Today's Good News

July 2001

07/01/01 John 7:37-38
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me! If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within.”

A convicted serial killer asked me about this passage once. My response to him was that heartache and pain are part of life. Everybody hurts. Jesus heals our hurt. Christ never fails. Jesus is real.

07/02/01 Psalm 96:1
Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!

I grew up under a dark shadow of pain and heartache. I was lost and scrambling everywhere I turned. The financial future was great but my soul was distressed. Christ found me. Now I have a new song. Christ in me, my hope of Glory.

07/03/01 Psalm 102:1-2
Lord, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down your ear and answer me quickly when I call to you.

I feel this way when the world has turned upside down. My soul cries out for help. My heart aches for relief. In troubled times I’ve even gone to bed with this plea on my heart. God answered my prayer. I am not able to express in words the joy I’ve felt when the Lord answered my prayer. I am grateful Lord for your answers to my prayers.

07/04/01 Psalm 119:163
I hate and abhor all falsehood, but I love your law.

I am called to deny self and follow Jesus. Because I am human I often find myself criticizing other Christians. It is so easy for me to fall into the habit of condemning individuals to make myself feel better. I cannot hate the sinner but I must hate the sin. I love, God judges. I am to worship the one true God.

07/05/01 John 8:12
Jesus said to the people, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

I walked from the bedroom to the kitchen in the dark and hit my toe on a chair leg. It hurt. If I had turned on the light I would have seen the error of my travel. Jesus is the light that I need to deal with my daily life. If I will spend time with him I will get the light I need to keep from making an error in the way I deal with me life.

07/06/01 Psalm 127:1
Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.

I face significant life threatening challenges everyday of my life. You do too. If I focused on all the bad that might happen I would be a basket case. People in America are suffering from the fear of what could happen in life or their subconscious is overwhelmed by the fear of helplessness. My relationship with Jesus enables me to come to grips with the unknown and to reconcile the known.

07/07/01 Psalm 127:3
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

Our society faces spiritual warfare everyday. Satan is attacking us through our children. We have huge groups that are continuing to label children as unwanted liabilities. God’s Word says that children are an asset to be treasured.

07/08/01 John 9:1-3
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Teacher,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered.

I have a hard time dealing with some people. You know the kind that just get under your skin. One of my great disappointments is that I tend to rate people on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the kind of person that I best get along with and value the most. When a person approaches Jesus, he rates every single person as a 10.

07/09/01 Psalm 139:1
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.

I remind myself on a regular basis to take everything to Jesus. He knows all about me. My openness with the Lord evidences my surrender to Him. My openness with the Lord bears testimony to my heart that He is in control.

07/10/01 Psalm 144:3-4
O Lord, what are mortals that you should notice us, mere humans that you should care for us? For we are like a breath of air; our days are like a passing shadow.

I am a child of God. His love chose me. I accepted His choice. I am saved by His grace, a free gift available to all mankind. I am his.

07/11/01 Proverbs 1:7
Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Reverence for the Lord is a learned skill. The more I know Him the more awesome He is. The Holy Spirit convicts me when my approach to the Father is less than reverential. Life grinds me down and my responses to Him become human responses. His discipline helps me to regain my awe. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

07/12/01 Proverbs 12:1
To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.

I want to be right. I hate to be wrong. My problem is that I am human and therefore often wrong. My prayer is that I will bend the knee to God’s discipline and learn from His correcting hand.

07/13/01 Proverbs 17:1
A dry crust eaten in peace is better than a great feast with strife.

I grew up in a hostile environment. Peace was never present. My goal for my family was that we would have peace in our family. The way to have peace is for the Lord to be in control. He establishes control when I surrender all of my gifts and skills to Him. Peace is more than victory; sometimes peace is ushered in by defeat.

07/14/01 John 10:11
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

I am called to account for the way that I treat others. Those that cannot command fair treatment are the ones that will convict me if I have treated others badly. Widows and orphans need my help. I am not exempt because I’ve had a bad day or others have mistreated me, people in need are my responsibility.

07/15/01 Isaiah 1:2
Hear O heavens! Listen O earth! This is what the Lord says: “The children I raised and cared for have turned against me.

An image missing in our society is that of God patiently tending to the needs of his children. I must be careful as life hustles me down the road that I not forget that the Lord is with me.

07/16/01 Isaiah 1:10
Listen to the Lord, you leaders of Israel! Listen to the law of our God, people of Israel. You act just like the rulers and people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Ezekiel said that Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty because of their pride, abundant food and laziness and that they would not help the poor and helpless. I see the poor everywhere. I know so many helpless people. Help me Lord to care for the poor. Put me in a position to help the helpless. Let me not close my eyes to my own need for sensitivity to the people around me.

07/17/01 Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us argue this out,” says the Lord. “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.”

There is no way to explain the goodness of God. I am totally overwhelmed by this passage. In spite of my self-centered, prideful ways the Lord made restitution for me. He saved me. He cleans me up every day. God is so good.

07/18/01 Isaiah 3:10
But all will be well for those who are godly. Tell them, “You will receive a wonderful reward!”

