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

Monday, July 17, 2023

God's Love Will Blow Your Mind

 “For 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.” – John 3:16

It’s the most famous verse in the whole Bible: John 3:16. But no matter how well you THINK you know this verse, I promise, there’s always more to learn. Even though I’ve known this verse since I was a little kid, as I was studying it recently … it blew my mind. Let’s hold this verse in our hand like a precious gem and take a closer look at each part of it.

“For God so loved the world ...” The New Testament was written in the common Greek language of Jesus’ day, which had seven or eight words that can be translated as “love.” Three of them appear in the New Testament: “Phileo,” the tender love between friends or brothers; “Storge,” a love for one’s family; and “Agape”—unconditional, self-sacrificial love. Even when Agape love isn’t appreciated or responded to favorably, it always works for another’s greatest good. It’s the purest and highest form of love. Not surprisingly, this is the word for love we find in John 3:16. God’s love for lost and dying people is the purest, highest kind of love. Nothing you think, nothing you say, nothing you do can stop God from loving you. Notice in John 3:16 WHO God loves. Not just Israel. Not just His chosen people. Not just those who believe in God and follow His laws. “For God so loved … the world.” That’s a REMARKABLE thing for Jesus to say.

“… that He gave His one and only Son …” It would have been easy for God to SAY He loved everyone. But God proved His agape love for the world as “He gave His one and only Son.” John 3:16 makes it clear that God took the initiative. Not me, not you. Before you and I ever thought of God, He was thinking of us. Before we ever loved Him, He loved us. When we were still lost and dying in our sins, God loved us and gave us the greatest gift in the universe. Because God’s love for the world is Agape love, He gave us the most precious gift He had to give: His one and only Son.

“… that whoever believes in Him …” Just as faith in God was the key to being saved from the deadly effects of venomous snake bites in Numbers 21, faith in Christ is the key to being saved from the deadly effects of sin in eternity. When Nicodemus came to talk with Jesus, he had spent his entire life trying to be good enough and religious enough to make it into Heaven. If Nicodemus came to Christ with a heart filled with pride and arrogance, Jesus’ teaching about saving faith would have disappointed him. But if he came with a heart that was humble and teachable—as I believe he did—Jesus’ teaching about salvation through faith would have brought him great relief. After so many years of obeying hundreds of Jewish laws, Nicodemus had no guarantee that he would make it to heaven. But now he understood, through Jesus’ teaching, that he could have assurance of eternal life by God’s grace through faith. 

“… shall not perish but have eternal life.” In this verse, the word “perish” is a translation of the Greek word “Apollumi,” which means “to be destroyed, to be utterly lost.” If you believe and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, you will be given the gift of eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. But if you DON’T believe and trust in Jesus Christ, you will eternally perish in hell. According to Revelation 21:8, hell—the eternal lake of fire—is the second death. So, it bears repeating: You will either be born twice and die once, or you will be born once and die twice.

Now, at this point some critics ask: “If God is loving as Jesus makes Him out to be here in John 3:16, how could He possibly condemn anyone to hell?” Good question. And there’s an even better answer: In a very real sense, God doesn’t condemn anyone to hell. People condemn THEMSELVES.

Years ago, a rather arrogant man was given a guided tour of a famous art gallery filled with priceless masterpieces by Michelangelo, da Vinci, Rembrandt and Picasso. After the tour, the man told the museum curator, “I think those old pictures are ugly, and looking at them was a waste of my time.” The curator calmly responded, “Sir, I would remind you that these pictures are not on trial, but those who look at them are.” All that the man’s reaction had done was show his own foolish blindness. 

F.F. Bruce says it so well: “What is true in the realm [of art] is equally true in the spiritual realm. The man who depreciates Christ, or thinks Him unworthy of his allegiance, passes judgment on himself, not on Christ. He does not need to wait until the day of judgment; the verdict on him has been pronounced already.” William Barclay says it equally well: “God sent Jesus in love. He sent Him for the salvation of those people; but that which was sent in love has become a condemnation. It is not God who has condemned them; God only loved them; the people have condemned themselves.”

God so loved the world that He gave us the most precious gift He ever could have given us: part of Himself … the Son of God. Through Him, God has provided a way for ANY person—male or female, young or old, black or white, Jew or Gentile, religious or irreligious—to be snatched from eternal perishing in hell and be brought into eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. That is the highest form of love in this world AND in the world to come. It’s a love that is indescribable, unimaginable … mind-blowing. And that’s the kind of love God has for you and me.

