Friday, May 28, 2021

Don't Worry!

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” – Matthew 6:27 

I heard a story about a husband who got fed up with his wife’s constant worrying. Finally, one day he asked her, “Why are you always worrying when it doesn't do ANY good?” She quickly yelled back, “Oh, yes, it does do some good! Ninety percent of the things I worry about never happen!”

Well, the wife is absolutely correct that 90 percent of the stuff we worry about never happens. But her worry didn’t do a darned thing to stop bad stuff from coming her way, did it?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes it clear he doesn’t want us to worry. In fact, he tells us so five times in Matthew 6:25-34: “Do not worry about your life” (v. 25). “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (v. 27). “Why do you worry about clothes?” (v. 28). “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or “What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” (v. 31). “Do not worry about tomorrow” (v. 34). So, Jesus doesn’t want us to worry. But why not?

Well, just before He shifts to the topic of worry, Jesus was talking about money, telling us, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (v. 24). Keep that in mind as you read verse 25: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” In other words, “If you’ve chosen to serve God instead of serving money, and you’ve chosen to love God instead of loving all the stuff in your house, and you’ve chosen to be devoted to God instead of being devoted to your stomach, I tell you, do not worry about these other things.” Life in the kingdom of heaven is infinitely more important than food. And our bodies in the kingdom of heaven are infinitely more important than clothes.

Jesus calls us to take our eyes off all the stuff around us and reorient ourselves to God. And if we are reoriented to God, there is no place in our lives for worrying about food, water, clothes or even tomorrow’s utility bills. In verses 26-30, Jesus points out how well God takes care of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. After all, you’ve never seen an undernourished bird, have you? And have you ever had a weed growing through a crack in your driveway that’s greener than the grass on your lawn? Or seen wildflowers that look better than the flowers in your garden? Why is that? It’s because God is a better gardener than you are. (He’s definitely a better gardener than I am.) So, if God does such a marvelous job clothing a weed or a flower or a wild blade of grass, Jesus asks in verse 30, “Will He not much more clothe you”—and don’t miss the last five words of this verse—“O you of little faith?”

What is Jesus saying? He’s saying that worry demonstrates a lack of faith in God. Therefore, worry is actually a sin! Worry demonstrate a lack of trust God’s LOVE, because it implies that God doesn’t really care about my needs. Worry shows lack of faith in God’s WISDOM, because it implies that God doesn’t know what He’s doing. Worry demonstrates lack of trust in God’s POWER, because worry implies that God isn’t able to provide for my needs. It’s a sin to distrust God’s love, wisdom and power—and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you worry. So Jesus turns to us in verses 28-30 and says, “Trust God, and don’t worry!”

As Jesus says in verse 33: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” if your priorities are straight—if you are heart’s affections and your thoughts are focused on God and His kingdom work, God will supply all of your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. If you’re serving Him, God will meet every need you have—guaranteed.

A recently licensed pilot was flying his private plane on a really cloudy day. He was low on fuel, and he was approaching the airport landing strip … but he couldn’t see it. And he didn’t trust his instrument panel. When the air traffic controller started to guide him through the landing process, the pilot began to panic. Then a stern voice came over the radio: “You just obey instructions. We’ll take care of the obstructions.”

You may worry because the refrigerator is almost empty … or your kids are going to need new shoes next month … or that you won’t have enough money next week to pay for what you need next month. But Jesus turns to you and says sternly, “You just obey my instructions. I’ll take care of the obstructions. And here are my instructions: Seek first the Father’s kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our in-person worship service Sundays at 9 a.m. at 17746 George Blvd. in Victorville. Or, join us online at 10 a.m. on the Impact Christian Church YouTube channel or Facebook page. For more information, visit

Monday, May 24, 2021

Treasures in Heaven

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.– Matthew 6:21

In India, monkeys are considered sacred. Most people refuse to kill them, so as you might guess, in certain parts of India monkeys are running loose all over the place. That presents a problem for the farmers who grow crops that monkeys happen to like—crops like bananas.

