Today's Good News

November 2007

11/01          John 11:1-4
A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha.  This is the Mary who poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair.  Her brother, Lazarus, was sick.  So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, the one you love is very sick.”  But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it is for the glory of God. I, the Son of God, will receive glory from this.”

GLORY
God’s glory is beautiful.  It is worthy of our commitment and is a significant part of our worship.  Jesus presents the consummate act of a loving God-life.  Jesus loves this family dearly.  Jesus has their best interest at heart and is wholly committed to serving the Father.  Jesus loves you and even when it looks otherwise to the human mind He always has our best interests at heart.

 

11/02          John 11:5-6
Although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days and did not go to them.

TIME
God is always on time.  His love and protection of us is always timely.  Do not fear, your life is dear to Jesus.  Do not feel left out, the Lord has you on His heart this very moment.

 

11/03          John 11:7-10
Finally after two days, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go to Judea again.”  But his disciples objected. “Teacher,” they said, “only a few days ago the Jewish leaders in Judea were trying to kill you. Are you going there again?”  Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. As long as it is light, people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world.  Only at night is there danger of stumbling because there is no light.”

LIGHT
Jesus is the light of the world.  He brings to us the ability to see clearly where we are going and what we should do.  Jesus is Lord and He is Lord of life.  Give Him your life and He will give you back real life and light for living.

 

11/04          John 11:11-15
Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”  The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, that means he is getting better!”  They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was having a good night’s rest, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.  Then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.  And for your sake, I am glad I wasn’t there, because this will give you another opportunity to believe in me. Come, let’s go see him.”

LIFE
Think about your life.  What was it like before Jesus?  How many times I’ve praised the Lord for the life He has given me and tremendous change He has made in the way I see life now.  Before Jesus was in our heart we were dead in our trespasses.  When Jesus came into our heart we had real life in Christ.

 

11/05          John 11:16
Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too and die with Jesus.”

DEATH
Thomas was a disciple with a weak faith but even Thomas was ready to die with Jesus.  They thought that because of the extreme hatred for Jesus that surely they would stone Jesus and the disciples should go with Him and die with Him.  Yes, many of us would readily die for Christ, but few are willing to live for Him.  The great commandment, love the Lord with all your heart has a corollary that is love your neighbor as yourself.  If we are to live for Jesus we must learn to love one another.  Think about the person who is the most troubling in your life.  Love that person.

11/06          John 11:17-22
When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days.  Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the people had come to pay their respects and console Martha and Mary on their loss. When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed at home.  Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

KNOWLEDGE
I do not have full knowledge.  Neither do you.  What happens in our lives is often a surprise.  Jesus is never surprised.  Jesus is preparing us each day to face the challenges and opportunities of that day.  Spend time with Jesus with the complete confidence that He is preparing you for the day.

 

11/07          John 11:23
Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

ETERNITY
We do not comprehend eternity.  It is impossible for the finite to understand the infinite.  It was beyond Martha’s ability to conceive of what Jesus was preparing to do but she did trust Jesus.  We don’t know what the future will bring but we do know that Jesus will be there with us.

 

11/08          John 11:24-25
“Yes,” Martha said, “when everyone else rises, on resurrection day.” 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.

SOLUTION
Jesus is the solution to the obstacles you face this very moment.  Jesus is the abundant life.  He is the answer to life’s puzzle.  He is meaning and success.  We turn to Christ to deal with who we are and what we must do.  Our value and worth is in Him.

 

11/09           John 11:26-27
They are given eternal life for believing in me and will never perish. Do you believe this, Martha?”  “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”

BELIEF
For a Christian, belief is not a noun.  Belief is an action, it is the way I live my life.  In Christ I can come to grips with any obstacle that I face.  Jesus is the answer to life’s problems and He is the solution.  I need a solution to the impossibilities I face.  Jesus is that solution.

 

11/10          John 11:28-29
Then she left him and returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.”  So Mary immediately went to him.

TROUBLE
When trouble comes my way I must turn to the Savior.  Jesus is the comforter.  He takes me by the hand and leads me from where I am to victory.  Jesus is the light and the life.  Know Him and spend time with Him and you will change.

