Today's Good News

August 2009

8/1              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
Jesus was concerned for people.  His ministry was focused on people.  He died for people, you and me.  His love for us is immeasurable.  Spend time with Him for He cares for you.  Getting to know Jesus will be the best investment you can ever make.

 

8/2              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
Do you understand this parable?  If you will listen you will.  For many people Jesus is just a name they know.  They go to church, quote some Scripture and even act as if they are followers of Jesus but they don’t know Jesus.  When we listen to Christ He will permeate every aspect of our lives.  All of our decisions will be discussed with Him.  He will give us Godly advice and direction.  Our path will not waver nor will we go the wrong way.  Listen to Jesus and He will guide you in the way you should go.

 

8/3              Mark 4:10-13
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.’  “But if you can’t understand this story, how will you understand all the others I am going to tell?

SURRENDER
Give your life to Christ.  Call out to Him and ask Him to forgive your sin and to come into your life and guide you.  Believing this we are changed by the indwelling Spirit of God.  He will nurture and guide us.  When we are faced with fear He will give peace.  Nothing can take us out of His hand.  Jesus is here and He is here in us.

 

8/4              Mark 4:14
The farmer I talked about is the one who brings God’s message to others.

PROCLAIM
Tell everyone you know about Jesus.  When we are filled with the Spirit we cannot hold it in.  We will tell about Christ and what He is doing in us.  We will tell others that this same Jesus that owns us can do the same thing for them.  Our life is different when we are filled with the Spirit and we let that light of God in us shine before man.

 

8/5              Mark 4:15
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.

JOYLESS
A hard heart that is wakened by revival returns to its cold, hard state when the individual leaves the presence of God.  The one who was singing the loudest and proclaiming his fidelity the most quite often is the one who didn’t ask Jesus into his heart, he was simply caught up in the moment.  Ask the Lord to quicken your heart, to give you a soft heart filled with the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

8/6              Mark 4:16-17
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.

JESUS
We start with Jesus.  He is the Savior.  We stay with Jesus, we want to know Him in every way we can.  We grow with Jesus.  One day we will spend eternity with Jesus.

 

8/7              Mark 4:18-19
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.

JESUS
If a person starts off without Jesus they will not have experienced new life in Christ.  The only way to the Father is through the Son, Jesus Christ.  A person trying to live a Christian life without Christ will soon flounder.  Jesus is life and His Spirit in us give us life.  We cannot fake new life in Christ.

 

8/8              Mark 4:20
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.”

JESUS
When we give our heart to Jesus, He will never leave us.  A relationship with Christ is an eternal relationship.  Accept Jesus and He will accept you.  He will give you the wisdom, mercy and grace that you need today and everyday forever.  Ask Him to forgive you of your sin and take over your life.  He will.

 

8/9              Mark 4:21
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.

JESUS
When Christ comes into our heart we will tell others about it.  We cannot hide Jesus.  We will be different.  We will have life.  We will want to tell others, indeed we will tell others what Jesus has done in us.  We have a new life in Christ.  It is a life that will be pleasing to God and attractive to others.  The world is dead in its trespasses and sin.  People are looking for God they just don’t know it.

 

8/10            Mark 4:22-24
“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.

JESUS
We do a lot of talking in our daily life.  Time with Jesus will cause us to stop our incessant chatter and listen.  We need to listen as we read the Bible.  We need to listen as we spend time with Jesus.  Getting to know Him is critical for our daily abundant living.  The world is always attacking us emotionally.  Listening to Jesus is the only way we can grow in Christ likeness.  When we listen carefully to Him we will hear what He calls us to do.  We will know peace.  We will experience growing in spiritual strength.  We will know the Lord.

 

8/11            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.”

JESUS
Do you every take time to ask Jesus a question and listen for the answer?  Do you seek answers to issues and listen for direction?  It is important that we understand that our relationship with the Lord is not a one-way street.  Jesus wants to give us direction for our life but if we are always talking and never listening we will never hear what Christ is saying.

 

8/12            Mark 4:26-28
Jesus also said, “Here is another illustration of what the Kingdom of God is like: A farmer planted seeds in a field, and then he went on with his other activities. As the days went by, the seeds sprouted and grew without the farmer’s help, because the earth produces crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens.

GROWTH
There is no magic way to grow.  The process takes time.  We spend time with Jesus in Bible reading and study.  We spend time with Jesus in prayer.  We need to spend time with Jesus just listening.  Listen for His voice.  Listen for His gentle hand of guidance.  Listen for His presence.  Jesus loves you.

 

8/13            Mark 4:29
And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle.”

GRAIN
We are created by God.  He has a plan.  We cannot fathom the activity of God in the world nor are we able to comprehend how the Lord is going to finish His creation plan.  We never have enough information to judge others.  With just this in mind we need to realize that the Lord will determine when the end comes.  That applies to individuals and time itself.  We know that Jesus loves us and that we are going to be with Him.  We know that for sure.

 

8/14            Mark 4:30-32
Jesus asked, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?  It is like a tiny mustard seed. Though this is one of the smallest of seeds, it grows to become one of the largest of plants, with long branches where birds can come and find shelter.”

JESUS
Our tiny exercise of faith, Lord forgive me, is the beginning point of our growth to become like Jesus.  Spend time with Him and He will make you to become the person you were created to be.  We want to be like Him and He will help us to accomplish that.

 

8/15            Mark 4:33-34
He used many such stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they were able to understand.  In fact, in his public teaching he taught only with parables, but afterward when he was alone with his disciples, he explained the meaning to them.

JESUS
Jesus will teach us the things we need for living a holy life.  He knows what makes us tick and will fix and equip us in those areas that are in need of fixing and equipping.  We can trust Jesus.  We can trust Him with our life.  We can live daily knowing that He wants to give us the things we need for real life.  Rejoice for the Lord loves you and is seeking your best good!

 

8/16            Mark 4:35-36
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”  He was already in the boat, so they started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed).

TIME
We need time to prepare for life.  We need time to grow.  Our preparation and growth will be in direct proportion to our time with Jesus.  We need to pull away from the madding crowd.  We need to establish a habit of spending time every day quietly before the Lord.  Lord what would you have me do and then sit quietly while He answers.

 

8/17            Mark 4:37-38
But soon a fierce storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full of water.  Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically they woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you even care that we are going to drown?”

LIFE
Life happens everyday.  The Lord knows the end from the beginning and He loves us.  Do you think that He is going to lead us into a dead end?  Faith is not based on our know in detail what is going to happen.  Faith is our confidence that the Lord who loves us is leading us in the right direction from this moment unto eternity.  God is good.  All the time.

 

8/18            Mark 4:39
When he woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, “Quiet down!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.

LIMITATIONS
The Lord is not limited.  He can do anything.  We are limited in every area of our lives but we know Him and He loves us.  We are not alone nor are we at the mercy of the world, the flesh or the devil.  God is in control and He is in control of our life.

 

8/19            Mark 4:40-41
And he asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?”  And they were filled with awe and said among themselves, “Who is this man, that even the wind and waves obey him?”

FAITH
Faith is a gift from the Lord.  He gives it to us as we give ourselves to Him.  Work at your relationship with Him.  You will discover that your faith is growing.  You have a choice whether you will live courageously by faith or not.

 

8/20            Mark 5:1-5
So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the land of the Gerasenes.   Just as Jesus was climbing from the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit ran out from a cemetery to meet him.  This man lived among the tombs and could not be restrained, even with a chain.  Whenever he was put into chains and shackles – as he often was – he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to control him.  All day long and throughout the night, he would wander among the tombs and in the hills, screaming and hitting himself with stones.

JESUS
We sometimes forget that Jesus came for each one of us.  That person that is hurting you, or mistreating you Jesus came for them.  As you struggle day to day dealing with the ups and downs of life, purpose to pray for those who hurt or abuse you or maybe someone who has just been difficult.  Pray for the lost.  Everyone needs Jesus.

 

8/21            Mark 5:6-9
When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him. He ran to meet Jesus and fell down before him.  He gave a terrible scream, shrieking, “Why are you bothering me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? For God’s sake, don’t torture me!”  For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”  Then Jesus asked, “What is your name?” And the spirit replied, “Legion, because there are many of us here inside this man.”

JESUS
The demons know Jesus and tremble.  He is the ruler.  The universe is under His authority.  One day He will come back and take His children out of this world and will sit in judgment of sin and the world.  Victory was predetermined.  Christ is in control.  When we know Jesus as Lord we do not have to fear for we belong to Him.

 

8/22            Mark 5:10-14
Then the spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.  There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby.  “Send us into those pigs,” the evil spirits begged.  Jesus gave them permission. So the evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of two thousand pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake, where they drowned.  The herdsmen fled to the nearby city and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. Everyone rushed out to see for themselves.

JESUS
Jesus spoke and the evil spirits had to leave the man.  He can speak to our biggest need.  What do you need?  Ask Him to help you.  He will help you and will not ever leave you.  Spend time with Jesus so that you can make sense out of your life.

 

8/23            Mark 5:15-17
A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, but they were frightened when they saw the man who had been demon possessed, for he was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane.  Those who had seen what happened to the man and to the pigs told everyone about it, and the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.

JESUS
Jesus healed people who were in great need.  His healing was at the direction of His Father and by the power of His Father.  Jesus is alive and well.  He continues to serve by the power of the Father.  Do you have a great need for healing?  If you are not saved you need healing.  Ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you of your sin.  He will.  Then you will be a member of the family of God.  Do you have another need?  Ask Jesus and He will help you.

 

8/24            Mark 5:18-20
When Jesus got back into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go, too.  But Jesus said, “No, go home to your friends, and tell them what wonderful things the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.”  So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to tell everyone about the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

WITNESS
The formerly demon possessed man simply told others what Jesus had done for Him.  He believed it and could show physically what Christ had done for him in his healing.  You too can share with others what Christ has done for you.  The more you know Him the more you have to tell.  Spend time with Jesus and get to know Him.

 

8/25            Mark 5:21-24
When Jesus went back across to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him on the shore.  A leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, came and fell down before him, pleading with him to heal his little daughter. “She is about to die,” he said in desperation. “Please come and place your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”  Jesus went with him, and the crowd thronged behind.

BELIEVE
Jairus believed that Jesus could and would heal his daughter.  Do you believe that Jesus can heal your life?  If you do He can.  If you don’t then you will continue to struggle to come to grips with your life.  Jesus gives us a guide for living and a plan for our life.  Get to know Jesus.  Follow Him and believe in Him and grow your relationship.

 

8/26            Mark 5:25-34
And there was a woman in the crowd who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years.  She had suffered a great deal from many doctors through the years and had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she was worse.  She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched the fringe of his robe.  For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his clothing, I will be healed.”  Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel that she had been healed!  Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”  His disciples said to him, “All this crowd is pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?'”  But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.  Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and told him what she had done.  And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. You have been healed.”

HEALING
Do you need healing so desperately that you are willing to do whatever it takes?  Go to Jesus with that kind of desperation and you will find Him healing you.  Give Him your heart and He will help you to grow your faith.  Believe in Him and He will direct your path.

 

8/27            Mark 5:35-36
While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from Jairus’s home with the message, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”  But Jesus ignored their comments and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.”

JESUS

Trust Jesus.  He is concerned about you and your life.  The future belongs to Him.  You can be confident that your future will only improve for one day we will stand with Jesus as He bears testimony of our relationship to the Father.  He is in control and will never let us go.

 

8/28            Mark 5:37
Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter and James and John.

JESUS
Jesus knows what is going on.  You are never out of His sight.  He is trustworthy and faithful.  What you are doing and want to do are important to Jesus.  Ask Him for the wisdom, mercy, and grace that you need to grow.  He will give you what you need.

 

8/29            Mark 5:38-39
When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw the commotion and the weeping and wailing.  He went inside and spoke to the people. “Why all this weeping and commotion?” he asked. “The child isn’t dead; she is only asleep.”

TRUTH
Jesus is the truth.  We can find our way with Him.  We can find out where we should go if we will ask Him.  Do not be fooled.  Jesus has your best interest at heart.  Let Him have your loyalty.  Believe in Christ and He will make you an eternal member of His family.

 

8/30            Mark 5:40
The crowd laughed at him, but he told them all to go outside. Then he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying.

JESUS
Jesus is never confused about what to do.  He knows what is needed and how to do it.  What do you need fixed?  What is out of sync in your life?  Take it to Jesus.  Get to Know Him.  He will fix you.

 

8/31            Mark 5:41-43
Holding her hand, he said to her, “Get up, little girl!”  And the girl, who was twelve years old, immediately stood up and walked around! Her parents were absolutely overwhelmed.  Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what had happened, and he told them to give her something to eat.

MIRACLES
A miracle is a supernaturally caused event-an even different from what would have occurred in the normal course of events.  Jesus will do what needs to be done when we are in need.  He will intervene in your life if that is the need.  I encourage people to keep a daily diary of their time with the Lord.  I also ask them to keep a list of answered prayer.  Your answered prayer list is where you will see His divine activity in your life.

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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.