Impact Church

Passionately serving God and His people

Category: October Devotional

No Matter What

It’s 6 am and darkness still covers the ground. I sleepily shuffle to my Keurig and impatiently wait 30 seconds while the water heats up so that I can push that glorious blue flashing button. After my liquid joy, known simply as coffee to some, is made I make my way to the bar stool to sit. I open up my leather bound bible and begin blissfully reading Psalm 81:1, “Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to….” Suddenly the sound of real life shouting from my tiny tribe pierces through the silence and alas my quiet has abruptly come to an end, again.

This is my everyday reality. Waking up early before my children do and spending time alone in God’s word truly is my jam; however, more often than not it just doesn’t happen. I live in a season of noise.

What about you? Perhaps you are in a season where your daily grind is noisy. The kids are crying. The bill collectors are calling. The boss is talking. The dog is barking. You’re being pushed and pulled in 1000 different directions and you long for the tranquility and peace that accompanies the quiet.

If you’re like me you also long for quiet “inside.” Regardless of our external reality we all know what it’s like for it to be noisy internally.

One recent example of the external directly affecting the internal involves my daughter who behaved in an unacceptable manner. As I sat her in time-out her tear-filled eyes searched mine and I knew what she was looking for. The question in her eyes was clear. I have asked my Father the same one; “Do you still love me?”

It’s amazing how much noise arises due to questions concerning love. She’s only two so she doesn’t yet know that from the moment I discovered her existence I’ve loved her fiercely. She doesn’t have to work for it and she could never do anything wrong enough to make me stop. My love will never be dependent on her actions because it was there before I ever held her in my arms. Likewise, my friend, Read the rest of this entry »

Trust is Power

“Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Mark 4:38

Is not this desperate appeal for help a common reaction when our lives or livelihood is in jeopardy? And do we not exercise our ever present right to blame something or someone when others could, or should, intervene and save us from peril and pain? Of course, it’s common to patronize such responses. For we’re conditioned to redirect our fears and uncertainties to outside power sources, in hopes our distresses are alleviated and our fears assuaged.

And do we not often bemoan the fact that few acknowledge or sympathize with our dilemmas, uncertainties, injustices or negative experiences? Does anyone really care anymore? Are we now expected to fend for ourselves? Are we to configure and plan the joy and fulfillment of our lives through social connectedness, perfect timing, or favorable winds? Or far worse, are we winging life by trusting good luck charms, vibes or karma?
Be sure, the parallel of the disciples’ fearful experiences on the Galilean Sea are not so far from our own. For though we may never embark with Jesus on a boat to cross the sea, those who’ve believed in Him have in a figure enlisted with Him on the journey of journeys… Life!

So it’s not strange then to hear fellow believers bewail the downward spiral of our world; of our culture, the breakdown and perversion of morality, the division of religions and races, or the rancorous state of our elected officials. “Where’s God in all this?” we mutter on Monday as our chaotic world tilts and its trusted systems implode. Yet on Sunday and on cue, we sang gustily, “What a mighty God we serve”! Seems we’re not so different from those drenched disciples who woke up Jesus to save them from the perils of the sea!

Our human sympathies extend to these disciples as they, through fear, approach Jesus with, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?”. Yet it elicited a loving reproof from the One who invited them to the journey! He abruptly calmed the storm with a “Peace be still”, but He also quickly challenged their faith. “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

Moral of the storm? Read the rest of this entry »

Anchored In Christ

My heart was pounding, my hands were shaking, and tears were cascading down my face. I sat paralyzed, staring at my laptop for far longer than I’d care to admit. With each flash of the cursor at the top of the empty word document, my heart was being assaulted. Lies were being hurled my direction at the speed of Chapman’s fastball during the 2010 minor league season. I felt the impact as each pitch hit its intended mark and chipped away at my confidence.

“You are not a real writer. You are not equipped. You have nothing to offer. No one will connect with your writing voice. God can’t use someone like you. Your past is too tainted. Your present is too messy. You are not enough. You should give up.”

“CRACK!” Each pitch struck my vulnerability with such force that my confidence was crippled by the fear that perhaps truth was found in these accusations.

My husband once told me that when an engine is built it is created to support a vehicle of specified weight. If the assembled vehicle surpasses the target weight for which the engine was constructed, the engine will fail. The Holy Spirit gently reminded me that there are some things that are too heavy for me to support. My calling is most certainly one of those things.

I believe that we are each assigned a calling that we will never see come to fruition without the active work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot hone our craft, pad our bank account, or work harder and longer and that be enough. This, sweet friends, is a relief. Our callings are not dependent on our work so much as they are our trust. Read the rest of this entry »

All Things

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
(Romans 8:28)

Few would dare to question that Romans 8:28 is one of the highest summits of Scriptural truth. But, sadly, it is frequently misquoted and misunderstood. Non-pious folks often point to the verse with “It’s all good” nonchalance, while devoted believers sometimes err in the opposite direction by limiting its scope whenever life throws them a curve.

First, let’s look at what the Apostle Paul does NOT declare:

  • “Relax. Everything is going to be all right for everyone. The Bible says so.”
  • “Don’t worry. When you become a Christian, nothing bad will ever happen to you again.”
  • “Well, God can forgive and redeem most of our mess. But if you cross the line, you’re done.”

The incredible promise and declaration of God’s sovereignty in this verse is limited only in its intended audience. Paul’s “we” early in the statement is directly connected to the two “those who” phrases that come later. So the blessed assurance offered by the Apostle is meant only for born-again believers who love God and are called by Him.

