Today's Good News

November 2003

11/1/03 1John 3:17
But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help – how can God’s love be in that person?

GIVING
Stinginess is evil and not acceptable in a Christian lifestyle. Each time we see someone come to the Lord the first thing they do is give. When we belong to Jesus we stop looking at our wealth as something to hoard and begin to see it as belonging to Jesus. If I am accountable for the resources that the Lord has let me use I will use those resources for His children.

11/2/03 Psalm 26:3
For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.

LOVE
God’s love nurtures me in my Christian lifestyle. His love will pull me away from sin. I will quickly confess my sin and seek forgiveness. His love provides for that forgiveness. The love of God is my constant companion. It enables me to be myself and still be in close relationship with the Lord. Jesus is God’s love and He lives in my heart.

11/3/03 Matthew 10:37
If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.

FIRST
God is first and only. There is no competition for Him. He is the Lord and there is no other. As I review my life and evaluate my options putting God first makes everything else fall into its proper place. A life focused on Jesus is a life that will be well lived.

11/4/03 2Peter 2:13
Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They revel in deceitfulness while they feast with you.

EVIL
Lost people always act like lost people. They may be powerful, beautiful and kind but if they are lost they are dead in their trespasses and sin. I must never accept the world’s declaration of what is right and what is wrong. I must obey the law but only Jesus can guide me in spiritual truth.

11/5/03 1John 3:18
Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.

ACTIONS
People count with God. My actions speak louder than my words. If I love someone I will help them. I will respect them. I will show them courtesy and respect. There is no place in the Christian faith for road rage or selfish indignation. If I love the Lord I will love people.

11/6/03 Psalm 33:5
He loves whatever is just and good, and his unfailing love fills the earth.

JESUS
Jesus is God. If I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior I will do what He says. When I obey Jesus and live my life under His control I will please God.

11/7/03 Matthew 19:19
Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

OBEDIENCE
If I have not surrendered my life to Jesus I am lost. I do not have a relationship with the Father and am dead in my trespasses and sin. I need Jesus. Christ has paid the price for my failure which is called sin. If I love Jesus and have turned my life over to Him I will have a relationship with the Lord.

11/8/03 Matthew 22:37
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’

LOVE
Love is a positive response. I am to do all that I can to love and serve Jesus. I can trust God with all that I cannot do. By loving the Lord and living the way Jesus says I will become more like Christ. Life happens but a Christian lifestyle must be planned. Jesus will guide me to live the right way.

11/9/03 Mark 10:21
Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him. “You lack only one thing,” he told him. “Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

POSSESSIONS
This passage is not praising poverty it is requiring that we put God first. What does your money mean to you? Is your money a barrier to serving the Lord? Is your money your servant or your master? Whatever stands between you and the Lord must be removed. God is first and there is no other.

11/10/03 Psalm 31:16
Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, save me.

LOVE
I need love. I need love that holds me accountable but cleans me up when I stray. I need love that calls me back to the right way when I purposely walk the wrong way. God’s love is eternal and powerful and able to keep me in His family. I am grateful for the love that Jesus has birthed in my heart and developed in my life.

11/11/03 1 Peter 2:20
For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

ENDURANCE
The trials of the moment are difficult to endure. If I will remember who I am serving and what the Lord is trying to accomplish with me I will be able to endure. Endurance is the classroom where I build my love and confidence in the Lord.

11/12/03 Psalm 25:7
Forgive the rebellious sins of my youth; look instead through the eyes of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD.

SIN
Sin is a constant struggle. I will never outgrow my need for Jesus to deal with and forgive my sin. When I find myself feeling smug and self-righteous I know it is time to get back on my knees before the Lord. I am a great sinner. The closer I get to Jesus the more clearly I see my sin.

11/13/03 Matthew 23:6
And how they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the most prominent seats in the synagogue!

SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS
Evil has a way of deceiving even good people. Evil suggests that God is sometimes in error or forgetful or weak or many other things. Evil slowly but surely if left unchecked encourages me to step up to the next spiritual level influencing me to stand in judgment over God’s people. Evil fools me into thinking that I am good and worthy of adulation and respect. It births a pride in me that blinds me to my own foolishness and sin. Jesus forgives sin and gives wisdom to the foolish.

11/14/03 Mark 12:30-31
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

LOVE
God is love. Everything about God radiates His love. I must love God. When I love God, I will love His creation. I cannot see God. I can see my brother. My love for God is expressed by the way I treat His creation.

11/15/03 Psalm 25:10
The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all those who keep his covenant and obey his decrees.

LOVE
Christ’s love will not cease. Through all of the days of my life and into eternity Jesus loves me. His love will enable and equip me to live my life. Christ will deal with my sinfulness, loneliness, failure, success and any other aspect of my life. I can count on the Lord.

