Today's Good News

August 2007

08/01                    Psalm 51:1
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.

SIN
Sin stains our hearts and our soul.  Jesus cleanses us where it counts.  He returns us into the presence of the Father.  We are called to bend the knee in obedience and live our daily life changed.  Lord thank you for forgiving my sin.

 

08/02                    Psalm 51:2-3
Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.  For I recognize my shameful deeds they haunt me day and night.

PEACE
Peace comes from Jesus.  His forgiveness of our sin gives us peace with God.  Our sin can no longer haunt us for grace has changed us.  Today is your day.  Rejoice in His grace.

 

08/03                    Psalm 51:4-5
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.  For I was born a sinner yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

REPENTANCE
We need to make sure that we recognize our sin and that we are quick to confess our sin.  Lord make me sensitive to my sin and faithful and quick to confess my sin and change.  Give me strength to change.

 

08/04                    Psalm 51:6
But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.

WISDOM
Knowing that the Lord has my best interest at heart and is always right is wisdom.  I know my sin because the Lord is faithful to point out what is separating me from Him.  Lord teach us to be wise and live in wisdom.

 

08/05                    Psalm 51:7-9
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me now let me rejoice.  Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.

NEED
We need Jesus.  We need Him every moment of our life.  We need Him to cleanse us for on our own we become so independent and unclean.  Sin is so pervasive and deceitful and we need Jesus to show us our sin.  Sin is relentless and we need Jesus to give us strength to stand in the hour of testing.  We need Jesus.

 

08/06                    Psalm 51:10-11
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.  Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

NEW
When we come to Jesus we are recreated afresh and anew.  We still have that memory of sin and we still fail but we are fresh and new.  We have a new heart, a new mind and a new power that we did not have before Jesus came into our life.  We are new creatures in Christ therefore we can proclaim thank you Lord for putting your Spirit in me.

 

08/07                    Psalm 51:12-13
Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.  Then I will teach your ways to sinners, and they will return to you.

JOY
We want joy and need it.  Joy is a gift from the Lord.  Joy is a gift that we can seek each day.  Remember as you are praying for others and for yourself ask the Lord give you His joy.  His joy will equip you to face the world’s acrimony.

 

08/08                    Mark 2:1-5
Several days later Jesus returned to Capernaum, and the news of his arrival spread quickly through the town.  Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there wasn’t room for one more person, not even outside the door. And he preached the word to them.  Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat.  They couldn’t get to Jesus through the crowd, so they dug through the clay roof above his head. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.  Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”

REAL
Jesus is real.  He deals with the things in us that separate us from fellowship with the Father.  Too often we see a physical problem as the greatest handicap when in fact our spiritual problem is the greatest problem.  Jesus heals spiritual problems right now.  Ask Him.

 

08/09                    Mark 2:6-9
But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there said to themselves,  “What? This is blasphemy! Who but God can forgive sins!”  Jesus knew what they were discussing among themselves, so he said to them, “Why do you think this is blasphemy?  Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up, pick up your mat, and walk’?

GOD
Jesus is God.  This idea is so difficult for us to understand.  I don’t understand electricity but that doesn’t change the fact that when I turn on a light electricity makes the light work.  Jesus is God.  He is able to deal with us, His creation.  He knows everything about us and knows what we need.  Let Jesus have your mind, body and spirit.  He is God.

 

08/10                    Mark 2:10-12
I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said,  “Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!”  The man jumped up, took the mat, and pushed his way through the stunned onlookers. Then they all praised God. “We’ve never seen anything like this before!” they exclaimed.

HEALING
Jesus will heal us physically.  His healing is permanent healing.  Don’t be afraid to ask Jesus to heal you physically.  Ask Jesus to deal with your physical needs.  Once we ask and believe He will answer, He will.  He has a plan for your life.  Surrender your life to His plan and He will deal with your needs.

 

08/11                    Mark 2:13-14
Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that gathered around him.  As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax-collection booth. “Come, be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.

DISCIPLESHIP
Discipleship is a change.  When we become a disciple of Jesus we begin that moment to live in obedience to Him.  Following Jesus requires surrender.  Following Jesus requires faith.  Being a disciple is not for the faint of heart.  Discipleship is the process of giving up what I do and do what Jesus says.

 

08/12                    Mark 2:15-17
That night Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. (There were many people of this kind among the crowds that followed Jesus.)  But when some of the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees  saw him eating with people like that, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”  When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.”

SIN
Sin blinds us to our “out of fellowship” condition.  We need forgiveness.  We need it every day.  Ask Jesus to make you sensitive to your sin so that you can confess your sin and regain your spiritual sight.

 

08/13                    Mark 2:18-22
John’s disciples and the Pharisees sometimes fasted. One day some people came to Jesus and asked, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don’t fast?”  Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can’t fast while they are with the groom.  But someday he will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.  And who would patch an old garment with unshrunk cloth? For the new patch shrinks and pulls away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger hole than before.  And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. The wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine needs new wineskins.”

