Saturday, April 15, 2023

A Savior for the Nobodies

 Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. – Luke 24:27

There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Lord of the Rings and those who don’t. I’m in the camp that DOES like the trilogy. And there’s a marvelous piece of dialogue near the end of the third book, “The Return of the King,” that didn’t make it into the movie.

After accompanying Frodo on a terrifying, exhausting quest to destroy the ring of power, Frodo’s best friend, Samwise Gamgee, collapses and is unconscious for a period of time. When he awakens, he sees the wizard Gandalf and blurts out, “Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself.” And then Sam asks a question that reveals one of the most profound truths in the entire trilogy: “Is everything sad going to come untrue?”

Sam’s question is so profound. True deliverance and salvation aren’t just a matter of our wishful, happy dreams coming true. At a deeper level, deliverance and salvation are about our real-life nightmares becoming … untrue.

Last week we celebrated Easter, and on that first Easter the followers of Jesus Christ saw a genuine nightmare become untrue. Let’s take a look at one of Jesus’ less-talked-about appearances following His resurrection: His appearance to two men on the road to Emmaus. We know almost nothing about these men, except that they were followers of Jesus. And we read in Luke 24:13 that they were walking from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.

Why is so much time spent on Jesus’ appearance to these two unknown Christians? Just two verses in Matthew are dedicated to Jesus’ appearance to the women at the tomb. Just seven verses in John are dedicated to Jesus’ appearance to the 10 disciples in the upper room on the evening of the first Easter. But strangely, a whopping 23 verses are dedicated to Jesus’ appearance to the two men on the road to Emmaus. Why?

Well, Scripture doesn’t give us a definite answer. But I believe there are several life lessons we can draw from this passage that help us get closer to an answer.

Life Lesson #1: Jesus doesn’t just give celebrities the time of day. He’s a living Savior for nobodies as well. I’m no Apostle Peter. I’m no Apostle John, Billy Graham or Mother Teresa. And I am SO grateful that Jesus Christ is every bit as much my savior and yours as He is theirs. Jesus wasn’t just born for the great saints. He was also born for you, died for you, and conquered death on Easter morning … for YOU. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Life Lesson #2: Jesus gravitates to those who are both humble and teachable. At one point in their conversation with Jesus, the two men on the road expressed doubt about the resurrection. Jesus said, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” (v. 25). In case you were wondering, that was NOT a compliment. But these two Christian men didn’t respond the way most people would, by lashing out or getting offended. If they had, they would have missed out on the single greatest experience of their lives. As Jesus explained to them how prophecy had been fulfilled, they remained humble and teachable. And as a result, their lives were forever changed.

Life Lesson #3: Jesus is looking for dedicated followers who will go and tell others the Good News. During his three-year ministry, Jesus’ normal practice was to tell people he healed not to blab about it to anyone. Jesus never said, “Tell all your friends about me! Come on out and see me again! I’ll be here till Tuesday!” But after His resurrection, Jesus urged His followers to tell everyone about Him. On that first Easter, His two main messages were, “Come and see!” and “Go and tell!” I believe Jesus chose to spend several precious hours on Easter Sunday with these two men from Emmaus because they were ready and willing to come and see Jesus for themselves AND go and tell others about Him. They didn’t wait. They got up from the dinner table and headed right out the door to walk seven miles uphill and tell the others that Jesus is risen, just as He said.

These two men knew the Good News was worth sharing right away. Because Jesus Christ conquered sin on Good Friday and conquered death on Easter Sunday, your real-life nightmares can become untrue. Your physical pain can become untrue. Your heartache can become untrue. Your addictions and your hopelessness can become untrue. Best of all, your sin, the eternal punishment for your sin and your broken relationship with your God can ALL become untrue.

Through Jesus Christ, everything sad for Christians will come untrue. At the end of time, Jesus Christ “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4). Jesus has made a way to make everything new. Now, you can’t keep that good news to yourself. Tell a family member. Tell a friend. Tell a coworker. Tell EVERYONE! And bring them with you to church next Sunday to find out more.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us at our great NEW worship location in Apple Valley (16209 Kamana Road) at 9am and 11am. You can also join us livestreaming online at Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit


Thursday, April 13, 2023

Learn to Weep for the Lost

“As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it.” – Luke 19:41

Years ago, there was a small town in the Midwest that had three churches. And each house of worship was being overrun with pesky squirrels. The squirrels were running amuck: making noise, chewing holes in the pews, swimming in the baptisteries and making a mess all over the place. So, each church came up with a solution. At the first church, the leaders determined that God had predestined the squirrels to be there, so they shouldn’t interfere with God’s divine will. At the second church, they tried to drown the squirrels in the baptistery, but that didn’t work. Once the squirrels were baptized, they were so excited, they brought all their friends with them to church the next week.