I treasure this promise. As I walk through difficult days and disappointing experiences, I am reminded that my Father says, “all will be well.” That is a promise worth memorizing.

07/19/01 John 20:19
That evening, on the first day of the week, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace by with you,” he said.

A community of individuals attested to the resurrection of Jesus. To convey the devastation of death and the richness of life requires more than one individual. When I share with you the impact of the Word of God on my life and the experiences of my journey, the Holy Spirit bears testimony to His activity in your life. Christianity is not a Lone Ranger event. The Lord Jesus Christ birthed Christianity in community. It has survived in community. The church belongs to Jesus and we belong to him.

07/20/01 John 11:25
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else will live again.”

I worried for many years about my upbringing and all the things I wished I had or had not done. My skills or shortcomings don’t give or take away life. Jesus is life. If I make sure that I grow in Christ I experience life. If I have Jesus as my Lord and savior I have all the good that God planned for me.

07/21/01 Isaiah 6:1
In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the temple.

Isaiah’s vision of God changed him into a servant. I sometimes have wanted a vision so that I could become important in the eyes of others. God’s Word is very clear. When we get close to the Lord we become a servant and stop looking to be served.

07/22/01 Isaiah 8:6-8
“The people of Judah have rejected my gentle care and are rejoicing over what will happen to King Rezin and King Pekah. Therefore, the Lord will overwhelm them with a mighty flood from the Euphrates River-the king of Assyria and all his mighty armies.

I am the only person that can make a commitment for myself to the Lord. I asked Him to save me and He did. His love in Christ provides the grace for my salvation. I must always remember that those that reject Jesus are accepting the wrath of God. Rather than rejoice at what happens to those that reject Jesus I must pray for them. It is a horrible tragedy for a human being to experience the wrath of God. Lord help me to tell everyone about Jesus.

07/23/01 Isaiah 10:1-2
Destruction is certain for the unjust judges, for those who issue unfair laws. They deprive the poor, the widows, and the orphans of justice. Yes, they rob widows and fatherless children.

I am accountable to God for everything that I do. The homeless, widows and hurting children are my responsibility. Those that are mistreated need my help. I will pray. I will use my money. I will invest my time. I must do what I can do for the helpless.

07/24/01 Isaiah 11:10
In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard and the goat will be at peace. Calves and yearlings will be safe among lions, and a little child will lead them all.

Jesus is coming back. When he does, the helpless will be in charge. No longer will the strong rule, Christ will rule. He is God’s everything. Worthy is the lamb.

07/25/01 Isaiah 21:1
This message came to me concerning the land of Babylonia: Disaster is roaring down on you from the desert, like a whirlwind sweeping in from the Negev.

I find myself overwhelmed with remorse when I realize I have sinned. Before and during the sin I am often just casually going about life. But at the time of realization I always question why in the world didn’t I stop. The human condition is to always have a tendency to sin. The prophet of God warns me about my sin. The Word of God convicts me of my sin. Thank you Lord for taking care of me.

07/26/01 Isaiah 25:9
In that day the people will proclaim, “This is our God. We trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!”

I am a child of God, saved by grace. I wasn’t looking for the Lord when He found me. He changed my life dramatically. Now the plans I had are being realized. The things I do are important. My life has real, lasting value.

07/27/01 Isaiah 26:5-7
He humbles the proud and brings the arrogant city to the dust. Its walls come crashing down! The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot. But for those who are righteous, the path is not steep and rough. You are a God of justice, and you smooth out the road ahead of them.

I choose to live a righteous life. It’s not a perfect life. It’s not an easy life. But, when I choose to go God’s way, the Lord goes with me. Those He brings alongside evidence his presence. He sends family, friends, and mentors to help me along the way. When all else fails the Lord provides. I am special to the Lord.

07/28/01 Isaiah 30:10-11
They tell the prophets, “Shut up! We don’t want any more of your reports.” They say, “Don’t tell us the truth. Tell us nice things. Tell us lies. Forget all this gloom. We have heard more than enough about your ‘Holy One of Israel.’ We are tired of listening to what he has to say.”

The World hates God. It will not listen Him. The World will persecute those that follow the Lord. It despises the demands of the Lord. I have a choice. If I follow the World I will be at war with God. If I follow the Lord I will be persecuted by the World.

07/29/01 Isaiah 31:1
Destruction is certain for those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their cavalry and chariots instead of looking to the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.

I am a planned event. God created me and set me on a course to achieve His goals. He has a personal plan for me. I am not evaluated by the things I can’t do or the things I don’t have. The Lord evaluates me based on what I have and what I can do.

07/30/01 Isaiah 35:8-10
And a main road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-hearted people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. Lions will not lurk along its course, and there will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will follow it. Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return to Jerusalem, singing songs of everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be overcome with joy and gladness.

God doesn’t call me to Himself and then point the way. He tells me the way to walk. He teaches me the way to walk. He walks with me along the way. He leads me to Himself as my life closes. He receives me into Heaven when this life ends.

07/31/01 John 12:44-45
Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are really trusting God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me.”

Jesus is God. The Lord stepped into our world. If we want to know what God is like we can study the life and ministry of Jesus. God is like that. God is love.

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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.