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


Monday, July 10, 2023

What Does “Born Again” Really Mean?

 “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” – John 3:3

If you’re reading this article, one thing is for sure: You’ve been born. But here’s a more important question: Have you been born again?

One of our nation’s most famous founding fathers was Ben Franklin. Not only was he a great statesman, he was also a brilliant inventor. He invented all sorts of things: swim fins, bifocals, a more effective wood-burning stove, and, of course, the lighting rod, which came in handy with his experiments on electricity.

Well, one day Franklin received a letter from the popular British evangelist George Whitefield, who wrote: “As you have made such progress in investigating the mysteries of electricity, I now humbly urge you to give diligent heed to the mystery of the new birth. It is a most important and interesting study and, when mastered, will richly repay you for your pains.” Brilliant as he was, as far as we know, Ben Franklin never took George Whitefield’s advice.

I hope and pray that you don’t make the same mistake. Unless the rapture happens first, you will either be born twice and die once … or you will be born once and die twice, once in this life and once more in eternity. I guarantee you: The first option is a whole lot better. In John 3, Jesus reveals how we can be born twice and live forever.

Jesus was approached by a man named Nicodemus, a Pharisee who belonged to the Jewish ruling council. In other words, Nicodemus was not only a very religious man, but also a LEADER of very religious men. Yet he addressed Jesus very respectfully: “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him” (v. 2). Calling Jesus “rabbi” and “a teacher who has come from God” was no small thing for a member of the high council to say to a traveling teacher who hadn’t been formally trained as a Jewish rabbi. Nicodemus also acknowledged that Jesus had been performing miraculous signs.

But instead of saying, “Thank you!” to Nicodemus’s compliments, Jesus skipped the small talk and cut to the chase: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (v. 3). Now, the idea of being “born again” actually wasn’t a new idea to the Jews in Jesus’ day. Rabbis used the term to refer to Gentiles who converted to Judaism. But Nicodemus would have been baffled by the idea that he himself—a devout Jewish Pharisee who followed God’s laws to a “T”—needed to be born again. So he responded: “How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” (v. 4).

You can almost hear the spiritual hunger in Nicodemus’ voice. In his heart, he must have known that something was missing. He obeyed all the laws, but he knew he was still a sinner. Nicodemus believed he would make it to heaven after he died, but he had no assurance of it. Eternal life was more a hope than a promise.

Jesus responded, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (vs. 5-6). In other words, anyone who is ever going to enter the Kingdom of God is going to have to be born twice: once physically, through his or her earthly mother; and the second time spiritually, through the Holy Spirit.

Entering hell is simple. You just have to be born once. And that qualification is easy to meet. Entering heaven isn’t so easy. You have to be born twice. And only the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ can grant you that second birth.

There is so much to draw from this passage, but here are just two Life Lessons:

Life Lesson #1: Even those who know the most ABOUT Jesus still need to come TO Jesus. When they met, Nicodemus probably knew more about Jesus than most people in Israel. He knew the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus. He had heard some of Jesus’ teachings and had probably witnessed some of His miracles. But knowing ABOUT Jesus isn’t enough. It doesn’t matter how much you know ABOUT Jesus ... the question is, do you really KNOW Jesus?

Life Lesson #2: Hell will be full of very religious, “good” people. If you found 100 people who knew Nicodemus well and asked them, “Is Nicodemus a good man?” there’s no doubt they would have all answered with a resounding, “Yes!” But Jesus told him point-blank in verse 7, “You must be born again.” It didn’t matter how “good” Nicodemus was compared to others around him. Like everyone else on this planet, Nicodemus sinned and fell short of the glory of God. And neither his good works nor his religion could pay the high price for his sin. So, if he were to die without being born again, Nicodemus would have spent all eternity in hell. That’s the bad news that most people don’t understand today. Hell will be filled with very religious, so-called “good” people who refused to be born again. Don’t be a “good” fool. You MUST be born again.

It bears repeating: Unless the rapture happens first, you will either be born twice and die once—OR you will be born once and die twice. Which will it be for you? Humbly come to Jesus, and be born again.