To be compassionately clear, the Bible does not say that everything is going to be all right for everyone. Job rightly declared that in a fallen world man’s days are brief and full of trouble (Job 14:1). Yes, Jesus said the sun shines and the rain falls on both the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45),…but only God-lovers can rest in His promise that He will redemptively work on our behalf so that life’s circumstances ultimately produce a result that is for our benefit and His eternal glory.

Now, what about children of God who are struggling with their faith because they can’t seem to get past the guilt and condemnation of past sins – or even the immature decisions they’ve made as a carnal Christian? Certainly, there is a natural law of sowing and reaping, but Paul spends the first half of Romans 8 reminding believers that if you are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation because you’ve been adopted into God’s family and hold the high position of His heirs (vv. 1-17)!

Does that mean you will never experience trials, afflictions, heartbreaks and disappointments? No, of course not. The world is still fallen; glory still awaits after the King’s return. Read the rest of this entry »

Fall Classic

Matthew 20: 26-28
26) But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27) And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Years ago, while leaning on a woven wire fence watching a youth rec league baseball game, (at a game where I knew no one and no one knew me, in a community I’d never been in before, and on a road my travels would have never had me on!) the concept of church leadership was unveiled to my yearning heart. Young in ministry and possessing far more zeal than knowledge, the true spirit of ministry was displayed on a baseball diamond with a bunch of precocious kids!

Providentially, inconveniently and unconventionally (don’t most revelations arrive in like fashion?), that tightly wound sphere of pastoral leadership and the mental struggles my fears created from ignorance concerning it, was unraveled and clarified by an analogy at a rural elementary school playground.

With seven year olds screaming as only seven year olds can scream, and seventy year olds competing quite well with them, I delved into the joys of a late summer evening of baseball with second graders! I loved baseball and kids, and being led there, I settled in for some country competition. Little did I know.

The team with yellow jerseys was at bat and the red jerseyed team was in the field, when #3 hit a shot to deep right center! Rounding first and heading for second, pudgy #3 tripped and fell head first onto that hard, dusty baseball infield. Inglorious as that spill may have appeared to seven year olds, what happened next, to this grown man, became the teachable moment of a lifetime! Read the rest of this entry »

Double-Honor Worthy

The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. (1 Timothy 5:17, NASB)

Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7, HCSB)2014061595144051

It is with great excitement that we at Impact Church corporately and individually honor our pastors during the month of October! Although sometimes they make the “hard work” of preaching and teaching seem like a Sunday (Saturday?) stroll in the park, Pastor Mike Davis (Reidsville campus) and Pastor Jason Davis (Greensboro campus) labor among us with tireless devotion. It is altogether fitting that we observe Pastor Appreciation Month in honor of our shepherds who faithfully lead the sheep throughout the year.

An English dictionary typically gives four definitions of the verb “appreciate,” so let’s see how those usages line up with what we want to accomplish this month.

  1. To be grateful or thankful for … Our hearts are filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for the loving, gentle way our pastors lead and serve. We recognize their God-given gifts and anointing, and we feel truly blessed that they have answered the Master’s call to build His Church here in the Piedmont Triad.
  1. To esteem, prize, value or hold in high regard… It’s not hard to be impressed when listening to our pastors passionately preach the Gospel, but those who take the time to get to know them more personally will value the Davis men all the more! These learned, seasoned men possess a wealth of knowledge and wisdom, and they are willing to share it humbly and freely.
  1. To be fully conscious or aware of,as in “to appreciate the dangers of a situation” … Unless you have served as a pastor yourself, none of us probably has an accurate understanding of the sacrifices made by those who carry the burden of our congregations. As we become more aware of how our shepherds lay down their lives in daily ways for the sheep, may we be reminded to lighten their load by praying more fervently for them.
  1. To increase in value… Few of us would say that we help to make the ministry of Pastor Mike or Pastor Jason more valuable. But as gifted as these men are, they’ve never led an empty chair or pew to the Lord! (Well, there were those times when Pastor Jason helped some stuffed animals find salvation!) We make their ministry more profitable by faithfully attending services, listening and growing and equipping ourselves to do the work of the ministry. In return, they get the opportunity to pour into our lives all that the Holy Spirit is revealing unto them. And can we not agree that our lives have been enriched — indeed, they have appreciated in value! — through their ministry?

The writer of Hebrews declared in 13:7 that it’s not enough just to remember our leaders. He instructed us to take a close look at their lives, then “imitate their faith.” We, too, believe that a more intimate examination of the lives of Mike and Jason Davis will reveal that these men walk out every day what they preach and teach. And we invite you to come follow them as they follow Christ!

Our Doxology: The King of Salem or the King of Sodom?

17 Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” He gave him a tenth of all. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give the people to me and take the goods for yourself.” 22 Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take a thread or a sandal thong or anything that is yours, for fear you would say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will take nothing except what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their share.” Genesis 14:17-24

It comes as no surprise that people have learned to handle suffering and hard times. Although difficult, there is a resiliency in the human experience that propels people to overcome the worst of conditions and work to improve their life.

What is rarely considered is the ability to handle success. Many times we have seen people achieve incredible feats of accomplishments and then to become full of pride and as soon as it was realized, the success evaporates.

One the strongest temptations in our lives are to see the source of our good things or blessings as the result of the work and industry we invested or our association with the right people. A little mentioned aspect of Abraham’s life was his successful record as a warrior. And how he responded to the temptation to accept the world’s blessing.

After his defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings with him, two kings approached Abraham, each representing two contrastive worldviews. The first to reach him was the king of Sodom. This king from the worldly and wicked valley of decadence asked for the people Abraham had captured and would leave him with the goods.

The second king was Melchizedek, which means “king of righteousness”. He was king of Salem, which means “peace”. In quite the contrastive reference, this second king didn’t ask for anything from Abraham. He instead Read the rest of this entry »