So, years ago, a certain farmer came up with an ingenious way to capture monkeys without killing them. The farmer drills a hole into a coconut and places a banana inside it. Then he ties the other end of the coconut to a tree. Before long a monkey will come by, smell the banana, and reach into the coconut for an easy meal. But with his fist clenched around the banana, he can’t fit it back through the hole of the coconut. And even when the farmer walks up to the monkey to grab him, the monkey refuses to let go of it.

Silly monkey! At any moment he could be free by simply letting go of the banana. But he is imprisoned by his own greed. You and I are a lot like monkeys aren’t we? We like to hold on to our stuff, and we don’t like to let go of it, even when it imprisons us. If you’re a monkey lover, you’d probably love to somehow get that dumb Indian monkey to understand that if he’d just let go of the banana, he could be free. Unfortunately, you don’t speak monkey. But Jesus does speak human. And in the Sermon on the Mount, His words can get us dumb humans to understand that we’re only hurting ourselves when we cling to the stuff inside our coconuts. Jesus lovingly urges us to let it go.

In Matthew 6:19, Jesus tells His followers, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” Jesus is reminding us that all the stuff we own is temporary. And because it’s temporary, its ability to bring us pleasure is temporary. As theologian William Barclay put it: “All purely physical pleasures have a way of wearing out. At each successive enjoyment of them the thrill becomes less thrilling. It requires more of them to produce the same effect. They are like a drug which loses its initial potency and which becomes increasingly less effective. A man is a foolish man who finds his pleasures in things which are bound to offer diminishing returns.”

So, storing up treasures on earth is a really bad idea. And in verse 20, Jesus tells us where we should store up treasures: “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” But what does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? Well, it doesn’t just mean to do good stuff here on earth for God so that God will do good stuff for you one day in heaven. And it doesn’t just mean to use your stuff here on earth for God so that He’ll give you better stuff in heaven.

What does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? It means to invest everything you have—your time, talents and treasures—in God’s kingdom work. (I like to call them the three T’s.) Many Christians throw something into the offering box and think that’s good enough for God. Others are scared to give God a whole 10% tithe, so they offer God some of their time and talent instead. But Jesus calls us to give all three T’s to invest everything we have in God’s kingdom work. Our cars are to be available for kingdom work. Our homes are to be available for kingdom work. Our clothes and our food and our toys are to be available for kingdom work. Even our weekends are to be available for God’s kingdom work.

In verse 21, Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be with you.” In other words, our money goes where our heart goes. We spend our money on what we care most about and prioritize. There’s nothing wrong with owning nice things—as long as those nice things don’t own US. There are umpteen different things that you could do with your time and your talents. Where you choose to use your three T’s reveals where your heart is. Honestly, Jesus doesn’t need your money. He doesn’t need your talents. And He doesn’t need your time. But He wants it … because He wants your heart. Jesus asks each of us in verses 19-21, “Where is your treasure?”

So, in a nutshell, Jesus is saying: “If your eyes are focused on material things, and your thoughts are focused on material things, and your heart finds its joy and purpose in material things—then money is your god. And if money is your god, you’re just like a monkey whose hand is stuck in a coconut. As you selfishly cling to the stuff of this world, you’ll end up losing everything that really matters. Only what you release to God and use for His kingdom work will last.”

You’ve got a clear choice. Serve God or serve money? Jesus asks, “Who are you serving?”

I hope and pray that God will always find us on duty—investing our time, talents and treasures in God’s kingdom work. Loving people. Serving those in need. And the greatest work of all—leading people into a saving relationship with Christ.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our in-person worship service Sundays at 9 a.m. at 17746 George Blvd. in Victorville. Or, join us online at 10 a.m. on the Impact Christian Church YouTube channel or Facebook page. For more information, visit

Friday, May 14, 2021

What's Fasting All About?

“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes fromthe mouth of God.’”
– Matthew 4:4

Skipped any meals lately? Some people skip meals to lose weight. Others fast as part of an internal detox. Still others do it just because they feel like they’re too busy to stop and eat.