WORLD
We are often tempted to try to live in the world and serve Jesus.  That old deceiver tells us our sin is just a minor infraction then later the deceiver reminds us of what a real sinner we are.  All the while the deceiver is seeking to put us in a position of hopelessness.  We repeat to ourselves that Jesus can’t use us.  He can use us right now but we have to stop playing games and change.  Obedience is essential.  Do what Jesus says.

 

08/14                    Mark 2:23-24
One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grain fields, his disciples began breaking off heads of wheat.  But the Pharisees said to Jesus, “They shouldn’t be doing that! It’s against the law to work by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.”

TRADITION
We love tradition.  It gives us a sense of belonging and orderliness.  We have a hard time feeling spiritual and our spiritual traditions give us a way to codify our spirituality.  See I’m spiritual because I went to church or said this or did this on this day.  Christianity is based on the living Lord Jesus.  We are spiritual because Jesus cleansed us from our sin and gave us righteousness.  We are part of His family.  We are challenged to see our life and ourselves as part of God’s family.  We count.  God has an important plan for our life.  Surrender to His plan for your life and claim your relationship with Him moment by moment.

 

08/15                    Mark 2:25-28
But Jesus replied, “Haven’t you ever read in the Scriptures what King David did when he and his companions were hungry?  He went into the house of God (during the days when Abiathar was high priest), ate the special bread reserved for the priests alone, and then gave some to his companions. That was breaking the law, too.”   Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made to benefit people, and not people to benefit the Sabbath.  And I, the Son of Man, am master even of the Sabbath!”

WHO DO YOU LOVE?
Do you love Jesus?  Tell Him you do and obey Him.  People count with Jesus.  We are a part of His family.  It is our responsibility as job one to make people count.  Today I will take my eyes off of my problems and focus on the needs of those around me.  Who can I encourage and help today Lord?

 

08/16                    Mark 3:1-3
Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand.  Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. Would he heal the man’s hand on the Sabbath? If he did, they planned to condemn him.  Jesus said to the man, “Come and stand in front of everyone.”

WATCH
Look at your situation.  Are you in need of healing?  Ask Jesus.  Look at those around you.  Who is hurting?  Do they need help?  Give it to them.  Do what you can and what your situation permits you to do.  Forget about your qualifications and skills.  Each one of us can be a helper.  Get help for yourself first then go and help someone.

 

08/17                    Mark 3:4-5
Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Is it legal to do good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing harm? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.  He looked around at them angrily, because he was deeply disturbed by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Reach out your hand.” The man reached out his hand, and it became normal again!

RELIGION
Religion seeks to function to the hurt of others.  Its formality or lack of formality and its demand for tradition often does so without dealing with the pain or hurt it can do.  People count.  We are to pray, serve and give.  We are to encourage others and to be inclusive and not exclusive.  Make sure that your traditions are not pushing the needy away.  Deal with others in the same gentle way that Jesus deals with your.  Be quick to forgive and forget and let the Lord deal with judgment.

 

08/18                    Mark 3:6
At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to discuss plans for killing Jesus.

RIGHTEOUSNESS
There is a righteousness that the world cultivates.  It abuses the helpless and lifts up the wealthy.  Be careful as your live your life to cultivate a real value and appreciation for those around you.  Jesus died for the lost.  Can we do any less?

 

08/19                    Mark 3:7-9
Jesus and his disciples went out to the lake, followed by a huge crowd from all over Galilee, Judea,  Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far away as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him for themselves.  Jesus instructed his disciples to bring around a boat and to have it ready in case he was crowded off the beach.

MIRACLES
Jesus used miracles to display the activity of God among men and to reveal God’s work in Him.  Miracles are still available for us.  As we live our lives magnifying Jesus we will often see God at work equipping us to serve others in a miraculous way.  Some of the things the Lord will do we might call miracles but the truth is it is just our Father at work using us as His servant to minister to the needs of dead and dying world.

 

08/20                    Mark 3:10-12
There had been many healings that day. As a result, many sick people were crowding around him, trying to touch him.  And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, they would fall down in front of him shrieking, “You are the Son of God!”  But Jesus strictly warned them not to say who he was.

PEARLS
People must know that we care before they care about us.  Our actions will verify our obedience to the Lord.  Once people accept us as one who cares they are much more open to accept the one we serve—Jesus Christ.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you magnify Jesus today by bending your heart in service to each person that you meet.

 

08/21                    Mark 3:13-19
Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him.  Then he selected twelve of them to be his regular companions, calling them apostles.   He sent them out to preach, and he gave them authority to cast out demons.  These are the names of the twelve he chose: Simon (he renamed him Peter),  James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder”), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the Zealot), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).

CHOSEN
Jesus chose twelve apostles as partners in His earthly ministry.  He has chosen me and you as partners in His ministry on this side of the cross.  “Whosoever will may come” was His declaration.  When we come to Jesus we become a partner together with Him in our service to mankind.

 

08/22                    Mark 3:20-21
When Jesus returned to the house where he was staying, the crowds began to gather again, and soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat.  When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him home with them. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.