The third church came up with the most effective solution. They led the squirrels through confirmation classes and made them all members of the church. Now the squirrels only come to church on Christmas, Palm Sunday and Easter.

Now, I hope you’re in church more than a few times a year. But since tomorrow is Easter, I’d like to take a look at the events leading up to one of Christianity’s most-observed holidays, starting with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

For the past three years, Jesus had traveled throughout Israel urging people to repent of their sins and accept the Good News of the Kingdom of Heaven. But, for the most part, Jesus kept a low profile. He didn’t go out of His way to draw large crowds, and when He healed someone, He usually did it privately. So, Palm Sunday marked a major shift in Jesus’ ministry. This time, He entered Jerusalem with a whole lot of fanfare. He rode a donkey, the frequently-chosen mount of a Jewish king. He was greeted by a cheering crowd who laid palm branches at his feet, a symbol of victory. And they cried “Hosanna!”—which translates, “Save us now!”

I think they wanted Jesus to ride that little donkey all the way to the temple, declare himself king, and lead an army to slaughter all their Roman oppressors. But that’s not what Jesus did. According to Luke 19:41-42, “As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” From the perspective of the crowd it was very anticlimactic. They thought their cheers were leading to a great military victory. But within minutes their bubble was burst. Jesus got off his donkey, looked around a bit and left.

Jesus didn’t bring a great victory on Palm Sunday. But little did the crowds know that in just five days, Jesus would bring the first of the two greatest victories in the history of the world: the victory over SIN. And just seven days after Palm Sunday, He would bring the other greatest victory the world has ever seen: the victory over DEATH.

I’d like to share two Life Lessons we can take from those events:

Life Lesson #1: Don’t be a church holiday squirrel. This lesson sounds silly, but we really DO need to take it to heart. And it isn’t just a lesson for people who only go to church on special occasions. All of us who call ourselves Christians have a tendency to make church too much about what’s convenient for us, and not about what is commanded by Christ. Have you ever wondered how some of the same people who shouted “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday could turn around and yell “Crucify Him!” just five days later on Good Friday? They were fair-weather FANS of Jesus, not committed FOLLOWERS of Jesus. They wanted Jesus to meet their needs and do what they wanted Him to do. They weren’t willing to change their plans to align with His plans. Being a true follower of Jesus takes commitment and discipline. Jesus didn’t save you in order to make your life easier and more convenient. He saved you in order to make you holy and useful to Almighty God.

Life Lesson #2: Jesus calls us all to weep over our Jerusalem. Jesus Christ wants us to pray for our Jerusalem: the unsaved family members, friends and neighbors in our lives. He wants us to build relationships with unbelievers and to always be ready to invite someone to church or share Christ with them. And all of these efforts to help Him save others are more effective when they are mixed with heartfelt tears. Psalm 126:5-6 tells us: “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.”  When the gospel seed is mixed with tears, God works in extraordinary ways. Your efforts to build relationships with unbelievers, invite people to church and steer conversations to Christ will ALL be more effective when mixed with tears.

What is true for you as an individual Christian is true for Christ’s Church. We are called to make a greater impact in our community for Jesus. And we will do so much more effectively if our heart truly breaks for our community and we weep over the Victor Valley. Allow the Spirit of God to break our hearts as we see the people around us who desperately need Jesus. Let’s weep over our Jerusalem, and lead others to hope and salvation.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us at our great NEW worship location in Apple Valley (16209 Kamana Road) at 9am and 11am. You can also join us livestreaming online at Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Revival Begins with You

 “Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’”
– John 21:15

In the late 1870s—so the story goes—a group of wealthy friends gathered together at a Scottish estate. They were having such a good time that they didn’t notice one of their little boys had fallen into a bog where he got stuck in the thick mud and was slowly sinking. The gardener heard the boy’s cries for help, jumped in, and rescued the drowning child.

