Monday, November 27, 2023

Jesus Lights Up the Darkness

 "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness." – John 8:12

As the Feast of Tabernacles was drawing to a close in John 8, Jesus was teaching in the inner courts of the temple, surrounded by the huge candelabras that were lit every night of the feast. It was said that these candelabras burned so brightly that on a dark night, they would light up every courtyard in Jerusalem. Standing just a few feet from those massive beacons of light, Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (v. 12).

Jesus was basically saying, “These candelabras can light up Jerusalem for one night, but I’m the One sent by God to light up the whole world forever. These candelabras provide physical light for your eyes, but I provide spiritual light for your souls that leads to eternal life.”

The religious leaders weren’t sure what Jesus was talking about, but they didn’t like it. So they challenged His right to speak on His own behalf. They were baffled when He answered, “I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me” (v. 18). And when they asked where His father was, Jesus responded, “You do not know me or my Father…. If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (v. 19). They got even madder when He warned them, “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins” (v. 24). This probably didn’t win Him any new fans among the religious leaders. But according to verse 30, many others who heard did believe in Him.

Jesus came to be the light of the world. Aren’t you glad He didn’t leave us to keep stumbling in spiritual darkness? If you let Him, He can flip the switch and light up your life, illuminating the sin that you need to confess. He can lift the blinders from your soul so that you can see clearly that He is the Christ and the Son of the living God. And He provides a lamp for your feet and a light for your path, so that you can see which way to go.

Here are two lessons we can draw from this passage:

Lesson #1: No matter how many lights are shining around you, let Jesus light your way. After all, He is the Light of the World. There is no light like the Light of the World, Jesus Christ.

Lesson #2: Your life and time are both limited, and you don’t know what that limit is. Therefore, there is every reason for making the decision to trust in Jesus Christ now, before it’s too late. Sadly, it appears that most of the religious leaders missed their opportunity. Don’t make the same mistake they did.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Monday, November 20, 2023

Don’t Watch the Church. Be the Church.

There’s a crisis in America today—a crisis much bigger than the dysfunction in Washington, much bigger than Covid-19, much bigger than high gas prices. It’s a crisis that has eternal repercussions.

For years, historians and researchers have warned us that Christianity is dying in America. Study after study has confirmed that belief in God, church attendance, and commitment to biblical values are ALL on the decline. In 2019, the year before the Covid-19 lockdowns, 3,000 new churches opened in America. That sounds great until you realize that 4,500 existing churches closed. And during the pandemic, the situation went from bad to worse.

Why? Researchers agree that the biggest reason is the growing number of “nones” in our country. In recent years, researchers have started using this term as a label for people who don’t claim any religion. Some “nones” are atheists; others are agnostics; still others say they’re religious but don’t identify with any specific religion. But it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that as the number of “nones” across America INCREASES, the number of church attenders DECREASES. Because more than 95% of “nones” don’t go to church.

Since the year 2000, the number of “nones” in America has grown dramatically across all age groups—but especially the younger generations. According to a 2021 Barna Group study, about half of Generation Z (those between ages 11 and 26) claim to be Christians … but around 30% of them claim no religion at all. Some studies show that number over 40%.

And here’s an even scarier number. According to Barna’s research, only 4% of those 11-to-26-year-olds have a biblical worldview. In other words, although over 50% of Generation Z claim to be Christians, only 4 out of every 100 actually believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God and that Jesus is the only path to salvation.

That’s tragic. Worse, it didn’t have to be this way. Parents, to a very large extent, it’s our own darn fault. Not only have we failed to teach our kids God’s Word every day in our homes, we have failed to surround our kids with other Christians who are ready and willing to teach them God’s Word at church. We haven’t maintained our commitment to Christ’s Bride, the Church, and we haven’t taught our kids about commitment to church. And if you’re worried that “dragging them to church” will chase them away from God, believe me: There’s a much higher likelihood of them walking away from God if they’re not in church at all.

God’s Word in Hebrews 10:24 is clear: “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” And that begins at home. You’ve taught your kids to persevere in school work, in their chores and in their tooth brushing. Now, teach them to persevere in the most important way: Teach them to persevere with the Church to bring honor and glory to God. 

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Monday, October 30, 2023

Who Deserves Mercy?

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." – John 8:7

It’s one of the most beloved accounts in any of the Gospels.

In John 8, Jesus was teaching in the temple courts when he was rudely interrupted by the teachers of the law and some Pharisees. They brought Him a woman and said: “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now, what do you say?” (vs. 4-5). And then John adds a quick little FYI in verse 6: “They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.”

You see, the religious leaders knew that if Jesus said they SHOULDN’T stone the woman, they could arrest Him for rebelling against the Law of Moses. On the other hand, if Jesus said the woman SHOULD be stoned, He could be arrested by the government, because it was against Roman law for the Jews to carry out capital punishment without Roman approval.  So, Jesus was stuck with a lose-lose question. Or so everyone thought.

But Jesus’ response in verse 7 is genius: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

At that, the woman’s accusers slunk away, one by one, too convicted by their own sins to start hurling rocks. When Jesus was left alone with the woman, He asked, “Has no one condemned you?” And when she responded with a “no,” He said, “Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11).

Jesus showed the woman mercy – undeserved forgiveness. And in this passage, Jesus gives us three important lessons about showing mercy:

1. Legalists prefer to CONDEMN. Jesus prefers to FORGIVE. Often, it’s easier to condemn than it is to forgive. But when we start preferring condemnation over forgiveness, we can be sure that we are following in the footsteps of the Pharisees. Forgiveness is the path of Christ.

2. Jesus’ mercy comes with an implied warning: “If you reject My mercy, one day you will suffer God’s wrath.” Some Christians think that Jesus was soft on this woman’s sin. But He really wasn’t. Notice that He didn’t just say, “Neither do I condemn you. Tell your lover I said ‘Hi!’” He said, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Jesus called upon this woman to make a radical change in her life.

4. Where legalists see miserable sinners, Jesus sees potential saints. Throughout the New Testament, we see lives radically transformed by following Jesus Christ. God doesn’t offer us a time machine to go back and change what we’ve done. But Jesus Christ gives us the next best thing: a second chance. Jesus is the God of second chances. He gives you the opportunity to change your life – beginning today.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Sunday, October 29, 2023

So what does the Bible say about ghosts?