TIRELESS
Jesus worked tirelessly for us.  He was walking to the cross to save us and He knew that His time was short.  Magnifying Jesus is a full-time job.  We don’t know how much time we have.  We don’t know how much time those we come into contact with have.  Say and do those things that Jesus would do.  We represent Him so let’s get busy.

 

08/23                    Mark 3:22-27
But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.”  Jesus called them over and said to them by way of illustration, “How can Satan cast out Satan?  A kingdom at war with itself will collapse.  A home divided against itself is doomed.  And if Satan is fighting against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive.  Let me illustrate this. You can’t enter a strong man’s house and rob him without first tying him up. Only then can his house be robbed!

STRENGTH
Our strength and power is in Jesus.  We are to cultivate our relationship with Him by spending time with Jesus each day—all day.  The focus of our heart, our body and our spirit is Jesus Christ.  We live in Him.  We serve in Him.  Our victory comes from Him.  Remember when you are feeling low or defeated, that is the exact time to get back to Jesus and let Him have you.  Don’t focus on the good fight, focus on Jesus.

 

08/24                    Mark 3:28-30
“I assure you that any sin can be forgiven, including blasphemy; but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. It is an eternal sin.”  He told them this because they were saying he had an evil spirit.

HOLY SPIRIT
We live by Holy Spirit power.  The Holy Spirit is the enabling strength in our growth in Jesus.  Holy Spirit please minister to us and through us.  Magnify Jesus in me and through me.  Today I will live Holy Spirit empowered.  Jesus will not forsake us.  Claim His promise of power today.

 

08/25                    Mark 3:31-35
Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived at the house where he was teaching. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them.  There was a crowd around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.”  Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”  Then he looked at those around him and said, “These are my mother and brothers.  Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

WHO
Who do you love?  Choose this day who you love.  Look at your life.  What do you spend time doing?  That’s what you love.  Lord help us to spend time with You.  Help us Lord to choose You for our relationship, fellowship and joy.  I love Jesus and my life reflects His love.

 

08/26          Mark 4:1
Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. There was such a large crowd along the shore that he got into a boat and sat down and spoke from there.

JESUS
Do you need help?  Ask Jesus.  Do you want to grow?  Ask Jesus.  He will come to you and will teach you everything you need to know.  He is no respecter of person.  Your circumstances are not an indictment of your value.  You are valuable to Jesus.  Lord Jesus help each one of us to know You better this day.

 

08/27          Mark 4:2-9
He began to teach the people by telling many stories such as this one:  “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.  As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.  Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The plant sprang up quickly, but it soon wilted beneath the hot sun and died because the roots had no nourishment in the shallow soil.  Other seed fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades so that it produced no grain.  Still other seed fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted.” Then he said, “Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!”

LISTEN
Listening to Jesus begins in the heart.  When we come into the Family of God we are given a new heart.  Listen to Jesus and ask Him to give you wisdom, mercy, grace and understanding.  Claim His promise and believe and you will know.

 

08/28          Mark 4:10-12
Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him, “What do your stories mean?”  He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secret about the Kingdom of God. But I am using these stories to conceal everything about it from outsiders, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘They see what I do, but they don’t perceive its meaning. They hear my words, but they don’t understand. So they will not turn from their sins and be forgiven.’

INSIDER
Disciples are insiders in the kingdom.  The requirements to be a disciple include surrender to Jesus, time with Jesus, obedience to Jesus and letting Jesus have control of our life.  A discipleship is not a part time vocation.  Do you want to understand Scripture?  Become a disciple of Jesus.

 

08/29          Mark 4:13-20
“But if you can’t understand this story, how will you understand all the others I am going to tell?  The farmer I talked about is the one who brings God’s message to others.  The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the message, but then Satan comes at once and takes it away from them.  The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy.  But like young plants in such soil, their roots don’t go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word.  The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for nice things, so no crop is produced.  But the good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s message and produce a huge harvest thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted.”

SUFFERING
Growth in Christ may involve significant suffering.  The deeper our roots the greater the suffering we can endure.  I don’t like suffering but I do want to be deeply rooted in my relationship with Jesus.  It takes time, sacrifice and obedience for us to become deeply rooted in the Lord.

 

08/30          Mark 4:21-24
Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed to shut out the light? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.  “Everything that is now hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light.  Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!  And be sure to pay attention to what you hear. The more you do this, the more you will understand and even more, besides.

EIGHTEEN INCHES
The distance from our mind to our heart is about eighteen inches.  The difference between a faith of form and a faith of substance is that difference.  Our faith of substance is not based on what we know it is based on what we know and how it changes us.  Is our faith in our heart?  Does our faith guide us?  If it does we will be a lamp that reflects the love of Jesus in the heart at all times.

 

08/31          Mark 4:25
To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.”

CULTURAL
There is no such thing as cultural Christianity.  Try as people might they cannot claim Christ in a flippant, passing way.  Jesus is Lord.  Either He is Lord of our life or we are Lord of our life.  The choice is ours.

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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.