Today's Good News

MAY 2011

05/01 Ephesians 4:1-2
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.  Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

Humility is difficult to balance.  We know that the Lord gives us all that we need.  Even when we are extremely successful we need to cultivate an awareness that God is in control and but for the grace of God failure could be our constant companion.  Our life is a gift.  We exercise that gift day by day as a child of God that is always aware of the Creator’s presence, priority and love.

05/02 Ephesians 4:3-4
Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace.  We are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future.

We are one in Christ.  He is the bonding agent.  Jesus created us and keeps us.  We have access to the Father through Him and in Him we have peace.  We can share our peace with each other in Christ.  Jesus loves you.

05/03 Ephesians 4:5-6
There is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and there is only one God and Father, who is over us all and in us all and living through us all.
God, Holy Spirit and Jesus are one.  We are always speaking to the totality of God.  Amazingly His love is total.  Everything we need for real life is found in Jesus Christ.  Trust Jesus.  Let Christ have your heart and mind so that He might equip you for active service day by day.

05/04 Ephesians 4:7-8
However, he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ.  That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.”
Christ gave to us His forgiveness.  It is covered by His grace and protected by His promise of eternal life.  Jesus has given us the His gift of family membership in God’s family.  We now belong to Him.  He is our and we are His.  Jesus is the Lord.

05/05 Ephesians 4:9
Notice that it says “he ascended.” This means that Christ first came down to the lowly world in which we live.
Jesus came into our world and lived the way we live.  He suffered and yet never disobeyed the Father.  Jesus came to show us that we could do it with His help.  Whatever we face we can do it with Jesus.  Whenever we hurt we can survive the pain with Christ.  Jesus is God’s everything.

05/06 Ephesians 4:10-11 
The same one who came down is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that his rule might fill the entire universe. He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.

The church is the Bride of Christ. Jesus gave us the church so that we might be equipped to fight the battle of daily life and to fulfill the Great Commission. Jesus Christ knows the things that we need and He has given us His church to help us bridge the gap from His hand to the individual in the local church. 

05/07 Ephesians 4:12-13 

Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ. 

We have everything we need for Christ like living in Jesus. When we come to the Lord we get it all in Christ. However, because we are so foolish and mere babes in Christ we are to approach the Christ life diligently so that just like a baby growing up we too will grow up in Christ. Be faithful for Jesus is Lord. 

05/08 Ephesians 4:14-15 

Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 

What will I be like? I have that choice. Will I surrender my life to Jesus and let Him live in me or will I seek to be strong person refusing to bend the knee to Jesus as I seek to grow in Christ. Too many people think that the strength must be something they summon up. The truth is that there is nothing in us that will enable us to lead a Christ like life. Only in surrender will one find the power of Christ to live and grow in Him. Speak to Jesus today and let Him do with you as He will.

05/09 Ephesians 4:16 

Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Jesus knows all about us and all about the future. When we are under His authority and control He is constantly leading us step by step in life. The Christ life is a life that is under the control of the Christ. Pray, ask and do in Jesus. He is worthy of all of our attention and resources. An easy check for us to know if we are under His control is to look at how we spend our money. If our money is spent totally on self we are under our own control. If it is spent, as Jesus would have us to spend it we are under His control.

05/10 Ephesians 4:17-18

With the Lord’s authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him.

We choose how we do what we do. Once we are new creatures in Christ and members of the family of God we must learn to change. The normal way we live is not the normal way we are called to live as children of God. Change is a constant. The way I am today is not the way that the Lord expects me to be tomorrow or next week or a year from now. I control my hands and feet therefore follow Jesus.

05/11 Ephesians 4:19-20 

They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed. But that isn’t what you were taught when you learned about Christ. 

We are taught to model the life of Christ. Therefore we have to know what kind of life that was. We discover the life of Christ in the Bible. Read God’s Word. Search for wisdom as it deals with your life. If you are searching the Word you will be searched by the Word and given marching instructions about life change.

05/12 Ephesians 4:21-22 
Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception.
Change is an act of the will whereby we renounce the old ways and accept the guidance of Jesus so that we can walk in the new ways. Christ is the center of our life or we are on our own in a scary world. Bend the knee to Jesus so that Christ can live in you.

05/13 Ephesians 4:23-24 
Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness — righteous, holy, and true.
When we come to Jesus He gives us a new heart and a new life. We choose to follow Jesus and we choose whether or not we will follow Him every day. Today, this moment, choose the right way and walk in it. Jesus WILL show you the right way but you have to choose to accept it and walk it. Be about the master’s work, do what Jesus says.

05/14 Ephesians 4:25

So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” because we belong to each other.
Quit telling lies. Consider the life you are living. Does the way you live life disappoint you? Do not fear. In Christ we have forgiveness, camaraderie and new life. Read God’s Word. Quit lying.

