Today's Good News

May 2007

May 1         I Thessalonians 1:1
This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. It is written to the church in Thessalonica, you who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  May his grace and peace be yours.

GRACE
We have favor with God.  He cares for us.  He is focused on each one of us individually.  It is critical for us to understand that grace is a gift from God and is a significant part of our relationship with God.  His grace is a part of our uniqueness.  We are individually made for a relationship with God and His grace is a key enabler for us to have that moment by moment walk with Him.  Jesus gives us access to the Father, He died for us and paid the price for our sin.  God’s grace is always offering us a growing closeness with the Father.  May God’s grace be with you this moment.

 

May 2         I Thessalonians 1:2
We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.

VALUE
We are valuable and useful.  All of us are important in the Lord’s eyes and it is important that we begin to see others as Jesus sees them.  That person you have a hard time getting along with is worthy in Christ.  The person that wronged you is worthy in Christ.  Your enemy is worthy in Christ.  Each one of us in Christ deserves recognition for our value therefore you and I are charged with the responsibility to treat others as we would treat ourselves.

 

May 3         I Thessalonians 1:3
As we talk to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and your continual anticipation of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

RETURN
Jesus is coming back.  The predominant idea in early Christianity was the realization that Jesus was coming back.  Time is irrelevant to the Lord.  His charge to you and me is that we be ready.  Christianity is always a now activity.  Spend time with Jesus now so that you will grow in Christ likeness now.

 

May 4         I Thessalonians 1:4
We know that God loves you, dear brothers and sisters, and that he chose you to be his own people.

CHOICE
We each have a choice.  We can choose to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior or we can deny Him.  Do not ever believe anyone that says you cannot choose Jesus.  He died that all might be saved.  Every one of us can choose.  Choose Jesus today and He will not turn you away.

 

May 5         I Thessalonians 1:5
For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know that the way we lived among you was further proof of the truth of our message.

REAL
The world is a tough place.  Things often seem unfair and in fact they are.  Jesus makes our life different.  He gives us eternal life and friendship with God.  Jesus takes the difficulties and hardships that we face and enables us to survive and thrive.  The wisdom, mercy, power and grace that we need to survive equip us to turn those difficulties and hardships into opportunities for growth, strength, service and an abundant life.  Real Christianity is based upon our relationship with Jesus.  Life is a gift and Jesus is the gift giver.

 

May 6         I 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.

JOY
Joy in the Lord is a gift that we accept.  His joy is eternal, unilateral and totally beyond the things of this world.  When His joy is accepted by us it becomes our joy.  Ask Jesus to give you His joy in everything you do.

 

May 7         I Thessalonians 1:7
As a result, you yourselves became an example to all the Christians in Greece.

EXAMPLE
Jesus is our example and we live as He lived before a watching world.  Our testimony is what we say and what we do.  Love is what differentiates us.  When we love others like Jesus loves us everything in our life will change.

 

May 8         I Thessalonians 1:8-9
And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Greece, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they themselves keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the true and living God.

SERVICE
Jesus loves you and me.  He calls us to lead a Godly life.  We talk about what Jesus is doing in our life and do for others as Jesus Himself would do.  Talk the talk, walk the walk and you will be a world changer where ever you are.

 

May 9         I Thessalonians 1:10
And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.

LIFE
We don’t think much about judgment.  The world totally ignores the implications of eternity.  New life in Christ begins now and takes us into eternity.  When we believe in Jesus we have accepted God’s way of dealing with our sin.

 

May 10       I Thessalonians 2:1-2
You yourselves know, dear brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not a failure.  You know how badly we had been treated at Philippi just before we came to you and how much we suffered there. Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, even though we were surrounded by many who opposed us.

COURAGE
Living a Christian life takes courage.  It takes courage to do the next right thing.  It takes courage to live openly as a committed Christian.  Sometimes we look at the stories of great Christian leaders past and present and wish that we could be that way.  If you believe in Jesus and live a committed Christian life you are that way!  Jesus is Lord.

 

May 11       I Thessalonians 2:3
So you can see that we were not preaching with any deceit or impure purposes or trickery.