11/16/03 Psalm 32:10
Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the LORD.

LOVE
I will never live outside of the love of Jesus. I asked Him into my heart and I belong to Him. Jesus is aggressively active in my life seeking my best good. I sense and see His interest and concern for me many times each day.

11/17/03 1John 2:15
Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you.

ACTIONS
I am a traveler just passing through. This world is not my home. I am on a journey to the Master’s throne. I am responsible for the things that I take on this journey. I am responsible for what I plan and practice as I journey towards a face to face meeting with Jesus. The Lord is my father and I am going to see Him.

11/18/03 Luke 6:35
“Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked.

LOVE
Love is an action. It is what I do with and for people. I cannot fall into the habit of dividing people into groups that I like and groups that I dislike. This is a sin. I am wrong when I do this. My action must be to ask the Lord to change me so that I can see people the way the He sees them.

11/19/03 Mark 12:33
And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbors as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

OBEDIENCE
God loves obedience. When I am obedient I grow in my relationship with the Lord. Christ directs, equips, enables and empowers me to become more obedient. I become obedient by spending time with Jesus and doing what He says.

11/20/03 1John 2:5
But those who obey God’s word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him.

LIFESTYLE
The Christian life is simple. If I spend time with Jesus and do what He says I am living a Christian life. If I devote all my time to worldly pursuits, no matter how good, I will obey and follow the world. This is not complicated. Christians act like Christ.

11/21/03 Psalm 40:11
LORD, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. My only hope is in your unfailing love and faithfulness.

LIFESTYLE
It is okay for me to talk with Jesus about everything happening in my life. I don’t do this to manipulate the Lord. I talk with Jesus about everything so that I am open to hearing from Him about anything. The more time I spend with Jesus the more I will act like Christ.

11/22/03 Psalm 31:23
Love the LORD, all you faithful ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes all who are arrogant.

LIFESTYLE
Trust is an action. When I trust the Lord I will change the way I act. In the midst of chaos I will have peace. At the point of failure I will see victory. My life will belong to the Lord and my ego will be placed in His hands. Trust in the Lord shapes me so that I will live like Jesus.

11/23/03 1John 3:14
If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to eternal life. But a person who has no love is still dead.

LOVE
Christianity is a commitment of the heart. It is not just an outward compliance to a set of dos and don’ts. My faith creates selflessness and sensitivity to the needs of those around us. The way I feel towards people is the evidence of my faith.

11/24/03 Psalm 26:8
I love your sanctuary, LORD, the place where your glory shines.

CONFIDENCE
Praise, worship and fellowship are critical for my spiritual growth. The church is where I will learn to pray with the family of God express my closeness to the Father by loving the brethren. Jesus inhabits His church and uses the church to minister to the needs of individual Christians and organize the body of Christ to take the Gospel to the world. It is important for me to be an active church member.

11/25/03 1John 2:7
Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment, for it is an old one you have always had, right from the beginning. This commandment – to love one another – is the same message you heard before.

LOVE
My love is expressed by self sacrifice, giving and service. You are important. I recognize your importance by service. I facilitate your growth and learning experience by my giving and self sacrifice. When everyone in a church does this the church of the Lord will prosper and grow. Love is the unifying mark of the Christian community.

11/26/03 1John 3:11
This is the message we have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

LOVE
When I meticulously obey the Word of God as I read it and demand that you do the same thing I am simply a modern day Pharisee. God is love. Love is basic to the character of God. When I develop a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ I will become like Jesus. If I become like Jesus I will love you. My faith will change the way I act.

11/27/03 1John 3:23
And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.

JESUS
Jesus is God’s everything. Christ is the only way to the Father and I am the only one that can accept Christ for me. There are no grandchildren in God’s family. People count with God. The way I treat people reflects the relationship I have with Jesus.

11/28/03 Psalm 59:16
But as for me, I will sing about your power. I will shout with joy each morning because of your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety in the day of distress.

POWER
God is so good. God is always good. When the world is treating me bad I can go to the Father and He will treat me good. This world is not a reflection of my relationship with the Father. The Word of God tells me that God is always good.

11/29/03 Psalm 57:3
He will send help from heaven to save me, rescuing me from those who are out to get me. My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.

HELP
Jesus is always with me. Every breath I take every move I make includes the living presence of Jesus. I grow in grace and maintain joy when I am constantly aware of the presence of Christ.

11/30/03 1John 3:16
We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.

LOVE
Real love is an action. It includes significant personal sacrifice. Love is not negotiating my best good. Love is surrendering my interests for your best good. Love involves sacrifice.

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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.