 

11/11          John 11:30-31
Now Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him.  When the people who were at the house trying to console Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there.

SOLUTIONS
The crowd never brings a solution and they are always onlookers.  They have opinions but never the truth.  Jesus has the truth.  When we go to Him we are going to the only one who can reveal the truth to us.

 

11/12          John 11:32
When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell down at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

PAIN
Jesus loves you and me.  He would that we not be overwhelmed with pain and when we come to Him, believing in Him, we discover that He will deal with our pain.  Jesus holds us up and holds on to us.  Come to Him and He will lead you.

 

11/13          John 11:33
When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, he was moved with indignation and was deeply troubled.

LIGHT
The people did not believe in Jesus and it broke His heart at their hard hearts.  Darkness cannot bring light in fact it does not know the light.  Jesus is the light and in Him there is no darkness at all.  He knows the truth and wants us to know Him because He is the truth.  Their weeping and moaning was an indication of their inability to see the opportunity that Jesus offered.  To them He was just another teacher.  We know the truth and that truth is Jesus.  We are sojourners enroute to eternity.  Jesus equips us for that journey.

 

11/14          John 11:34-35
“Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.”  Then Jesus wept.

DEATH
Death is a disgusting reality.  All of us face that reality.  All of us participate in that reality as it claims our family and friends.  Jesus mourned with them but He also mourned for them.  They saw no reality but death when life itself was with them.  We are valuable to Jesus and He brings life to each one of us.  Claim life in Christ.

 

11/15          John 11:36-38
The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him.”  But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Why couldn’t he keep Lazarus from dying?”  And again Jesus was deeply troubled. Then they came to the grave. It was a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance.

UNBELIEF
What have you done for me lately is the cry of the world.  The world doesn’t believe and writhes in pain and agony all of its days.  We believe and bend the knee to Jesus knowing that He has our best interests at heart and will do what is best for us.  We writhe in pain and the balm of life that Jesus brings to each believer provides healing.
11/16          John 11:39
“Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, said, “Lord, by now the smell will be terrible because he has been dead for four days.”

WISDOM
We just do not know what the future holds.  The idea that a person could rise from the dead, even though Jesus had already done this miracle before was foreign to Martha’s thinking.  Jesus is able to take the worst tragedy of our life and make it a blessing.  Do you believe that?  It is true and Jesus will do that for you.

 

11/17          John 11:40
Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you will see God’s glory if you believe?”

GLORY
Have you ever seen God’s glory?  His goodness is His glory.  Look at your life, at the impossible situations, at your need and when those were met you literally saw God’s glory at work in your life.  His glory is His work in our undeserving lives.  He loves us and it is His joy to shower His goodness upon us.

 

11/18          John 11:41-42
So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me.  You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so they will believe you sent me.”

MIRACLES
Miracles are misunderstood, ill-defined and generally don’t change peoples’ minds.  You and I understand a miracle as the work of God interacting in our otherwise normal lives.  The Lord is constantly at work in our lives so from that perspective we are a constant miracle.  But the world ignores God and for it a miracle is something big and booming grabbing the attention of the world, like raising the dead.  Jesus knew this and also knew that believers would get the significance of raising Lazarus from the dead.  Jesus also knew that it was a work that the Lord could and would do.  So He did it.

 

11/19          John 11:43-44
Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”  And Lazarus came out, bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

ARISE
One early scholar said that if Jesus hadn’t used Lazarus’ name everyone in the area that had been buried would have risen.  He did use Lazarus’ name and Lazarus did rise from the dead.  This is no less of a miracle than the miracle of salvation.  God’s gift to you is a free gift of life in Christ.  Arise and serve.

 

11/20          John 11:45
Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.

BELIEF
You can believe if you choose to believe.  We have a choice.  The world is trying to take that choice away from us but we still can choose to believe.  Do not let the whisper of the world, you are too bad, too poor, too rich, or any other too rob you of the opportunity to claim life in Christ or the victorious Christian life.  Our life is not made up of things it is composed entirely of Jesus.  He is life.