But for Christians, there’s the practice of Biblical fasting—something a lot of us may be missing out on. You see, a biblical fast isn’t just about simply not eating. Biblical fasting involves replacing the food with something else—namely, prayer and a deeper study of God’s word. So, if we’re skipping meals, but we aren’t praying and reading God’s word more, that’s not biblical fasting. That’s dieting. You can pray without fasting, but you can’t fast biblically without praying.

If you do a Bible study on fasting, you’ll discover that it’s mentioned dozens of times in the Old Testaments and over 20 times in the New Testament. And God’s followers fast and pray for a variety of reasons. Here are three quick examples:

Example #1: Jesus fasted and prayed before he began his public ministry (Luke 4:2). Jesus set us a great example. Fasting and prayer focus us and empower us for what’s up ahead. When we are at a crossroads in our life and we’re about to begin something new and important, it’s a really good idea to spend some time fasting and praying. Before you begin a new job, it’s a good idea to fast and pray. Before you begin a new school year, it’s a good idea to fast and pray. Before your wedding day, before your child is born, before you have surgery—fast and pray. 

Example #2: Jesus urged his disciples to pray and fast for spiritual breakthrough (Mark 9:29). In Mark 9 we read about a boy who was demon-possessed. The demon made him mute, thrash around on the ground and foam at the mouth. Nine of Jesus’ disciples had tried to drive the demon out but they had failed. So, Jesus stepped in and drove out the demon. Later that day Jesus’ disciples asked, “Why couldn’t we drive out the demon?” Jesus answered, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” And some Biblical manuscripts include the two extra words “and fasting.” So, Biblical fasting can intensify our prayers to bring about spiritual deliverance when nothing else works.

This is such an important benefit of fasting and prayer. There are times when Christians get caught up in an addiction. Willpower doesn’t work, self-help methods don’t work, and the tear-filled pleas of loved ones don’t work. Even normal prayers don’t work. Oftentimes, when nothing else works, a season of fasting and prayer will work. And underneath many other physical, psychological and relationship problems, there are root spiritual problems. Seasons of prayer and fasting can address these root spiritual problems like nothing else can.

Example #3: The Church at Antioch prayed and fasted for God’s clear guidance and direction (Acts 13:2-3). As the Christians sought God through worship, prayer and fasting, God told them to set aside Barnabas and Saul for the mission field. And as a result, the single greatest Christian missionary of all time, the Apostle Paul, began the first of his three missionary journeys. Fasting and prayer tune our ears to God’s voice and prepare us to obey His clear guidance and direction.

As we’ve seen in these three examples, fasting and prayer can focus us and empower us for what’s up ahead. It can usher in spiritual breakthrough. And fasting and prayer can reveal God’s guidance and direction. But I believe it all boils down to this: Biblical fasting is a necessary part of a radical reorientation toward God.

In Isaiah 58:6-9, God laid into the people of Israel when their fasting had become meaningless. God told them, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.”

God is saying that fasting has ALWAYS been about giving up something GOOD to gain something that is infinitely BETTER. Giving up food has never been the end goal. It’s just the starting line. As we give up some good food in order to reorient ourselves to God, who is much better and more fulfilling than the greatest meal we’ve ever eaten, He leads us to give up other good things for what is even better. As we fast from food, God also leads us to fast from injustice and oppression. He leads us to fast from hoarding our food while others around us go hungry. He leads us to fast from a closet full of clothes when the homeless around us need some of those clothes.

In short, as we fast and pray, God helps us take our eyes OFF ourselves and the temporary things of this world, so we can experience a radical reorientation to God. Food is good, but God is infinitely better. So, we fast and pray.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our in-person worship service Sundays at 9 a.m. at 17746 George Blvd. in Victorville. Or, join us online at 10 a.m. on the Impact Christian Church YouTube channel or Facebook page. For more information, visit

Friday, May 7, 2021

3 More Prayer Requests from Jesus

 “Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” – Matthew 6:11-13

I think most of us understand that there’s a wrong way to pray. For example, this year’s Super Bowl was an absolute slaughter. At halftime the Chiefs were down 21-6 to the underdog Buccaneers. And by that time, you can guess what many Chiefs fans were doing, especially those who had bet on the game: They began praying for a miracle. After all, they had a lot riding on that game: money, pride and bragging rights. Do I even need to say it? That’s the wrong way to pray.