It’s almost Halloween … so what does the Bible say about ghosts?

Every October, millions of our Southern California family members, friends and neighbors have a renewed interest in ghosts, goblins and all things haunted. In fact, in recent years SoCal theme park owners have discovered that transforming their amusement parks into scare parks is a great way to see their profits soar.

When it comes to the paranormal, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. So, what does the Bible teach us about ghosts? Are they real?

Well, that depends on what you mean by “ghosts.” If by “ghosts” you’re referring to “spirit beings,” the Bible answers with an unequivocal “Yes!” The Bible is clear that Christians’ struggle “is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

But if by “ghosts” you’re referring to “the disembodied spirits of people who have died,” the Bible’s answer is a resounding “No!” Consider one of the key verses that proves this, Hebrews 9:27: “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” In other words, once a person dies, there is no in-between place where his/her spirit can communicate with or interact with the living before he/she faces God’s eternal judgment.

So, when the Bible speaks of invisible “spirits” who may, sometimes, interact with us in the physical world, who or what are they? Simply put, they are either angels or demons. Angels are good spirits who serve God and carry out His marching orders. And demons are evil spirits who align with Satan’s goals to steal, kill and destroy. And according to 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, sometimes demons “masquerade as angels of light.”

So, hypothetically, could a demon masquerade as the ghost of a dead family member, a long-lost saint or even as an alien from another planet?

Certainly! Hence, the Bible teaches us to be on guard against the enemy’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10-11). Faith in Jesus Christ provides a shield that protects us from needless fear about any so-called “spirits” who might try to sidetrack us from trusting, loving and obeying God.

Here is one final Bible verse to consider. After teaching us that God is love, the Apostle John tells us plainly, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Saturday, October 14, 2023

How Can I Do God’s Will?

 “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” – John 7:17

Over the past few years, several studies have confirmed what many of us have suspected: Christianity is not growing in the United States. It’s actually on the decline. As the years go by, fewer families go to church. Fewer adults and teenagers claim to be Christians. And the percentage of Americans who don’t believe in the existence of God is growing at an alarming rate.

In 2021, Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center published the results from their latest survey about Americans’ belief in God. It showed a sharp decline in belief with each new generation. 83% of Americans born before 1945 say they believe in God. 79% of Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) say they believe in God. 70% of Gen Xers (born 1965-1983) and 57% of Millennials (born 1984-2002) identify as Christians. Meanwhile, 43% of Millennials say they “don’t know, care, or believe that God exists.”

We would like to think that with each passing year, the number of people who are getting saved is outpacing the number of people who are choosing not to get saved. But it’s simply not true. And sadly, what is true in 2023 was also true in Jesus’ day.

In John 6:66 (notice the verse number), we read: “From this time many of [Jesus’] disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.” That verse marks a heartbreaking turning point in Jesus’ ministry. For over two years, Jesus had shared the good news of salvation, explained the Scriptures and healed the sick. He offered the people of Israel faith, hope and unconditional love. But many of them responded by grumbling and walking away—unappreciative, unchanged and filled with unbelief. As Jesus entered his final year of ministry, the crowds that gathered by the thousands to hear Him preach became few and far between.

By the beginning of John 7, Jesus had begun to avoid Judea because He knew the religious leaders there “were waiting to take his life” (v. 1). But after His brothers left for the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus went there on His own in secret (v. 10). He knew the religious leaders would be looking for Him—and evidently, the crowds were on the lookout for Him too. There was a lot of secret chatter among them. Some whispered, “He is a good man,” while others whispered, “No, He deceives the people” (vs. 12 & 13). But regardless of their opinions, they tried to keep a lid on it, because the religious leaders were acting weird when the subject of Jesus came up. The people didn’t know the extent of the leaders’ hatred for Jesus, but they knew they didn’t want to get caught in the crossfire.

On the fourth day of the feast, Jesus began teaching in the temple courts. Even his foes were blown away. The religious leaders exclaimed, “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” (v. 15). They were astounded that Jesus was teaching circles around many of their highly-educated rabbis. Jesus explained that His teaching came from “Him who sent Me” (v. 16). Then He added, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own” (v. 17). In other words: We learn by doing. So, if you don’t understand everything you need to know to live a life that pleases God, put the little bit you DO know into practice. As you walk in obedience to the parts of God’s will that you already know, He will unlock your understanding to the truths that you don’t know … yet.

Here are two Life Lessons we can draw from the previous passage:

Life Lesson #1: People will always hold many different opinions about Jesus. But believe and live your life by this truth: Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the living God. Believing that Jesus was JUST a good man, a good teacher or a prophet are not logical options, because He claimed to be the Son of God. So, there are only three logical options: He is a liar, a lunatic or He is Lord. So, choose one.

Life Lesson #2: If you want to UNDERSTAND God’s will, begin by DOING God’s will. You will learn God’s Word by living God’s Word. It’s often been said: “It’s easier to steer a moving car.” So, get moving, and God’s will for your life will become much, much clearer.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Eat Your Soul Food First!

 “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." – John 6:27

There’s an activity that most people will participate in at least 20 times this week. Chances are, you did it this morning, and you’ll probably do it a few more times today. You can perform this activity alone, but if you’re like most people, you prefer to share it with others. This activity is a part of every party, most dates and even major holidays. Of course, I’m talking about … eating. Food is an important part of our lives, isn’t it?

So, chew on this for a moment: No matter how poor you think you are, you enjoy a luxury that several billion people on earth don’t have. You don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from. But in First Century Israel, many people did. So, in the early verses of John chapter 6, when Jesus performed a miracle and fed 5,000 men an all-you-can-eat fish and biscuit dinner, it was a HUGE deal. That may have been the first time in a long time that some of those people went to bed with full bellies. That’s why, in the middle of the chapter, it’s not surprising that many people in the crowd who were fed by Jesus yesterday, want him to feed them again today.

When the crowd tracked Jesus down in Capernaum, He called them on it: “You are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill” (v. 26). As William Barclay puts it, “It is as if Jesus said: ‘You cannot think about your souls for thinking of your stomachs.’” Sadly, what was true of so many people in Jesus’ day is equally true of many people in our day. Jesus told them, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (v. 27). He’s telling the crowd to stop chasing after STOMACH food that is only edible for a short time. Instead, Jesus tells them to chase after SOUL food—food that never spoils, and which nourishes for all eternity.