TRICKERY
Today we can think of several big name ministers that were using trickery to build their kingdom.  Paul calls us to be plain spoken and to live a pure life.  When we follow Jesus and submit ourselves to Him we will never fall into the group that uses trickery to proclaim Jesus.  Today the Lord has you on His mind.  Strive to make sure He is on your mind.

 

May 12       I Thessalonians 2:4
For we speak as messengers who have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He is the one who examines the motives of our hearts.

MOTIVES
Sometimes people will accuse you of being deceitful.  Make sure that as you live your life in Christ that you are proclaiming the Gospel.  If you will listen to Jesus and do what He says you will never go wrong.

 

May 13       I Thessalonians 2:5
Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you very well know. And God is our witness that we were not just pretending to be your friends so you would give us money!

FOCUS
Our life must be focused on Jesus.  If we are living with one foot in the spiritual realm and one foot in the world we will ultimately fail.  Worry will draw us off course.  Greed will upend our ministry.  Ego will bring us down.  Daily we need to get with Jesus and tell him our problems and trust Him with the solution.  Jesus will never fail.

 

May 14       I Thessalonians 2:6
As for praise, we have never asked for it from you or anyone else.

PRAISE
Praise is detrimental to spiritual growth.  Praise if not given to Jesus will cause us to do things that are not right for a follower of the Lord Jesus to do.  We are to praise Him.  We are His servants.  We give Him all praise, honor, and glory.

 

May 15       I Thessalonians 2:7
As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but we were as gentle among you as a mother feeding and caring for her own children.

LIFESTYLE
Jesus calls us to be His servants.  We do not claim our rights because we have lain them aside to serve.  We trust Jesus for everything.  We follow Him in all things.  We begin each day with Him so that we will let Him have first place in our hearts.  I serve you Lord and never myself.  Today I claim my right to serve and willingly bend my knee before the Father and those He has sent me to serve.

 

May 16       I Thessalonians 2:8
We loved you so much that we gave you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.

GIFT
My life is valuable and I willingly give it to the Lord Jesus.  My life is ever changing because I am surrendered to the Lord.  I will become closer to the Lord as I serve and out of my service I will develop an understanding of the value of those around me.  People count with Jesus and with me.

 

May 17       I Thessalonians 2:9
Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that our expenses would not be a burden to anyone there as we preached God’s Good News among you.

WEALTH
My service to others is a way that I can learn about wealth.  Anything I have that I cannot give away controls me.  When I toil for the Gospel I am toiling for the Lord.  When I sacrifice for the Gospel I am sacrificing for others.  Getting out the Good News is part of my acceptable service.

 

May 18       I Thessalonians 2:10
You yourselves are our witnesses and so is God that we were pure and honest and faultless toward all of you believers.

REVERENCE
We are to deal with life with reverence.  The course of our life is so important and valuable.  So many need to hear what we have to say.  Our life and our actions are always on trial.  A watching world needs to have no accusation of our purity and honesty.  We are living before the Lord and a lost world.  Be attentive to what you say and do.

 

May 19       I Thessalonians 2:11-12
And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children.  We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy.  For he called you into his Kingdom to share his glory.

LIFE
When we come into the Family of God we are given eternal life.  It begins right now and lasts forever.  We are on mission for Christ in this world and we will only be able to accomplish that mission in this life.  Every moment of every day we are to be about the Lord’s work.

 

May 20       I Thessalonians 2:13
And we will never stop thanking God that when we preached his message to you, you didn’t think of the words we spoke as being just our own. You accepted what we said as the very word of God which, of course, it was. And this word continues to work in you who believe.

PRAISE
All honor and glory and praise are due the Lord Jesus.  He is partnering with us in this life.  Claim his strength and do all that you do for His honor and glory and praise.

 

May 21       I Thessalonians 2:14
And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God’s churches in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the Jews.

SUFFERING
Suffering is a part of the normal Christian life.  We suffer for living and proclaiming Jesus as Lord.  Denying self is a part of our suffering.  Bending the knee in service is another part of our suffering.  The world proclaims our rights we willingly give up our rights.  Do not fear Jesus is always here.  As you live today live a life of commitment and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will encourage you and heal you.