Another wrong use of prayer is to take someone else on a guilt trip. Instead of confronting them face-to-face, we choose the passive-aggressive approach and pray in front of them. “Lord, thank you for Jennifer. But I pray that she’ll stop being late all the time.” Or, “Father in heaven, help John to stop being so rude to me.” Most of us parents, at one time or another, have performed some guilt-trip prayers in front of our kids. After all, why confront them with their bad behavior when we can just pray for them at the dinner table? Friends, that’s another wrong way to pray.

But in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins teaching us the right way to pray. He says, “This, then, is how you should pray” (Matthew 6:9). And He proceeds to teach us The Lord’s Prayer. There are six prayer requests in this short prayer. Many Christians assume the first three requests in The Lord’s Prayer are focused on God’s needs and wants—“Hallowed by Your name,” “Your Kingdom come,” and “Your will be done”—while the last three requests focus on our needs and wants. But that’s only partly true. The last three prayer requests are very personal and practical, but each one still stems from a desire to see God’s name honored, God’s kingdom come and God’s will be done. Let’s take a look.

Jesus’ 4th Prayer Request (v. 11): “Give us today our daily bread.” Many ask, “What does Jesus mean by ‘daily bread’?” Well, we know that “bread” is a common symbol in the Bible, usually used as a synonym for food. So, Jesus’ 4th request in The Lord’s Prayer most likely boils down to this: “Our Father in heaven, give us the food we need today for our sustenance and support.” Or, as the New Living Translation puts it: “Give us today the food we need.” Notice that Jesus doesn’t say, “Give us this month the food we need.” Or even “Give us over the next few days the food we need.” Jesus wants us to express our dependence on God every day. 

Jesus’ 5th Prayer Request (v. 12): “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” In Jesus’ day, Jewish teachers used the word “debts” as a synonym for “sins.” So, Jesus is teaching us to pray that God will “forgive us for our sins, as we also have forgiven those who have sinned against us.” And if you’re wondering if Jesus is actually saying what you think He’s saying, the answer is YES … HE IS. Jesus is teaching us to basically pray, “Father in heaven, please forgive me for my sins. But only forgive me to the extent that I have already forgiven others who have sinned against me.” And all God’s children say, “Uh-oh!!!”

In case we miss what Jesus is saying here, He clarifies this 5th prayer request later on, in verses 14 and 15: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Is Jesus actually saying that God will refuse to forgive us if we refuse to forgive others? Bingo! That’s exactly what He’s saying. Think about it: How can we possibly expect God to forgive us for a sin that we fully intend to commit again and again--tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that?

So, according to Jesus, this is the right way to pray: “Our Father in heaven, You are a God of great mercy and forgiveness. So, as we follow in Your footsteps, we have shown mercy and forgiveness to those who have sinned against us. Now, that we ourselves aren’t holding on to any unforgiveness, please forgive us for the sins we’ve committed against You.”

Jesus’ 6th Prayer Request (v. 13): “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” The Bible teaches us, “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone” (James 1:13b). So what does this prayer request mean? Here’s a great insight that I learned from Pastor John Piper: “All our experiences are tests from God and are temptations from Satan.” He goes on to explain, “Pleasant Experiences – God wants us to thank Him. Satan wants us to idolize the pleasure. Painful Experiences – God wants us to trust Him. Satan wants us to curse God.” Learn to think of everything that you go through in life—whether it’s good, bad or ugly—as a test from God and as a temptation from Satan.

I pray that you’ll take these prayer requests to heart and pray them daily, alone AND with your family. Express to God your complete dependence upon Him to meet your needs today. Forgive others first, and ask God for forgiveness second. And finally, ask God to deliver you from anything—even blessings—that might pull you and your family away from God.

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our in-person worship service Sundays at 9 a.m. at 17746 George Blvd. in Victorville. Or, join us online at 10 a.m. on the Impact Christian Church YouTube channel or Facebook page. For more information, visit