Verse 27 actually sounds like a paradox. Jesus is telling them to WORK for “food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will GIVE you.” When we work for something, it’s not a gift. Right? But the people are fixated on the “work” and are overlooking the “gift” as they ask Jesus: “What must we do to do the works God requires?” (v. 28). The crowd wanted to know what every one us has wanted to know at some point: “What do I need to DO to get on God’s good side? What do I need to DO to make it to heaven some day?” When we ask these questions, we’re asking for some sort of to-do list. “Read your Bible and pray every day. Go to church every Sunday. Help 100 old ladies across the street.” That type of list makes sense to us.

But in verse 29, Jesus responds with some of the simplest yet most profound theology in the entire book of John: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.”

Here are three Life Lessons we can take away from these passages:

Life Lesson #1: Your old nature craves PHYSICAL food to the exclusion of SPIRITUAL food. So, keep your priorities straight. Feed your spirit before you feed your face. Jesus urged the crowd in Capernaum to stop working for food that perishes, but instead to work for food that endures. In John 6, the people who came to Jesus were physically hungry. But this second time, Jesus refused to give in to their physical cravings. Instead, He fed their spirit. That’s a good model to follow. Before you feed your face, make sure you feed your spirit. The health of your eternal spirit is infinitely more important than the health of your temporary body.  

Life Lesson #2: Grace and truth both come through Jesus Christ, and you need them both. Why did Jesus feed the 5,000 on the other side of the Sea of Galilee? Well, He did it because He had compassion on the crowds. He also did it to teach his 12 disciples some important lessons. But He also did it to show the crowd God’s grace so that they would be more open to receiving God’s truth. His grace included physical bread. But the truth was: What they most needed was the eternal Bread of Life, Jesus Christ. Over the years, you’ve accepted many gracious gifts from Jesus—your health, your family, your job. However, have you rejected the truth of Jesus … that unless you place your faith in Jesus Christ, none of your good works will matter on Judgment Day? You can’t go to church enough times, or give away enough money, or walk enough old ladies across the street to escape God’s judgment.

Life Lesson #3: If you want to be right with God and make it to heaven one day, there’s only one good work that God finds acceptable: Believe in Jesus and keep believing in Jesus. In Hebrews 11:6, we read that “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Pleasing God begins with believing in Jesus as your Savior and Lord. And once you are saved, you can only continue pleasing God by continuing to believe in Jesus.

Far too many Christians believe in Jesus for salvation and then spend the rest of their lives believing in themselves. That’s stupid! If you trust that Jesus can snatch your rotten soul out of Satan’s grubby hand, why on earth don’t you trust that Jesus can help you with every other problem you’ve got? Walk by faith. Talk by faith. Pray, read your Bible and make your decisions by faith. Your belief in Jesus Christ should permeate EVERYTHING in your life.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Friday, October 6, 2023

Jesus Can Do a Lot With Your “Little”

 “Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.” – John 6:11

Over the years, I’ve seen my share of dumb movies. And I’ve got to admit … I do have a few favorites. One of my favorite dumb movies of all time is the Steve Martin and Chevy Chase comedy, “The Three Amigos.”

The year is 1916. Three bumbling silent movie stars, the Three Amigos, are called upon to rescue the people of a small Mexican town from the infamous El Guapo. This villain and his ruthless banditos have been terrorizing the people of Santo Poco. Late in the movie, El Guapo and his men mount their horses and ride toward Santo Poco to unleash their fury on the town one last time. And the Three Amigos rally the townspeople to do something they’d never done before: stand up and fight.

In a rousing speech, one of the Amigos asks the townspeople: “What is it that this town really does well?” Most of the people stand with baffled looks on their faces. But after a few seconds, one of the senoras speaks up: “We can sew.” Well, it wasn’t much to work with, but it was better than nothing. So, the people of Santo Poco begin sewing like the wind, making Three Amigos costumes for everyone in the village. And when El Guapo and his banditos roll into town, instead of fighting three amigos, it looks like they’re facing 100 amigos. El Guapo is defeated, the Three Amigos ride off into the sunset, and the people of Santo Poco live happily ever after.

Well, in John 6, Jesus demonstrates his amazing ability to multiply what we bring to Him. Jesus stands in front of a crowd of over 10,000 people who are facing their own El Guapo: Hunger. And Jesus saves the day by taking one boy’s measly lunch and multiplying it to meet the need.

Jesus had traveled to the town of Bethaisda to find a “great crowd” of people had followed Him (v. 2). We learn a few verses later that there were around 5,000 men; from Matthew’s gospel account, we know that there were also women and children. So, this crowd had to have totaled over 10,000 people. As mealtime approached, Jesus asked His disciples to help figure out how to feed so many people. At last Andrew brought a boy to Jesus and said, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (v. 9).

But Jesus told his 12 apostles to get the crowd ready for lunch by asking them to sit down. Then Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks (v. 11). Once Jesus had broken the bread and fish into smaller pieces, He gave the pieces to the apostles, who in turn gave them to the people in the crowd. And the sight must have been amazing. One loaf became two, two became four, and four became eight, until over 10,000 people were completely full – with twelve baskets of leftovers.

Here are three Life Lessons we can draw from these passages:

1. A Lesson from the Disciples: When God places someone in your path who needs something that Christ wants to give them through you, don’t send them away empty-handed. I don’t believe God expects us to meet the needs of every person who crosses our path. But if you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, you’d better believe that on a regular basis, God is going to place people in your path—people who need something that God wants you to give them. It might just be a kind word to a lady in line at the Dollar Tree. Maybe it’s your coworker who needs someone to invite him to church, or the homeless guy on the sidewalk in front of McDonald’s who just needs a burger. How do you know if the person in your path has been placed there by God to receive something from you? You pray without ceasing. Every day, go to God and pray: “Use me today, God. I don’t want everyone who crosses my path today to leave empty-handed. So, show me who You want me to bless.”

2. A Lesson from the Boy: “Whenever there is a need, give all that you have to Jesus and let Him do the rest” (Warren Wiersbe).  What a loss it would have been to that crowd of 10,000—and to the hundreds of millions of people who have heard this story over the past 2,000 years—if Andrew hadn’t brought the boy to Jesus. The boy didn’t have much, but what he had, he brought to Jesus. You might not think you have much to give. That’s okay. Bring ALL that you have to Jesus, and let Him take care of the rest.