The little boy’s parents were so grateful, they asked the gardener what they could do to reward him. He hesitated, then said, "I wish my son could go to college someday and become a doctor." The grateful parents immediately responded, "We'll see to it." They promised to pay for the gardener’s son to go to medical school.

Years later, while Winston Churchill was prime minister of England, he developed a life-threatening case of pneumonia. The country's best doctor was summoned: Dr. Alexander Fleming, the man who discovered and developed penicillin. Dr. Fleming was the first person in his family to become a doctor. In fact, his dad was just … a gardener. The same gardener who had saved Winston Churchill’s life years earlier. According to the legend, after recovering from his pneumonia, Churchill remarked, "Rarely has one man owed his life twice to the same person."

If Winston Churchill had actually spoken those words … he would have been wrong. You see, when Jesus Christ is involved, it’s not rare at all. Jesus doesn’t just save us once. He saves us again and again. When we pray to Him for revival, we’re basically saying, “Jesus Christ, save us again. Save ME again. Lately my Christianity has been like a pile of dry, dead bones. Forgive me. Breathe fresh life into me. Revive me again.”

Over the past few weeks, I’ve focused on the need for revival in our nation and our church. Together we must humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways. But each of us, individually, needs to be revived. And Simon Peter is a great example of personal revival.

In Matthew 26, shortly before Jesus was arrested, He told His disciples that all of them would fall away from Him (v. 31). But Peter boldly proclaimed, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will” (v. 33). And Jesus prophesied, “This very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times” (v. 34). You may recall what happened later. Three times that night, after Jesus was taken away by soldiers—mocked, slapped, punched, and tortured with scourge whips—Peter broke his reckless promise. Three times, when asked, he said he had never been with Jesus, going so far as to say, “I don’t know the man!” (vs. 69-74). There’s no sugar-coating it: The great apostle Peter fell. And he desperately needed to be lifted back up and revived.

Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead. According to 1 Corinthians 15:5, Peter was the first apostle He appeared to after His resurrection. It was clear that despite all his failures, Peter held a special place in Christ’s heart. But as the days passed, Peter still needed to experience the full forgiveness and restoration of Christ. That forgiveness and restoration came in a conversation we read about in John 21:15-22. Three times, Jesus asked: “Simon son of John, do you love Me?” Three times, Peter affirmed that love. And each time, Jesus responded with a command to take care of His sheep (His beloved followers). I want you to join me in answering these important questions:

#1: Why did Jesus call Peter by his birth name, Simon, instead of by the nickname Jesus had given him? I believe it was because Jesus was giving Peter a fresh start. The name “Peter” means “rock.” But that rock had crumbled under pressure. So, in John 21, Jesus took Peter back to the beginning and gives him a fresh start—a new opportunity, by God’s grace, to be the Rock that Christ had called him to be.

#2: Why did Jesus ask Peter three different times, “Do you love Me?” On the night Jesus was arrested, Peter had publicly denied Jesus three times. So, Jesus gave him an opportunity to publicly confess his love and commitment to Jesus three times.

#3: Why did Jesus follow each of Peter’s confessions with a command to feed or take care of his lambs and sheep? In John 21, Jesus forgave Peter and fully restored him to his position as the lead apostle. But that’s not all. Jesus does something very significant here that the metaphors clue us in about. The first time Jesus commissioned Peter, He said, “Follow Me, and I will make you a fisher of men.” But this time, Jesus switched metaphors. I think it’s clear that Jesus fully restored Peter as a fisher of men. But here Jesus adds to his role. From this point forward, Peter wouldn’t just be a FISHER of unsaved men. He would also be a SHEPHERD of saved Christians.

Isn’t that just like Jesus? He doesn’t just forgive. He restores. He revives. And He promotes. Jesus took a big chance on Simon Peter, and it paid off big time. Peter was the lead apostle of the Church in Jerusalem. He was used by God to lead thousands of people to Christ, and he wrote two books of the New Testament before he was martyred for his faith. In the Book of Acts, it’s plain to see: Simon Peter was a man on fire, fully revived and filled with the Holy Spirit. God worked in and through him in extraordinary ways. And He can do the same with you and me.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church. Beginning on Easter Sunday (April 9th), join us at our great NEW worship location in Apple Valley (16209 Kamana Road) at 9am and 11am. You can also join us online at Facebook or YouTube. For more information, visit