleanses us from our sin.

 

2/10   Galatians 3:26-27
So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him.

CHRIST-LIKENESS
We come to the Father through Jesus.  We do not have to worry about whether we are becoming like Jesus or not because the Father shapes us into the image of Jesus when we come into His family.  It is a gift of God and is the result of our daily following Christ.

 

2/11   Galatians 4:4-5
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.  God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

SALVATION
Jesus dying on the cross was not a plan B in the Lord’s creation process.  Before anything began, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost knew that for man to be saved Jesus would have to pay the price for man’s sin.  Yes this is a complex idea.  I cannot explain it beyond what John tells us in his account but I do believe and appropriate this gift for me into my life.  Jesus died that each one of us might have an opportunity to receive His free gift of life.

 

2/12   Galatians 4:6-7
And because you Gentiles have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father.   Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.  And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you.

FAMILY
You and I are part of the family of God when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.  It is a work that Christ has done and is an amazing thing.  The Lord loves us so much that He wants us to be in His family.

 

2/13   Galatians 5:1
So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

FREEDOM
Freedom is a gift.  When I accept that gift I am no longer in bondage to sin.  I can by the power of God in me refuse to be bound by sin any longer.  Freedom is a gift.  Sin is a choice.

 

2/14   Galatians 5:5
But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith.

WAITING
You may be impatient like I am.  The unknown, will it be ten minutes or ten days, is always a frustration for me.  One of the Christian’s basic responsibilities is to learn to wait on Jesus.  The Lord knows the future better than we know the past and is working things out for our best good.  Wait on the Lord.

 

2/15   Galatians 5:13-14
For you have been called to live in freedom – not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.   For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

LOVE
Love requires us to act like Jesus.  We represent the Lord here on earth.  We must learn to discipline ourselves and serve others whether we like them or not.

 

2/16   Galatians 5:16-17
So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.

CHOICES
We always have choices.  Spiritual growth is evident when we learn to make right choices.  Do the next right thing.  Then you will be acting like Jesus.

 

2/17   Galatians 5:19-21
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

SIN
We cannot excuse sin.  When we act like the devil we are not serving the Lord.  We must submit ourselves to Jesus, discipline our daily actions and change from the way we used to do things before we were a child of God.

 

2/18   Galatians 5:22-24
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.

CHANGED
When we become a child of God we are changed.  We see life differently.  We have learned to review our actions with the Lord.  We ask for wisdom, mercy and grace to meet each day.  We no longer have a void in our lives because we are filled with Jesus.

 

2/19   Galatians 5:25-26
If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.  Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.

SERVICE
We are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are not CEO’s nor are we in charge.  We follow Christ, forgive others and stop seeking to have our way.  We live our lives as a devoted servant.

 

2/20   Galatians 6:2
Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

PROBLEMS
Everyone has problems.  You or I may have few problems this moment but just wait because problems will find us.  Listen to others as they share their problems and remember that but for the grace of God there go you.  Be kind and of gentle spirit as you help others work through their problems and you will receive the help you need when problems swamp your life.

 

2/21   Galatians 6:4-5
Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.  For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

WORK
Work is honorable.  Each one of us has important responsibilities in God’s economy.  Do your work as unto the Lord.  Remember who you represent.  Don’t forget how important you are and how important those around you are.  Do the next right thing.

 

2/22   Galatians 6:7
Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!

REWARDS
We live with a clouded vision that is obscured by time and place.  We will not escape God’s judgment if we live wasted lives.  Do what you can.  Do it well.  Be kind and forgiving.  Pray for others.  Right actions result in good crops in life and in the life to come.

 

2/23   Galatians 6:8
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

LIFE
Life is a treasure.  Each one of us can approach that treasure with the full knowledge that the Lord will see us through whatever we face.  The presence of Jesus brings value and worth to any life.  Jesus reaches through the limitations of time and equips us to see the value of this life and eternal life to come.

 

2/24   Galatians 6:9-10
So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.  Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters.

ACTIONS
Our actions should be controlled by Jesus.  We are His hands and feet.  Additionally, we should speak only those things that honor and glorify Him.  Doing good and being good require that I am in a growing relationship with Jesus and that the Lord is in control of my life.

 

2/25   Galatians 6:18
My dear brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

GRACE
I need grace.  Life is just too complex and my humanity is too adamant for me to ignore my need for grace.  The Lord giving me what I need and cannot earn is a significant blessing and a reason for joy each day.

 

2/26   Col 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

PRAYER
Prayer is work.  The spiritual forces of evil line themselves up and come against anyone that is devoted to prayer.  Prayer wears us out and puts many otherwise devoted Christians to sleep.  I must be earnest and passionate in my prayer.  I must discipline myself to pray every day.

 

2/27   Col 4:5
Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity.

EVANGELISM
People are more interested in our caring for them than they are in knowing what we care about.  When we love the lost and help them in their every day life, they will listen to us tell them about what the Lord has done for us and can do for them.

 

2/28   Ephesians 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.

CHOSEN
The Lord has chosen you and me to be in His family.  It is our responsibility to decide if we will accept the Father’s offer.  Jesus died for our sin and lives today so that we might be saved.  When we accept the Lord’s offer of life in Christ we are saved by God’s precious grace.

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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.