A Lesson from Jesus: Jesus says, in effect, “You do the addition. I’ll take care of the multiplication” (Chuck Swindoll). Each miraculous sign in the Book of John reveals something about Jesus: who He is and what He came to earth to do. This miraculous sign reveals that He is the Great Need-Meeter, the one the Jews had prayed to for centuries. He is the Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. There’s not a problem that Jesus can’t solve. There’s not a need that Jesus can’t meet. There’s not a shortage that Jesus can’t turn into a surplus. But nine times out of 10, Jesus will NOT meet our needs out of thin air. You and I must put in ALL that we have on the table and trust Him to multiply it. And this applies to all areas of your faith. You must surrender your WHOLE life to Christ – your time, your talents, your treasures – if you truly want Him to work through you and accomplish things beyond all you could ask or think.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us tomorrow for Back to Church Sunday! Our worship services are at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Did Jesus Really Claim to Be God?

 “The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. – John 5:22-23

Not too many years ago, a well-respected leader stepped up to a microphone and spoke to a crowded room of supporters. His greatest desire was to convince them that his religion was superior to every other. To the surprise of many people in the crowd, the speaker had a lot of nice things to say about … Jesus. He praised Jesus as a genuine prophet, a wise teacher and a worthy example of human goodness. But then he said, “Jesus is ALL these things, but He never claimed to be anything more than a man. He never claimed to be God.”

So, let me ask you: Is he right? Truth be told, we don’t have a record of Jesus ever speaking the words: “I am God.” So, did Jesus ever really claim to be God?

The religious leaders of Jesus’ time certainly thought so. Within minutes of Jesus healing the crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda, these leaders started griping. At first they complained because the man who Jesus had healed was holding his bedroll—carrying a “burden” on the Sabbath (John 5:10). When the man said that Jesus had told him to carry it, they shifted their attack to Jesus. And their attack intensified when Jesus declared in verse 17: “My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working.”

John explains why those words set the religious leaders’ teeth on edge: “For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill Him; not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God” (v.18). Now, if Jesus was being falsely accused of being the Son of God, this would be the perfect opportunity to set the record straight. But Jesus doesn’t voice a rebuttal here in John 5. Instead, He doubles down and makes six claims that reinforce His declaration that He is the Son of God:

Claim #1 (vs. 19-20): My actions and God the Father’s actions are identical. Jesus says flat out, “Whatever the Father does the Son also does,” and the Father “shows Him all He does.” No man—or even any angel—would ever say, “My actions are identical with God’s, and God never does anything that He doesn’t first run by me.” So, the claim that Jesus makes in verses 19-20 is NOT a claim that any human or angel can rightfully make.

Claim #2 (vs. 21 and 26): I raise the dead and give life at will. Chuck Swindoll writes, “This would be an outrageous claim for any mere human. Doctors can give medicine or administer treatment in order to delay death, but they cannot give life to a dead body…. Only God can create something from nothing and then fill it with life…. Only God has the power to restore life.” The Bible makes it clear that God alone is the Creator and Sustainer of life.

Claim #3 (vs. 22 and 27): I am the final judge of the living and the dead. In verse 22, Jesus claims that the Father “has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” And in verse 27, Jesus says that the Father “has given Him authority to judge.” God is the only One in the universe qualified to be the eternal Judge of the living and the dead, because God is the only One in the universe who knows absolutely everything about us. And God is the only One who is perfect both in His love AND in His justice. So, when Jesus claims to be the eternal Judge of the living and the dead, He’s claiming to be all-knowing and perfectly holy.

Claim #4 (v. 23): I am worthy to be honored just as God the Father is honored. Jesus is, in effect, claiming a right to be worshiped just as God the Father is worshiped. Once again, no mere human or angel can rightfully make this claim.

Claim #5 (vs. 24-25): Every person’s eternal destiny hinges on Me. If Jesus is telling the truth, where you spend eternity has nothing to do with how good you were or how wicked you were during your lifetime here on earth, or how religious or irreligious you were. In God’s eyes, the man who has “done good” is the man who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and followed Him with his life. And in God’s eyes, the man who has “done evil” is the man who has rejected Him as Savior and Lord and lived life on his own terms.  If Jesus is telling the truth here, where you spend eternity has nothing to do with you at all. It has everything to do with Him. It has everything to do with Jesus.

Claim #6 (vs25-29): At the sound of My voice, every person who has ever died will be resurrected. At first glance, this might seem to be the same as Jesus’ second claim, but it’s not. Jesus’ second claim is that He can raise a dead body to life here on earth. But in verses 25-29, Jesus claims to have the authority to resurrect EVERYONE who has died to live forever.

Now, that you’ve heard Jesus’ claims for Himself, you have to decide. You can’t just call Him a “good teacher” or a “prophet”—because He claimed to be the Son of God. Therefore, there are only three logical options: He is either a liar, a lunatic or Lord of all—Lord of the living and the dead, at whose name one day “Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Are you willing to receive that which is true? Will you humbly bow before the Son of God, confess Him as your Savior and Lord, turn from your sin and obey His marching orders from this point forward?

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Do You Show Mercy and Grace?

Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. – John 5:8-9 

Imagine you’re awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of a lawnmower. When you get out of bed and step onto the front porch, you see your next-door neighbor, who’s been in a wheelchair for 38 years. And he’s dancing around your front yard, mowing your lawn like he just won the lottery. How would you respond? Would you yell across the yard, “Charlie! I can’t believe it! How on earth did you get out of that wheelchair?” Or would you wave your fist at him and say, “What in tarnation are you doing at this time of night? GET OFF MY LAWN!” 

That’s Pastor Chuck Swindoll’s great illustration of the two different ways religious leaders could have reacted after Jesus healed a paralyzed man in John 5.

The man was one of many disabled people who used to gather around the Pool of Bethesda, hoping for a healing. The name “Bethesda” can be translated as “house of mercy and grace.” But the place didn’t live up to its name. At that time, it was believed that an angel from heaven came down to the pool every now and then to stir up the waters. We know now that this was most likely from an underground spring. But back then, those disabled people believed that the first person into the stirred-up pool would be healed. In other words, the fastest person into the water gets healed—so, most likely, it’s the one who least needs the healing. So, was Bethesda a true house of mercy and grace? Not really!

