Daily Devotionals

The Difference One Life Can Make: Week 3 - Monday

This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. Mark 1:1

We all love a good story. Good stories make us lean in on the very edge of our seats. They can keep us locked in to a movie, even when that movie is over three hours long. Stories can also motivate us to action when they are told with a clear point and purpose. They can also inspire hope in the hopeless.

When Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote the four gospels that begin the New Testament, they used a narrative story to paint a picture of the life of Jesus. Mark was the first book written in the New Testament. It begins with the short introduction, "This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God." It doesn't seem all that endearing until you begin to unpack all the language in it. In the Roman world, "Good News" was a story that was shared when an emperor had a baby and an heir to the throne. Often, it was communicated throughout the whole kingdom as a sign that peace was going to remain within the empire. This phrase, "Good News," fits perfectly for Jesus coming into the world. It communicates that He was the Messiah, the One sent from God who was promised in the Old Testament. He did not arrive announcing that He was the "Good News." Instead, Jesus humbly came as the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies. Throughout the book of Mark, Mark goes to great lengths to assert that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus' divine nature is what makes Him more than just a man, prophet, or Messiah. He was fully God and human simultaneously. The introduction to the book of Mark is meant to draw people in. This single verse can capture both the hearts of scholars and laypeople alike.

In that same way, when you have a good understanding of what Jesus did for humanity and how He changed your own life, you have a compelling story to tell. When you learn how to tell your own story in a way that is both clear and concise, you have the power to make a difference in another person's life.

Moving Toward Action

We want you to take the time today to write out your own personal story of how God changed your life. There are a couple of things that we would like for you to include as you craft your story:
 - Talk about what your life was like before you became a Christian.
 - Talk about how you became a Christian.
 - Talk about what your life has been like since you became a Christian.
In your journal, write this out so you can start to work on your own testimony. If you don't have a story to tell yet, please click the decisions tab and talk to a pastor about how you can accept Christ.

Going Deeper

Read Mark 1:1-15 (NLT)

This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written:

“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    and he will prepare your way.
He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
    Clear the road for him!’

This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.

John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”