Thursday, October 17, 2019

Are You a Base-Model Christian?

“For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation he fell asleep.” - Acts 13:36

I heard a story about a dairy farmer who went to buy a new pickup truck. He had seen an ad in the paper for a great deal on a new truck, so he decided to trade in his old clunker. He went to the dealership, chose a pickup and was ready to write the check for the full amount. But the salesman said, “Wait, I haven’t given you the final price yet.” The farmer asked, “Isn’t it the price I saw in the paper?” The salesman said, “No, that’s for the base model. All the options cost extra.” So, after the options were added, the farmer reluctantly wrote a check for $2,000 more than he had planned to pay, and he drove off the lot in his new pick-up.

A few months later the car salesman called the farmer because he wanted to buy a cow for his son’s 4-H project. The farmer assured the car salesman he had several good milk cows for sale for $500. The salesman drove out, selected a cow and took out his checkbook. The farmer said, “Wait. I haven’t given you the final price yet.” Then he handed the salesman a bill that read: “Basic cow, $500. Two-tone exterior, $45. Milk storage compartment, $60. Four handy spigots at $10 each, $40. Leather upholstery, $125. Automatic rear fly swatter, $38. Natural fertilizer attachment, $185. Grand total … $1,233.”

Now, I’ve never purchased a cow, but because I’m a bit of a cheapskate, I’m pretty sure I’d go for the base model. When I buy a car, I LIKE the base model … as long as it has air conditioning. If the car has four tires, an engine and a steering wheel, the base model is just fine. But when it comes to living the Christian life, the base model will never be “just fine.”

On Paul’s first missionary trip, he went into the Jewish synagogue in Pisidian Antioch to preach a powerful message about Jesus. In this message, Paul mentioned one of the greatest heroes of the Old Testament: King David, the only man in the Bible to be called “a man after God’s own heart.” David had a fierce love for God and served Him faithfully. And then, in Paul’s words, “when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation he fell asleep” (Acts 13:36).

Paul was making the point that God had a plan for David’s life. God gave him a clear purpose to carry out in his own generation. And David carried it out. David served God’s purpose in his own generation. God called David to slay Goliath, so David obediently slew Goliath. God called David to serve in King Saul’s court, so David obediently served in King Saul’s court. God called David to lead Israel in her battles and lead the people to follow God. So David obediently led Israel in her battles and led them to follow God.

Isn’t that good? In a day and age when most people were pretty much living for themselves, David was the servant of his generation. Could the same be said about you and me? The Bible makes it clear that everything in this vast universe of ours was created by God. He created every bug, every fish, every bird, every animal and every person—including you. The Bible is clear that God created you and designed you just the way you are. He knit you together in your mother’s womb. Your eye color and hair color are by design. Your height and your build are by design. Your natural strengths and even your natural weaknesses are by design.

So, are we living the lives God designed us for? In a day and age when most people are pretty much living for themselves, are we, like David, a great blessing to the age we live in? Are we servants of our generation? Matthew Henry reminds us, “We were not born for ourselves, but are members of communities, to which we must study to be serviceable.” And as devotional writer A.W. Tozer says, “David was smart enough to serve God and his generation before he fell asleep [ie, “died”]. To fall asleep before we have served our generation is nothing short of tragic…. It is a moral calamity to sleep without having first labored to bless the world.”

So true! But what is that purpose? At Impact Christian Church, we summarize God’s purpose with the shortest mission statement I’ve ever seen. It’s only three words: Love. Learn. Serve. Every Sunday morning, we seek to love God by loving people. Our greatest desire is to see every person who comes through our doors accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and begin loving him too. Our second focus is to learn God’s word. As we study His word, we get to know Him better, and we learn how to love and serve Him better. Our third purpose is serving. Just as David was created to serve God’s purpose in his own generation, so too are we. Jesus didn’t come to earth to be served, but to serve. And we follow in his footsteps as we serve each other and our community.  

My life has meaning and purpose, and so does yours. So, we must boldly stand and declare, “I will NOT waste my life!” You and I were created not to be served but to serve, and to serve God’s purpose in our own generation. I do not believe that anyone was created by God for base-model Christianity. I believe you and I were created for greater impact. And that boils down to this: Loving God by loving people … learning His Word … and serving others. If you don’t already have a church home, then I’d love to invite you to start joining us every Sunday. And we’ll serve God’s purpose in our generation—together.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Come join us Sunday at 10 a.m. at the new Ralph Baker School in Victorville. For more information, visit

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