Thankfully, the God of grace and mercy, Jesus Christ, stepped onto the pool deck. And he wasn’t looking for the fastest or healthiest man to heal. When the paralyzed man explained to Jesus that he had no one to help him get to the water first, Jesus had just one thing to say to him: “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (v. 8). Immediately, the man was healed—so he got up and did just that. It should have been a happy ending, right?

But as it turns out, the healing took place on the Sabbath Day, and the religious leaders didn’t take kindly to anyone doing anything that even resembled work on the Sabbath. So, when they saw the healed man walk into the temple courts carrying his bed mat, all the religious leaders could say was, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” The healed man responded, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk’” (vs. 10-11).

Now, what is the most remarkable detail in this man’s statement? Is it A) that someone had just healed his severed spinal cord and paralyzed legs? Or B) that the healer told him to carry his sleeping bag? That’s a real stumper, isn’t it? But look at what the religious leaders focused on in verse 12. They asked: “Who is this fellow who told you to pick up your mat and walk?”

Be very careful that you don’t make the same mistake that the religious leaders made in John 5. They were so entrenched in their legalism that they completely flushed grace down the toilet. They were staring an earth-shattering miracle right in the face, and all they could see was an out-of-place sleeping bag. How sad!

Here are three Life Lessons we can draw from these passages:

Life Lesson #1: Just like in Jesus’ day, our community is filled with hurting people who are searching for a house of mercy and grace. And as Jesus’ followers, we have what they so desperately need. Every week, people walk through the church door who are hurting or sick. Every week, there are people watching church services online who, like the crippled man, have been pushed around and mistreated, and they feel like they don’t have a friend in the world. You and I who follow Jesus are called to offer them kindness, mercy and grace.

Life Lesson #2: Just like in Jesus’ day, there is healing in the house of mercy and grace. The same Jesus who healed the crippled man in John 5 is working in this world today. And His power to heal back then is still available to heal right now. Maybe you need physical healing. Maybe you long for an emotional healing from depression, anxiety or addiction. Or maybe you recognize your greatest need: a spiritual healing. You need to get saved and be born again. Maybe it’s your day to be healed. But if it’s not, keep coming back to the house of mercy and grace, believing that your healing is coming.

Life Lesson #3: Just like in Jesus’ day, there are wet blankets in the house of mercy and grace. I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised that the religious leaders in His time were ignoring the miracle and focusing on the infraction, because, honestly, sometimes you and I do the same thing. Hurting people are being ministered to and decisions for Christ are being made, but we’re complaining about the service going too long. The Word of God is being preached in power, and Christians are growing in their faith, but we’re all miffed because someone “took my seat.” There are any number of ways that we can be wet blankets in the house of mercy and grace. Let’s stop doing that.

Let’s all be ministers of mercy and grace. Let’s spill mercy and grace all over everybody, and then watch and see what miracles Jesus Christ performs when we do.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30am or 10am at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestream us on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Monday, August 21, 2023

Do You Take Jesus at His Word?

“Jesus replied, ‘You may go. Your son will live.’ The man took Jesus at His word and departed.” – John 4:50

Perhaps you’ve heard of the avid hiker who clung to a tree branch after slipping and falling off a mountain ridge. It was just a matter of time before he lost his grip and plummeted to his death. So, he cried out to the great Rescuer in the Sky: “Is anyone up there?”

To his surprise, a reply quickly came: “I am here. Do you believe in Me?” “Yes, I believe in You, Lord,” he replied. “But I can’t hang on much longer. Please help me!” To which God responded, “I will help you. If you believe in Me, there’s nothing to worry about. Let go of the branch. Just … let go of the branch.” After a brief pause the man shouted, “Is anyone ELSE up there?”

That man wasn’t very good at trusting God. But in John 4:46-53, we’re introduced to a man whose family was forever changed, because he took Jesus at His Word. 

In John 4:46, a certain royal official came to Jesus in the town of Cana and begged Jesus to heal his son, who was on his deathbed in nearby Capernaum. Evidently, the doctors could no longer help him, and the medications weren’t helping either. So, he came to Jesus in desperation, begging Jesus to travel back to Capernaum with him before it was too late.

The royal official’s faith in Jesus’ miracle-working ability was impressive but flawed in at least two ways. For starters, he believed that Jesus had to be physically present in Capernaum to heal his son. And secondly, he believed that if his son died, it would be too late for Jesus to heal him. Little did he know that Jesus’ healing power isn’t restricted by time or space.

But the royal official’s bigger faith problem is revealed as Jesus responds to his request in verse 48: “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders, you will never believe.” At first, Jesus’ reply to the grieving father seems rather cold and uncompassionate. But the truth is: It was a call to saving faith.

You see, there’s a big difference between believing in Jesus as a miracle worker and believing in Jesus as your Savior and Lord. There will be plenty of people who will spend eternity separated from God who, during their lifetimes on earth, believed that Jesus performed miracles. But sadly, they didn’t believe in Him as Savior and Lord. They had MIRACLE-WORKING faith, but they didn’t have SAVING faith. And without saving faith, we remain hopelessly separated from God and self-condemned. So, Jesus’ response to the royal official is a call to the most important kind of faith—saving faith.

In verse 50, Jesus sends him on his way with these simple yet powerful words: “You may go. Your son will live.” And that’s ALL the assurance the worried father needed to hear. “The man took Jesus at His word and departed.” And within the next few verses we discover not only that the official’s son was healed at the exact moment Jesus had spoken the words “Your son will live”—but also that the man and his entire household believed in Jesus as Savior and Lord. The GOOD news is that the young boy’s life was extended here on earth. But the much BETTER news is that the entire family’s souls were saved for all eternity in heaven.

Scottish theologian William Barclay identifies several excellent character traits that the royal official demonstrates in this passage, character traits that you and I would be wise to emulate.

Character Trait #1: He swallowed his pride and came to Jesus humbly. It’s one thing to believe that Jesus can help you out of your mess. It’s another thing to swallow your pride, humble yourself before the Lord and actually ask Him to help—even when people around you think you’re crazy for trusting in Christ.

