Today's Good News

July 2004

7/1/04    Joshua 24:14-15
“So honor the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone. But if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”

RELATIONSHIP
I must know the Lord by knowledge and experience. Knowing about Jesus doesn’t give me spiritual strength. Knowing Him in a personal and real way gives me the spiritual strength that I will need to serve Him today.
7/2/04    Judges 2:10
After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.

RELATIONSHIP
In America today too many people know about Jesus but do not know Him as their Lord. Abortion and sexual immorality cannot coexist with spiritual maturity. I need to make sure that my life reflects His control of me and that I am constantly telling others about Jesus.

7/3/04 Jeremiah 31:29
“The people will no longer quote this proverb: ‘The parents eat sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste.’

RELATIONSHIP
Political Christianity does nothing to impart spiritual strength. People who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be doomed to lives of spiritual poverty. I know Jesus. I must do all I can for my children to hear about Christ and have an opportunity to accept Jesus. Everyone needs Jesus.

7/4/04    Revelation 3:20
“Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.

RELATIONSHIP
No person has to be lost. For each person it simply requires conviction, repentance, acceptance and faith for salvation in the Lord Jesus. Four steps to eternity. These four steps are the same for every person. Jesus is the only way to the Father.

7/5/04    Deuteronomy 4:36
“ Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire.

RELATIONSHIP
People lead lives that are filled with fear. They are afraid of failure, rejection, their past, their future, pain, sickness and on and on. The truth is that many of the things we fear never come true. When we see Jesus, His presence will end our fears. The Lord Jesus will give us the courage we need to live an abundant life.
7/6/04    Mark 9:24
The father instantly replied, “I do believe, but help me not to doubt!”

RELATIONSHIP
We want to believe. We want to grow. What is in our way? We forget that Jesus is alive and lives in our hearts. We must call on Him to come and lead, guide and direct us. It is in the living presence of Christ that I can find the full resources of the Lord. I can trust the Lord.

7/7/04    1Kings 12:11
‘Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’ “

DISCIPLINE
Discipline is like life. We must start where we are and develop a lifestyle of discipline. Talk is always easier than performance. Solomon’s son refused to listen to the advice of the elders. Pampered, spoiled people always think they have more complete knowledge than they really have. Start today where you are and begin your journey toward a lifestyle of holiness.

7/8/04    Job 5:17
“Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.

DISCIPLINE
Salvation through Jesus Christ gives us a personal relationship with the Lord. He is our father and He knows what is best for us. When we get off course the Father will put us back on course. He knows what we need to accomplish that.

7/9/04    1 Timothy 6:11
But you, Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
RELATIONSHIP
You and I are called to live as children of God. When we spend time in the Word of God and hide the Word in our heart we will be better equipped to recognize and deal with sin in our lives. If you find yourself at the mercy of some old sinful habit, get before the Lord with the Word of God and ask Jesus to help you grow and change. Then get up and do the next right thing.

7/10/04    1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight for what we believe. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.
DISCIPLINE
When we know what to do we can put that to work in our daily lives. We control our hands and mouth and feet. The Word of God administered by the indwelling Spirit of God will cleanse and guide our hearts. If the heart is wrong our actions will simply reflect it.
7/11/04    Psalm 50:17
“For you hate discipline, And you cast My words behind you.

DISCIPLINE
We serve the Lord. Too many want to control their relationship with the Lord and either have the Lord serve their interests or at worst be equally in charge. We cannot see the future. We know so very little. A Christ like life acknowledges the Lord’s control, submits to His guidance and functions within the parameters of one who is a servant. We serve the Lord.

7/12/04    Proverbs 3:11
My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof,
DISCIPLINE
A Christian must learn to listen to the Father. When we listen we never get off course. Yes we will suffer the slings and arrows of fate but we will not be defeated nor will we go down the wrong road in life. The sooner we hear what the Lord is telling us to do and then do it the sooner the chaos in our lives will stop.

7/13/04    Proverbs 6:23
For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life

DISCIPLINE
When we walk with the Lord we will be walking in the light. Our hearts will not fool us nor will our feet get us on the wrong path. If you find yourself in the wrong place doing wrong things stop where you are and turn to the Lord. Read His Word, ask His advice and do what the Lord says. You will find that the return will be quick and your soul will rejoice.

7/14/04    Revelation 3:18
I advise you to buy gold from me – gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. And also buy white garments so you will not be shamed by your nakedness. And buy ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.

RELATIONSHIP
The Lord wants to make us rich in a Godly lifestyle. We can have His peace, comfort, presence and power. When we lean on Him, seek to know Him and surrender our will to His we will have these things. A Christian life is a life that is filled with and directed by the Lord Jesus Christ.

7/15/04 Proverbs 12:1
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.

DISCIPLINE
Pride separates us from the Lord. None of us ever know enough to be beyond correction. I must humble myself and maintain a teachable attitude. If I do this I will grow in my ability to serve the Lord Jesus and my ability to care for others. A willing spirit and humble heart are two elements of spiritual growth.

7/16/04 Proverbs 13:1
A wise son {accepts his} father’s discipline, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

TEACHABLE
A know it all knows nothing. The tragedy of life is to think that you can do what you like and not suffer the consequences. My prayer is that the Lord will help me to listen to those He sends my way. A good friend will tell you when you are messing up. Listen and accept good advice. We were created to work together. Isolation leaves us open to the great deceiver.

7/17/04 Proverbs 13:18
Poverty and shame {will come} to him who neglects discipline, But he who regards reproof will be honored.

PRIDE
Pride is a destructive task master. It blinds ones eyes to the truth and causes spiritual blindness. Be careful how you live. Pay attention to what your friends say. Pride slips in so quietly and strikes so quickly that many good people are led astray. Many otherwise good works have been destroyed by pride. Sin always gets the upper hand in the life of a person filled with pride.

7/18/04 Proverbs 15:5
A fool rejects his father’s discipline, But he who regards reproof is sensible.

WISDOM
It is right to listen to the advice and counsel of wise friends. It is especially important to learn to listen to the Father. The Lord is quick to show us the right way and always has our best interest at heart. Remember we are servants who are about our master’s business.

7/19/04 1 Corinthians 9:27
but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

DISCIPLINE
Spiritual discipline applies to everyone. If the Lord has given you a special gift, it comes with additional responsibilities. We are always servants. A highly prized and recognized gift requires that we spend even more time disciplining our lives and our lifestyles. Each one of us is responsible for the way we live.
7/20/04 1 Timothy 4:7
But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

DISCIPLINE
Life will try to sidetrack you as you serve the Lord. Daily we are to get before the Father for guidance and instruction. When we do not spend time with the Father we quickly fall into various traps. Sin is a deceiver. Be careful how you live each day.

7/21/04 Philippians 4:11-13
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

DISCIPLINE
Each one of us is responsible to make right choices. If we look at what we don’t have we will often give the enemy an opportunity to accuse us of failure or worthlessness or any other deprecating value that he can hurl. Remember, you are beloved of the Lord. Your relationship with the Father is based on the work Jesus did. Christ commends us to the Father not our accomplishments.

7/22/04 1 Timothy 4:8
for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

DISCIPLINE
Spend time with the Lord. Spend time with Jesus everyday. The better you get to know Jesus the more equipped you will be to deal with your life. All spiritual power in the life of a Christian comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.

7/23/04 2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

DISCIPLINE
When Jesus is in control of our life we are able to discipline our lives. Too many Christians are hanging on to hidden sin in their lives and Jesus is not in control. Sin destroys our spiritual power and as long as we continue in sin we will have absolutely no power. Give the hidden sin in your life to Christ. He will forgive your sin and clean up your life.

7/24/04 Hebrews 12:5
and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him;

DISCIPLINE
The Lord will discipline His children. There is only so far that you can go from the Father before He responds with a disciplining hand. His discipline is designed to wake you up and call you out of your sin. Respond in repentance when the Father disciplines. If you do you will walk in victory.

7/25/04 Hebrews 12:7-8
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?   But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

DISCIPLINE
Sin is so prevalent in this world. No matter how hard we struggle we wind up sinning. The Father disciplines us so that we will not fall by the wayside. Rejoice in discipline. Let the Father’s discipline be a stepping stone for you to walk closer to Him.

7/26/04 Hebrews 12:11
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

DISCIPLINE
The agony of physical preparation in sports continues at every level of participation. You and I will agonize in our spiritual growth. Some days will be tougher than others. My joy is through the recognition of His presence and concern in the midst of the discipline process. The Lord is indeed with me.
7/27/04 Revelation 3:19
‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

DISCIPLINE
Discipline is the irrefutable proof of the Father’s concern for me. I feel His answers and experience His work in the physical realm. His presence takes me to His throne room where I bow before Him and ask for forgiveness and guidance. Wisdom, mercy and grace come from this audience with my Father. He loves me.

7/28/04 Isaiah 38:16
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You have restored my health and have allowed me to live!
RESTORATION
The Lord Jesus will not leave us to our own devices. In the midst of our wandering He will intervene. His love will work in us and on us to accomplish His desired goal. The Lord seeks to have a relationship with us and He is committed to outfitting us to spend time with Him.

7/29/04 1 John 3:15
Anyone who hates another Christian is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.
HATE
Hate is something the world does. It is a sin. It separates us from usefulness and will often require the intervention of the Lord Jesus to cure. If you discover that you hate someone immediately go to the Lord and confess your feelings. Ask the Lord to change your hate to forgiveness. He will.
7/30/04 1 Timothy 1:5
The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith.
LOVE
Love is something we do. It isn’t a thought or a warm fuzzy idea. Christ like love comes from a life that is devoted to Christ. When we are full of Jesus we will care for others the way that Jesus cares for us. Christ is our role model.

7/31/04 Colossians 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
PRAYER
Prayer takes time. Our personal interest will always seek to sidetrack us. Prayer will not happen without discipline and commitment. Everything will attempt to divert us from focused prayer. A lifestyle that includes devotion to prayer is what close friends of Jesus do.

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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.