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  

Saturday, July 8, 2023

The Day Jesus Posted His First Sign

“This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him.” – John 2:11

There’s a story about a drunken coal miner who repented of his sins and became a follower of Jesus Christ. After getting baptized, he stopped drinking “cold turkey” and started telling everyone what Jesus had done for him. One of his old drinking buddies thought he could trick him into picking up the bottle again. He pulled him aside and asked, “Do you believe that Jesus turned water into wine?” The new and improved coal miner replied, “I certainly do! In my home, Jesus has turned wine into furniture, decent clothes, and food for my children!”  

No doubt, Jesus Christ is in the transformation business. In John 2, the Apostle John records Jesus’ first public miracle, a miracle that he calls “a sign.” Surprisingly, Jesus’ first public miracle had nothing to do with the healing of an outcast leper or the opening of a blind man’s eyes. It didn't even involve calming a storm, walking on water or raising someone from the dead. Instead, it was a rather discreet miracle that went unnoticed by most people at a wedding feast: Jesus transformed over one hundred gallons of water into wine. 

The scene opens in John 2:1 with Jesus and his five new disciples attending a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Cana was located just a few miles from Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth, and Jesus’ mother, Mary, was also in attendance. Mary must have been in some position of authority at the wedding, because she had inside information about a food-supply crisis before the bad news leaked to the wedding guests. In verse 2, she hurried to Jesus and said, “They have no more wine.”

Believe me when I say: This was a crisis and Mary was frantic. This wasn’t as simple as a modern-day bartender running out of booze at a wedding reception. In a culture where there was much poverty and most people worked very hard six days a week, the wedding feast was the highlight of the year. That being the case, during the seven-day celebration, the groom’s family was expected to provide enough food and drink for everyone. Hospitality was considered a sacred duty. If at any point they ran out of food or wine, it was deeply embarrassing… humiliating for their entire family. So much so that, in some cases, the local authorities would fine the groom’s family for failing to adequately provide for their guests.

Initially, Jesus expressed a hesitation to nip the crisis in the bud by performing a miracle. But, before too long, he got involved. He instructed the wedding servers to fill six large jars to the brim with water. And once they did, Jesus transformed the water (between 120 and 180 gallons) into wine. And it wasn’t the cheap stuff! After tasting Jesus’ miracle wine, the wedding coordinator declared, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

Now, John doesn’t want us to spend all our time oohing and aahing about the miracle itself. Sure, it’s cool that Jesus transformed over 100 gallons of standing water into some of the best wine ever. But it’s a SIGN pointing to something deeper, greater and more life-changing. So, as cool as the miracle is, even cooler are the deeper spiritual truths that Jesus revealed to his disciples at the wedding AND to his disciples today—including us.

Truth #1: The miraculous sign points to Christ as the SOURCE of lasting JOY. In the Old Testament, wine is a symbol of joy (e.g., Judges 9:13 a d Psalm 104:15). So, if Jesus had preached a sermon right after performing his first sign, I bet he would have said something like this: “The world’s joy looks and tastes great in the beginning. And there seems to be plenty of it. But sooner or later, it runs out and leaves you empty. But the joy that I give you is new every morning and completely satisfying. My joy will never leave you empty. Taste and see that MY joy is good”

Truth #2: The miraculous sign points to the INFERIOR nature of the Old Testament law and the SUPERIOR nature of Christ’s grace. It’s no accident that Jesus chose to perform his miracle using six stone, ceremonial washing jars that were filled to the brim with water. In the Bible, numbers are very symbolic, and the number “6” symbolizes falling short of completeness. It’s man’s number,  representing incompleteness and sin. So, in John 2, Jesus took six large jars designed for an inferior purpose (i.e., washing hands) and He transforms them into vessels designed for a higher purpose (i.e., hydrating a large group of thirsty wedding guests).

Truth #3: The miraculous sign points to Jesus’ power to TRANSFORM us from the inside out. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul describes our bodies as “jars of clay.” And throughout Scripture we are told that God does His greatest work inside our jars of clay. The Lord doesn’t waste His time styling our hair or trimming our unruly eyebrows or giving us a mani-pedi. God spends His time softening our hard hearts, opening our stubborn minds and renewing a steadfast spirit within us.

If Jesus had preached a sermon after transforming the water into wine, I suspect He would have also said something like this: “Your heart inside your jar of clay is like the water in this jar. I transformed the water in this jar into something much, much better. And, in the same way, I can transform your heart into something much, much better. If you’ll let Me, I will reach inside your jar of clay and soften your hard heart, open your closed mind and give you a brand new spirit. I make good wine. But I make even better hearts.”

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

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Come and See

“When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
 – John 1:36

In the 1920s and ’30s, Billy Graham grew up on his family’s farm near Charlotte, North Carolina. Although his parents were committed Christians, Billy wasn’t much interested in God or church. In May of 1934, the Grahams invited a group of Christian businessmen to hold a prayer meeting at their farm. At that meeting, one man prayed that out of Charlotte, the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Farmer Graham never imagined that his own son, who had no interest in church, would be God’s answer to that bold prayer. 

A few months later, the local pastors invited a traveling evangelist, Dr. Mordecai Ham, to come to town and hold revival meetings for several weeks. Billy Graham’s parents encouraged their son to attend the revival meetings, but that’s the last place on earth he wanted to go. So, he didn’t go—for almost four weeks. Then one day, a friend of the family tried a different approach: He asked Billy if he could do him a favor. The man had invited a bunch of teenagers to the evening service, but they needed a ride. So, he asked Billy to drive them to the service in his old vegetable truck.

Billy agreed to help, and he attended the service that night. He was blown away by what Dr. Ham had to say about heaven and hell, and God’s love and judgment. Nothing could keep Billy from returning the next night … and the night after that. And on November 1, 1934, just a few days shy of his 16th birthday, Billy Graham walked down the aisle and gave his life to Jesus Christ. Over the next 80 years, Billy Graham preached the gospel in person to more people than anyone else in history. He preached Jesus to 215 million people in 185 countries and territories around the world. Aren’t you thankful that the old farmer gave Billy the keys to his old vegetable truck and invited him to come and see Jesus for himself?

Well, in chapter 1 of the Gospel of John, we see people beginning to come and see Jesus. During the first week of Jesus’ ministry, John the Baptist was at the Jordan River with two of his disciples. As the two men were listening to their rabbi, Jesus passed by. Seeing Him, John the Baptist said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” (v. 36). And in the next verse, “When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus” (v. 37). Think about that. John certainly knew that as soon as he opened his big mouth and said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” he himself would never again be those disciples’ first choice as a rabbi. Their focus and their loyalty would shift from him to Jesus. And not only was John okay with that—he was actually happy about it.

Next, the two disciples—Andrew and, most likely, John—followed Jesus to the house where He was staying. According to verse 40, after spending the day with Jesus, the first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah.” And Andrew brought him to Jesus.

The next day, Jesus found Philip, who apparently began following Jesus immediately. And as soon as he had a few spare minutes, he found his buddy Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (v. 45). Nathanael’s response is famous … or infamous: “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (v. 46). In the minds of many people in those days, Nazareth was just another Podunk town in Galilee. Nathanael was both a skeptic and prejudiced. He didn’t believe his friend, and he didn’t like Nazarenes. But how did Philip respond? Notice that he didn’t debate him. He didn’t give him a piece of his mind. He didn’t storm off angrily. Instead, he said the same thing Jesus had said to Andrew and John the day before: “Come and see.” And Nathanael’s life was forever changed.

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

1. A Life Lesson from John the Baptist: When your family and friends leave you to follow Jesus, let them go, and be happy for them. One of my favorite sayings is, “Often, what is good is the enemy of what is best.” If you’re a mature Christian, it’s good for your family and friends to spend time with you. But it’s better when they spend time with Jesus. It’s good when they listen to your advice. But it’s better when they listen to Jesus’ advice. It’s good when they follow in your footsteps. But it’s better when they follow in Jesus’ footsteps. We never want to get in the way of the call of Jesus on someone’s life.

2. A Life Lesson from Andrew and Philip: One of the most loving things you could ever say to a friend is, “Come and see.” Rarely does anyone get debated into heaven. You will probably never argue anyone into getting saved. So, take a lesson from Andrew and Philip. Bring your friend to Jesus and let him see for himself. Or just sit down with them and tell them the difference Jesus has made in your life. One way or another, love them by inviting them to come and see Jesus for themselves.

3. A Life Lesson from Jesus: Jesus alone knows who you are today and who you can become tomorrow. So, don’t let anyone—even yourself—define who you are. Find your identity in Christ, both today and tomorrow.

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