Character Trait #2: He refused to be dissuaded from bringing His great need to Christ. Do you hesitate to pray, read your Bible or talk about Jesus Christ in public? If so, you need to follow in the royal official’s footsteps and come to Jesus without concern for your precious ego or reputation. No one should be able to talk you out of trusting in Christ every day and making church a priority for you and your family every week. Never be dissuaded from crying out to Jesus—no matter where you are or who you’re with. Like the royal official, refuse to allow anything or anyone to discourage you from taking your needs to Him.

Character Trait #3: He had great faith in Jesus. He took Him at His Word. When Jesus makes a promise, it’s not a matter of it “may” be true. We are convinced that it “must” be true. Jesus said it. I believe it, and that settles it. In fact, if Jesus said it, it’s settled whether or not I believe it. So, I’d be a fool not to believe the 100% reliable and trustworthy Word of the Lord.

After a raging fire swept through his house one night, a young boy crawled out his bedroom window onto the roof. His father called to him from below, “Son, jump! I will catch you!” But the boy was petrified. He couldn’t see his dad. All he could see were flames and smoke. So, he called back, “Daddy! I’m scared! I can’t see you!” To which his father replied, “That’s okay, Son! I can see you, and that’s all that matters.” So, the boy took his father at his word and jumped safely into his arms. Jesus calls you and me to do the same—to take Him at His word and jump by faith.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30am or 10am at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestreaming on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Maybe He Can Change Your Life, Too

"The true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks."  John 4:24

Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia is widely regarded as one of the best mayors in American history. He effectively led New York City through the most difficult years of the Great Depression and World War II. Although LaGuardia had a short frame, he had a BIG personality, and he loved people of all ages. It wasn’t unusual for him to ride the New York City fire trucks or take entire orphanages to baseball games. And when the New York newspapers were on strike, he went on the radio and read the daily comics to the kids.

Well, one night in January 1935, Mayor LaGuardia showed up at the night court that served the poorest ward of the city. LaGuardia dismissed the judge for the evening and took over the bench himself. An old woman was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. She told LaGuardia that her daughter was sick and that her son-in-law had deserted her and their two kids. The old woman said she stole the bread because her grandchildren were starving. But the shopkeeper from whom the bread was stolen refused to drop the charges, insisting that the woman had to be punished to teach a lesson to others in that bad neighborhood.

LaGuardia sighed, turned to the woman and said, "I've got to punish you. The law makes no exceptions: ten dollars or ten days in jail." But as he spoke, he reached into his own pocket and pulled out a $10 bill. Mayor LaGuardia said, "Here is the $10 fine, which I now remit; and furthermore, I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom 50 cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.” 

The next day, New York City newspapers reported that $47.50 was turned over to the shocked grandmother who had stolen a loaf of bread to feed her starving grandchildren. Fifty cents of that amount was contributed by the embarrassed grocery store owner. The remaining 70 people in the courtroom not only coughed up 50 cents each; everyone in the room rose to give the mayor a standing ovation.

I’ll bet you agree that a grace like that DESERVES a standing ovation. And so does the amazing grace that Jesus showed to the Samaritan woman at the well.

As I discussed in last week’s column, the Samaritan woman had little or no social standing. She was a five-time divorcee who was sexually promiscuous. It’s pretty clear that she was a social outcast. Yet, in John 4:16-24, Jesus urged the woman to receive the spiritual truth He was offering her and to step into the grace of God. Jesus explained that true worship isn’t confined to a certain building in a certain place: “A time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem….The true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (vs. 21-24).

In this passage, Jesus highlights two differences between false worship and true worship:

Difference #1: False worship is a selective worship, but true worship transcends time, space and ritual (v21). Jews and Samaritans held different views regarding where God should be worshiped. The Jews claimed that God HAD to be worshiped in Jerusalem. But the Samaritans insisted that God HAD to be worshiped on Mt. Gerizim, there in Samaria, where the Samaritans had set up a temple of their own. Jesus, however, pointed out that true worship can’t be confined to a specific place—because GOD can’t be confined to a specific place. Is our God so small that He’s stuck inside a 30 x 30-foot room on top of the temple mount? No way! Our God is a BIG God. His glory not only fills the earth; His glory fills the heavens and the earth.

Difference #2: False worship is an ignorant worship, but true worship involves a personal knowledge of God and His Word (v. 22). The Samaritans had tossed out most of the Old Testament, leaving only the first five books. So they were largely ignorant of who God was. But God has given us several wonderful gifts to help us NOT be spiritually ignorant. First, He gave us His Word—but we have to read and listen to His Word and hide it in our hearts. The second gift God gave us is our brains. It’s wonderful when our emotions are engaged when we worship God, but true worship requires our minds to be engaged. The third gift God gave us is His Holy Spirit—our most faithful Teacher and personal Tutor, Who opens our minds and hearts to the truth of God’s Word.

When I think of the grace that Mayor LaGuardia showed the granny who stole the loaf of bread, I can’t help but wonder how that grace changed her life and the lives of her hungry grandkids. And when I think of the grace that Jesus showed the woman at the well, I can’t help but wonder how His grace changed HER life and the lives of those she shared that grace with.

At the end of the account of the woman at the well, she runs into town saying, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did” (v. 29). In a matter of minutes, she goes from simply having a little bit of intellectual knowledge about God to knowing God personally—because God in human flesh came to the well to have a one-on-one conversation with her. I believe that God has called you and me to do the same thing. Sometimes it's simply about telling someone, “Jesus Christ changed my life. Can I tell you what he did for me? Come with me to church on Sunday. Perhaps He can transform your life, too. Come and see a man who changed my life. Come and see!”

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30am or 10am at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestreaming on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit 

Monday, August 7, 2023

A Savior for Social Rejects

“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” – John 4:10

It’s one of the best-known and loved moments in the Book of John: Jesus' conversation with the woman at the well. It's one thing for Jesus to SAY that God didn't send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save it; Jesus' exchange with the Samaritan woman PROVES it. 


The story is in chapter 4 of the Book of John. Traveling through Samaria, a weary Jesus was resting by the well of Jacob when a Samaritan woman came to draw water. When He asked her for a drink, she was surprised He had talked to her at all. Most Jews would have nothing to do with Samaritans, believing that the Samaritans’ bloodline and morals were corrupt. When she asked why He had spoken to her, He replied, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water” (v. 10).