 

May 22       I Thessalonians 2:15-16
For some of the Jews had killed their own prophets, and some even killed the Lord Jesus.  Now they have persecuted us and driven us out. They displease God and oppose everyone by trying to keep us from preaching the Good News to the Gentiles, for fear some might be saved. By doing this, they continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with them at last.

PROCLAMATION
Do people know that you are a Christian?  They should.  Are you bringing honor and praise and glory to God by the way you live?  You should.  When we are not living for the Lord we are living for the Evil One.

 

May 23       I Thessalonians 2:17-20
Dear brothers and sisters, after we were separated from you for a little while (though our hearts never left you), we tried very hard to come back because of our intense longing to see you again.  We wanted very much to come, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us.  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.  For you are our pride and joy.

STRUGGLE
Each one of us will face difficult struggles as we seek to serve the Lord.  Struggle is also a part of the normal Christian life.  A Christian life will be a life of joy.  Joy in knowing the Lord.  Joy in service to the Lord.  Joy in experiencing the growth and development of fellow believers.  Joy is a gift from the Father and we can have it in any situation.

 

May 24       I Thessalonians 3:1-3
Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided that I should stay alone in Athens, and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our co-worker for God and our brother in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from becoming disturbed by the troubles you were going through. But, of course, you know that such troubles are going to happen to us Christians.

TROUBLES
Trouble will come.  You will need strengthening.  Teach your heart to recognize trouble and when it comes go immediately to God’s Word.  His Word will give you the wisdom you will need to face that trouble and the strength to get whatever help you need.

 

May 25       I Thessalonians 3:4-5
Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come and they did, as you well know.  That is why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the Tempter had gotten the best of you and that all our work had been useless.

FAITH
Our faith is fashioned in the fires of difficulty and trouble.  When overwhelmed, rejoice for the Lord’s victory in your particular situation is going to strengthen you.  When you work through that fire you will discover that you will be equipped to help someone else go through a fire similar to yours.  Faith is shaped on the spiritual battlefield.

 

May 26       I 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.

REJOICE
We can rejoice with others when they have experienced a time of trial.  We can rejoice as we go through trials.  As long as Jesus is the focus of our life we will survive and thrive.  And one day we will rejoice together with Him in Heaven.

 

May 27       I Thessalonians 3:7
So we have been greatly comforted, dear brothers and sisters, in all of our own crushing troubles and suffering, because you have remained strong in your faith.

STRENGTH
We are encouraged by others as they work out their faith with fear and trembling.  It encourages us because we may have experienced the same thing and know what the outcome will be.  It may encourage us because we haven’t gotten there yet and know that when we do we will come through victorious as friends have.  The common experience of all Christians is the intervention of the Lord Jesus in the impossible situations of our life so that we will experience victory.  Jesus is Lord.

 

May 28       I Thessalonians 3:8
It gives us new life, knowing you remain strong in the Lord.

ISOLATION
Isolation is a tool used by the deceiver.  Be in church.  Be with other Christians.  Share your faith and experiences.  Listen as others share their faith and experiences.  But for the grace of God there goes each one of us.  Claim His grace and mercy, build strong friendships and serve others.  Relationships encourage our growth and strength.

 

May 29       I Thessalonians 3:9
How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy in the presence of God.

ENCOURAGEMENT
Share a kind word with everyone you meet.  Recognize the value of each person you meet and you will be amazed at how valuable you become.  We never know the importance of a kind word.  Sometimes those we encourage are on their last leg.  We also do not realize the boost that encouraging others gives to us.  Together we stand.  Divided we are an easy target.  Serve Jesus by caring for the saints.

 

May 30       I Thessalonians 3:10
Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill up anything that may still be missing in your faith.

ENCOURAGEMENT
People need people.  We need to pray for one another.  We need to work together with others.  We need to learn patience and kindness.  Be gentle.  Be confident in failure and humble in victory.  Jesus is Lord.

 

May 31       I Thessalonians 3:11-13
May God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus make it possible for us to come to you very soon.  And may the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else, just as our love overflows toward you.  As a result, Christ will make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy when you stand before God our Father on that day when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who belong to him.

RETURN
Jesus will return.  He is coming back.  Do not fear.  Ask for joy and peace.  Pray for the saints and serve with confidence.  The victory is won.  We belong to Jesus.

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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.