 

11/21          John 11:46
But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

CHOICES
We choose the kind of life we live.  It’s the little choices we make each day that make up where we wind up.  We can choose to lose by living like the world or we can choose to change and become more like Jesus.  Do the next right thing and you will choose to grow.

 

11/22          John 11:47-48
Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together to discuss the situation. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs.  If we leave him alone, the whole nation will follow him, and then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.”

KNOWLEDGE
Jesus didn’t live His life in a vacuum.  He adequately certified that He was the Son of God and the promised Messiah.  The people for whatever reason, greed, selfishness, arrogance and many other emotions, chose not to accept Him.  Instead they crucified Him on a cross.  His life and death was for me and you.  Today He has risen and is alive.  He is willing to accept us as part of His family.

 

11/23          John 11:49-52
And one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, “How can you be so stupid?  Why should the whole nation be destroyed? Let this one man die for the people.”  This prophecy that Jesus should die for the entire nation came from Caiaphas in his position as high priest. He didn’t think of it himself; he was inspired to say it.  It was a prediction that Jesus’ death would be not for Israel only, but for the gathering together of all the children of God scattered around the world.

SALVATION
Salvation is God’s free gift to mankind.  Jesus willingly came and paid the price that we could not pay dying for our sin.  His death for our sin paid the price of our reconciliation with God, the Father.  This wondrous and miraculous gift is offered to you this very moment.  If you haven’t ever asked Jesus to forgive you of your sin ask Him now.  He will.  This is a great gift from God to mankind.

 

11/24          John 11:53-54
So from that time on the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death.  As a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim, and stayed there with his disciples.

KNEW
Jesus knew He was going to die.  Jesus knew that it would be a horrible death that would deplete Him of everything and yet would give us all things.  Jesus knew the pain He would face and He willingly faced it for you and me.

 

11/25          John 11:55-56
It was now almost time for the celebration of Passover, and many people from the country arrived in Jerusalem several days early so they could go through the cleansing ceremony before the Passover began.  They wanted to see Jesus, and as they talked in the Temple, they asked each other, “What do you think? Will he come for the Passover?”

SAVIOR
No one saw what was about to happen.  Mankind is so lost, so blind in its trespasses and sin that we can never know what the Lord is about.  The world is not our home, our citizenship is in heaven.  We can trust the Lord and we can follow Him.  He knows what He is going to do and when He will do it.

 

11/26          John 11:57
Meanwhile, the leading priests and Pharisees had publicly announced that anyone seeing Jesus must report him immediately so they could arrest him.

SIN
The world is always seeking to destroy Christ.  Nothing has changed.  Sin is still sin.  We believe in Jesus and we follow Him.  The world only wants to destroy Him because it is always doing the work of its father, Satan.  Destruction is the world’s goal.  Evil is its foundation.

 

11/27          Psalm 23:1
The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need.

LISTEN
Jesus loves you.  You are the apple of His eye.  He gave His life for you and will live His life with you.  You and I need guidance and strength.  Jesus will give that to us and He will lead us through the darkness of life.  Jesus is our shepherd as we live our life moment by moment.

 

11/28          Psalm 23:2-3
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

LIFE
Jesus equips me and each one of His family members for life.  He equips us to live our life abundantly.  He will nurture us and heal us from the failures and foibles of life.  He seeks fellowship with us and would that we walk in His way and with Him.  When we seek to follow Him He leads and guides us.  He is the path of life and the light on the path of life.

 

11/29          Psalm 23:4
Even when I walk through the dark valley of death,  I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.

TODAY
Life can be scary.  Evil will be persistent.  Whatever we face Jesus is with us.  Death in this life has no hold on us for we are His children and the Lord will protect and keep us.  Death and destruction can destroy the body but not the soul.  Jesus is Lord and He is alive in you and me.

 

11/30          Psalm 23:5-6
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.  Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

ABUNDANCE
Jesus is all we need.  He hung the curtains of eternity and He created you and me.  He is life and light and there is no darkness in Him.  His Imperial Majesty, the Lord Jesus Christ is our protector, sustainer, enabler and friend and He gives us everything we need for life.  He has saved us unto eternity and He will not leave us.  He belongs to us and we belong to Him.

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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.