In the conversation that followed, Jesus revealed what He already knew about the woman: that she had been divorced five times and now lived with a man who wasn’t her husband (vs 17-18). Eventually He even revealed to her that He was the Messiah (v. 26). When their conversation ended, the woman left her water jar and ran to tell her neighbors: “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did” (vs. 28-29). She left the well a changed person, ready to share Jesus with others.


Jesus’ discussion with the woman at the well is revolutionary for what He said—and for who He said it TO. He didn’t just have a shallow conversation in a public place with a Samaritan man. He had a deep, spiritual conversation in a public place with a Samaritan woman, at a time when many rabbis wouldn’t speak to ANY woman in public. And not only did Jesus have a public conversation with a Samaritan woman. He had a conversation with a notorious, scandalous Samaritan woman—a woman of very low moral character. Was the Samaritan woman unworthy of God’s mercy and grace? Yes. But so are you. The woman at the well was no less deserving of God’s mercy and grace than anyone else. And Jesus didn’t love her any less than anyone else. Jesus understands better than anyone that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).


As far as we know, the Samaritan woman never DID give Jesus that drink. Jesus was tired, hot and thirsty, but He put His own personal needs aside to extend compassion and mercy to this broken woman. And when His disciples returned and offered Him food, He said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about” (v. 32). By ministering to the woman at the well, He was satisfied.


For this passage, I’ll draw some Life Lessons from three of my favorite Bible scholars and teachers:


Life Lesson #1: “There can be no conversion without conviction” (Warren Wiersbe). It’s been said that every good teacher must do three things: Teach, Model and Inspire. Here in John 4, we see Jesus doing all three. First, he TEACHES the woman some vital truths about what matters in eternity—not physical water, but the spiritual water of salvation. And throughout the conversation, Jesus MODELS this truth: Dear woman, you matter to God, and you also matter to Me. He didn’t just talk about God caring for her – He showed it. But the teaching and the modeling by themselves didn’t transform this woman. Jesus had to INSPIRE her to change. And He inspired her to change by calling attention to her sin. Jesus didn’t do this to shame her or condemn her. He did it to convict her so that she would confess her sin, turn from it and be saved.


Life Lesson #2: “There are two revelations in Christianity: the revelation of God and the revelation of ourselves. We never really see ourselves until we see ourselves in the presence of Christ; and then we are appalled at the sight” (William Barclay). After her encounter with Jesus, the woman at the well makes a complete 180-degree turn. When she first comes to the well, she’s by herself for a reason. She’s walking away from any social interactions. She’s walking AWAY from spiritual conversations. She knows she’s a sinner, because 100 different people have already told her so – and she DOESN’T want to talk about it. But by verse 28, she’s a changed woman. She’s no longer walking AWAY from her neighbors, she’s running to them. She’s not AVOIDING spiritual conversations, she’s INITIATING them. And most remarkable of all, she’s no longer denying her past sins. She’s admitting them—telling people, “This man told me everything I’ve ever done, and He has accepted me and forgiven me anyway!”


Life Lesson #3: “Notice that Christ asked the woman to receive Him and His gift without any prerequisite change in her life. After she believed, and because she believed, her way of living would be changed” (Charles Ryrie). In some churches, when someone wants to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord, they’re told: First, you have to start doing this. Or first, you have to stop doing that. The woman at the well had plenty of changes that she needed to make. But Jesus didn’t require her to change ALL her bad behaviors BEFORE she got saved. First, she needed to get saved. That was true for her, and it’s also true for you. If you’re waiting to get your life in order before becoming a Christian, you’re putting the cart before the horse. The Bible says that when you turn from your sin and become a baptized believer and follower of Jesus, God will give you the gift of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit specializes in helping us change our bad behaviors. So, the question is: Are you ready to stop making excuses and begin following Jesus today?


Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30am or 10am at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestreaming on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Monday, July 24, 2023

How to Be Second Greatest

“A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.… He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3:27-30

Aside from Jesus Christ, who is the greatest person in the Bible?

In Matthew 11, Jesus answered that question. Interestingly, he didn’t choose any of the great leaders you might expect. He didn’t choose Abraham, Moses, Esther or David—all great heroes of our faith. Surprisingly, Jesus said in Matthew 11:11: “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women, there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.”

Really? John the Baptist? The guy who lived in the wilderness? The guy who wore camels’ hair clothes and ate bugs? Seriously, Jesus? That’s the GREATEST man who’s ever lived? Yes. And John 3 explains why.

The Gospel of John makes it clear that the early part of Jesus’ public ministry overlapped with the final weeks of John’s public ministry. While Jesus was turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana, while Jesus driving out the money changers in the temple courts, and while Jesus was having a one-on-one conversation with Nicodemus about being born again … John the Baptist was still out there preaching and baptizing.

Well, by John 3:22, Jesus had also begun baptizing people in the Judean countryside. Some of John the Baptist’s loyal followers didn’t like that. They felt that Jesus had come into John’s backyard and snatched up John’s customers. So they went to Aenon, where John was—once again—preaching and baptizing (v. 23). And they told John: “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him” (v. 26).

John’s disciples thought they were being good, loyal followers by being offended on his behalf. How did John the Baptist respond to his zealous disciples? He responded masterfully … by responding humbly: “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ … He must become greater; I must become less” (vs. 27-30).

It would have been so easy for John to side with his followers and feel offended and mistreated. It’s easy to feel offended. It’s easy to feel wounded. It’s easy to feel unappreciated. All of us have done it at one time or another. But John the Baptist didn’t take the easy road. John’s humble response to his disciples’ frustration and jealousy reveals WHY Jesus considered John the Baptist to be the greatest man born. Instead of following his ego into a trap, John corrected his disciples on the spot.

Here are three Life Lessons we can learn from this passage:

Life Lesson #1: Be careful that your sympathy for others doesn’t encourage them to be bitter or jealous. As the great theologian William Barclay writes, “Sometimes a friend’s sympathy can be the worst possible thing for us. It can make us feel sorry for ourselves and encourage us to think that we have not had a fair deal.” So often when people feel they’ve been ignored or treated unfairly, we validate their toxic thoughts and feelings. When speaking to a Christian who feels shafted, 1) Remind them that God is control; (2) Encourage them to be content with what God has given them; and (3) Urge them to rejoice with others who God is blessing.