05/15 Ephesians 4:26-27 

And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.
We are called to lead a simple life. Turn you covetousness over to Jesus. Ask Him to search your soul and guide you to rid yourself of these character flaws. You are responsible for your actions including accepting Jesus.

05/16 Ephesians 4:28

If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need.
Christ in our life will change the way we act. We will stop living the way we were and live as Christ directs. Jesus is Lord and He will be Lord of our life if we will surrender our will to him.

05/17 Ephesians 4:29 

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
What we say and do will change when we come to Jesus. He will give us a new heart and a new mind. In Christ we will speak differently for we will be filled with him. Jesus is Lord.

05/18 Ephesians 4:30 

And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
When we come to Christ we are given a new heart and a new life. We are no longer in bondage to sin. We can change and we can do as the Lord dictates. The problem is that we are the only one that can perform the actions of a Godly life. No one can live it for us. Therefore we are called to live a new life in surrender to Jesus and do what He says day by day. Anything less than that will wind up causing us a great deal of spiritual struggle.

05/19 Ephesians 4:31-32 

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Am I willing to cut my ties with sin? This is a choice. I choose to do the next right thing. Only in Jesus do I have the freedom to refuse sin. It whispers in our ear, nudging us to do our own thing, calling into question God’s power and only when we refuse will sin release its hold on us.

5/20 Ephesians 5:1-2

Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.
Jesus knew us better than we know ourselves and went to the cross and died for us. His perfect life was the price required to take away our sin. He agonized for me and for you. He knew our pain and it was the only way to break the bonds that sin places on us. Jesus died for each one of us so that we might have life in Him.

5/21 Ephesians 5:3-4

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes — these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.
Morals count. Morality is significant. Today we want to control God and do our own thing. That is no different than in Biblical Times. The truth is that what we say and do counts and we don’t have the power to say how it counts. God’s standard of morality gives us the standards we are to live by.

5/22 Ephesians 5:5-6 

You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him.
Be careful what you excuse in your life. We can fool ourselves but we cannot fool God. There will be a day of accounting when we will give an account for our life. In that day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Jesus loves you.

5/23 Ephesians 5:7-9
Don’t participate in the things these people do. For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
Our hands and feet are no longer controlled by our emotions-the Lord is in control. We have an inner voice of the right path-Christ’s way. We automatically evaluate everything we do in the light of our Savior Jesus Christ. We know his way and we walk in it. By his strength we stand and go.

5/24 Ephesians 5:10-12
Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.
There is no secret. All that we do and say is before God. We now know this. Darkness is to be rebuked. Secret is to be disdained. We are His children and are called to walk and live in His light. Our life is an open book to the Lord. Make sure we realize this and always are aware that we hide nothing from the Lord.

5/25 Ephesians 5:13-14
But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are. And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
The life we lead is a choice. Will I live a life destined for failure and destruction following my own lead or will I surrender my life to Jesus and walk in the light? I can make the right choice if I will surrender my will to His will. Choose carefully. Your walk depends on it.

5/26 Ephesians 5:15-16
So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.
We can be foolish and live by our emotions. Jesus delivers us from slavery to sin and we can choose in His strength to train ourselves to do the next right thing. We want to be wise to activity of the evil one. We want our actions to bring honor and glory to the Lord. Be careful how you live and take time to let Jesus guide your actions.

5/27 Ephesians 5:17-19
Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts.
We choose to let the Lord control us. We need His indwelling to maintain our Godward attitude. The spiritual life is impossible without the indwelling guidance of the Lord. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we will be under God’s control.

5/28 Ephesians 5:20-24
And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.
Submission is a learned trait. I must choose to be in submission and it is an act of the will. It is part of the Christ life. Submission is important for my spiritual growth. Jesus is Lord and He will give us what we need for daily living.

5/29 Ephesians 5:25-27
And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.
The Church is the body of Christ. We come together as 1 and 1 that equals 3. We are in the body of Christ and are a part of what the Lord is doing in the world. He seeks to accomplish His purpose in the world through us. Victory is won on our knees in sacrifice and not through military conquering. Jesus is Lord.

5/30 Ephesians 5:28-30
In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. And we are his body.
Jesus Christ is all and in all. He is alive and He has chosen to promote and accomplish His work in the world through us. Surrender to Jesus and He will put you to work accomplishing His goals in this world. One day we will stand face to face before Him today we will stand with Him when we are serving.

5/31 Ephesians 5:31-33
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Love is an action. What we do for and towards others is how we show our love. Service, service, service is the perfect way for us to accomplish the mission that the Lord has given us. “If you love me,” Jesus said, “feed my sheep.”

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Clay Corvin

Clay Corvin is currently a Bible Teacher and occasional preacher at Bethel Community Baptist Church in New Orleans. He is the retired VP Business and Professor of Admin at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary after completing 38 years as their Business Administrator. 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. He ministers today as Co-pastor of the Bethel Community Baptist Church and seeks to share the Gospel with everyone. Jesus is Lord!