Life Lesson #2: As you serve Christ, be content with every season of ministry—the highs, the lows and everything in between. The world’s view of success and God’s view of success are NOT the same. God doesn’t call us to be “successful” by the world’s standards. Instead, He calls us to be obedient and faithful … and leave the results up to Him. Sometimes the results God brings will knock our socks off. At other times, the results will seem underwhelming. But GOD KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING. He is always true to His promise to work ALL things together for the good of those who love God and are called to carry out His purposes. So, trust Him. And be content to be used by Him on the mountaintops AND in the valleys.

Life Lesson #3: As you serve Christ, make this your motto: He must become greater. I must become less. As the forerunner to Jesus, John had two important jobs: #1) Prepare the way for Christ. And #2) Get out of the way of Christ. Don’t you think that’s a pretty good job description for you and me as well? From the moment He was born, John the Baptist had a subordinate role to Jesus. He understood that. He owned that. John was okay with that—as long as Jesus Christ was glorified.

There was once a pastor who had a thriving ministry. His church services were full every Sunday. But as the years went by, most of his attenders left to attend a new church just down the road. So, one evening the pastor asked his small congregation, “Where have all the people gone?”

After a few seconds of awkward silence, someone spoke up: “I think they’ve gone to the church down the street to hear the new minister.” The pastor thought for a moment, then said, “Well, then. I think we ought to join them.” And he descended from the pulpit and led his congregation down the road to attend the other church that night. In Jesus’ book, THAT is a great pastor.

Do you want to be a great servant of the Lord Jesus Christ? That’s fantastic—as long as you don’t misunderstand what greatness looks like in the Kingdom of Heaven. Wherever Jesus is working and whoever He’s working through, celebrate the life-changing work of Christ. He must become greater; you must become less.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for worship on Sunday at 8:30am or 10am at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley, or livestreaming on Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Will You Grab God’s Lifeline?

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”  – John 3:17

In 1829, a career criminal named George Wilson robbed a United States mail carrier. Wilson was arrested and convicted of six charges, including violent assault, which carried the death penalty. So, Wilson was sentenced to hang.

But in the days leading up to his scheduled execution, things got really interesting. Some friends of George Wilson petitioned President Andrew Jackson and convinced him to offer Wilson a presidential pardon. But George Wilson dropped a bombshell: He refused to accept the pardon.

Well, the district court wasn’t sure what to do. So, Wilson’s case was bumped all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reportedly handed down this ruling: “A pardon is an act of grace …. and delivery is not complete without acceptance. It may then be rejected by the person to whom it is tendered, and if it be rejected, we have discovered no power in a court to force it on him…. Therefore, George Wilson must die.” By most accounts, having rejected the gift of grace, George Wilson was hanged for his crimes.

Are you another George Wilson? Are you rejecting the forgiveness and grace that Christ has offered to you?

The frequently-quoted John 3:16 is an amazing verse. But verse 3:17 is equally amazing. In His first coming, Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn people to hell. That will happen at His second coming, on Judgment Day. But Jesus’ first coming was never about judging or condemning. It was all about love and salvation. In love, God has offered every person the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. But God cannot and will not force you or me to receive His loving pardon from hell. What you do with God’s get-out-of-hell-free card is up to you.

Jesus went on, “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already” (v.18). Again, Jesus didn’t come to condemn us to hell—because we’d already beaten Him to the punch. We’ve already condemned OURSELVES to Hell. Satan has convinced most people that if so-called “good” people end up in hell, it’s God’s fault. If anyone other than murderers, rapists and child predators go to hell, it’s because God unjustly sent them there. Ultimately, it’s easier to blame God than to look in the mirror and realize how steeped in darkness and evil we really are. Here’s the truth: If you end up in hell, you have no one to blame but yourself. God didn’t sin. YOU did. Jesus doesn’t deserve hell. YOU do. If you didn’t take hold of God’s get-out-of-hell-free card, the fault is yours. Jesus threw you a lifeline, and you shoved it back in His face.

So, why would any rational person do that? Why would anyone reject Christ’s gifts of forgiveness and heaven?

Jesus responds, “Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light, because their deeds were evil” (v. 19). Most people will say they “love Jesus.” But the sad truth is, most people love their sin MORE. Most people love the darkness of the world more than they love the light of Jesus. Most people love their own evil deeds more than they love the righteousness of Jesus. Christianity has never been about simply believing in Jesus (John 3:16-17). Christianity is about believing in Jesus AND walking in the light of Jesus (John 3:18-19). The proof of your love for Christ is in your actions, your priorities and your lifestyle.

Here are three Life Lessons we can draw from this passage:

Life Lesson #1: Before Jesus came onto the scene, you were drowning in your own sin. You were self-condemned. Going to hell is easy. Just live your life here on earth however the “hell” you want to, and you’re a shoo-in. Every person who ends up in hell will end up there because of their own wicked choices—because they wanted to live life on their own terms. They didn’t care about God. They ignored God’s commands. And when Jesus Christ stretched out His hand to offer them a lifeline, like a cockroach fleeing the light, they rejected Him and retreated back into their darkness. Ultimately, they will be in hell because they preferred the darkness of hell over the light of heaven.

Life Lesson #2: Jesus didn’t come to earth in anger to bring you judgment. He came to earth in love to bring you the gift of salvation. When the perfectly holy Creator of the universe came to earth 2,000 years ago, He had every right to condemn us all to hell then and there. Hell is the just punishment for our sin and rebellion against God. But that’s what’s so remarkable about John 3:16-17. God had every right to send Jesus to judge us and condemn us. But instead, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (v. 16).

Life Lesson #3: When Jesus Christ reaches out to save you, you can cling to your sin and stay in the dark … or you can cling to Christ and step into the light. President Jackson threw George Wilson a lifeline by giving him a pardon. Like a fool, George Wilson refused it. And most people today—like George Wilson—refuse Jesus’s lineline and pardon from sin.

Are you another George Wilson? Are you rejecting the forgiveness and grace that Christ has offered to you? The light of the world, Jesus Christ, is within arm’s reach. I hope and pray that you will take hold of Him today.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us at our new worship location in Apple Valley (16209 Kamana Road), now meeting at 8:30am and 10am. You can also join us livestreaming online at Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit