Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dreams Can't Compare to God's Plans

"God has spoken promises over you. He’s put dreams in your heart. You may think that you don't have the talent, and you may not, but God does. He’s already put your name on that dream." 
Joel Osteen

The problem, Joel, is that the Bible never says for you to chase your dreams. Much of the instruction of the Bible has to do with dying to yourself and taking up your cross. The Son of Man didn't have a place to lay His head. What happened there?

Also, do not be mislead; “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. Never ASSUME that the contents and matters of your heart are as pure as a driven snow & God is obligated to grant you the wishes born out of your selfish desires as if He was a Genie in a bottle. The heart found in carnality is narcissistic and selfish, and naturally at enmity with God; “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Ephesians 2:3. You see, Jonah had a dream too but God had other plans and sent him to preach to the people he (Jonah) hated in Nineveh. Praise God for crushing Jonah’s plans/dream and enabling Him to be a part of His (God’s) plan so that lost men in Nineveh could be saved!

There is, however, hope for anyone who believes in Jesus. We no longer have to be a slave to our whims and sinful desires. There’s something much greater than our dreams, we have Him! He who bore our inequities and took them upon Himself to die on a tree so that we might be reconciled to God; not so God can grant us the whims of our petty desires but so we can take part in the majestic plan He has in place that is being carried out in the service of His Kingdom! Isn’t that more hopeful than He is going to enable my dreams? Isn’t the promise of us dying to ourselves so we can be formed into His image more supreme?

Praise God!

Soli Deo Glroia,

Wade C. Davis

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Considering Biblical Movies

Image credit:

In 2004, Hollywood discovered the potential behind movies based on the Biblical account. Mel Gibson's, "The Passion of the Christ" domestically grossed $370,782,930 at the box office.  According to BoxOfficeMojo, this is the 25th highest ranking movie of all time.  The movie's success generated excitement in the air.  Exhilarated commentators hypothesized about the potential that Biblically-based movies could generate in the future.   With this newfound discovered audience, talk of making plans for more Biblically-based movies started to float in the air.  

Fast-foward to 2013, The History Channel experiences success with it's Biblically-based 10-hour miniseries, "The Bible".  There's no wonder social media was filled with comments about the program considering it averaged 10 million viewers throughout the weeks it aired.  The program's appeal, however, was by no accident.  Roma Downey, a producer involved with the making thereof, sat down with Bill O'Reilly for an interview.  She told O'Reilly how they made the movie so that it would be, "cool", and  appeal to people like "impatient teenagers who rarely read"(Nilsen).  The movie, in spite of its phenomenal viewership, had its fair share of critics that didn't appreciate some liberties and inaccuracies portrayed accordingly.    It seems that some people have the audacity to expect a Biblical story to stay fairly close to - well, the Bible.  

In 2014, we are about to add two more movies to the shelves of the Biblically-based cinematic library.  Debuting, February 28th,  we will see the story of Jesus as it is told through, "Son of God".  A month later, March 28th, a blockbuster cast starring Russell Crowe, Ema Watson, and Jennifer Connelly will grace the big screen to tell the story of, "Noah".  Both movies are receiving their fair share of promotion and both presumably (on my part) have the potential to do rather well at the box office.  

It will be interesting to see how Hollywood will treat these Biblically-based movies.  In an interview with Sean Hannity, Roma Downey, the film maker of "Son of God" says; 

"We prayed -- from the beginning of this project, we prayed that we would -- that we would be able to tell the story effectively, make those emotional connections, and tell the story truthfully."
If Roma Downey's hope comes to fruition, it will be wonderful to witness the "Son of God" give an accurate Biblical account as it displays the Gospel for all to see.  If, however on the other hand, Downey's goal goes down in flames; and instead of seeing a true account of the Gospel, we see a perversion designed to tickle ears, entertain Barbarians, and make the Bible "cool"; it will be a disappointment for all that had higher hopes of glorifying God. 

As the time of this writing, the internet is already filling up with discussions about these movies prior to their release.  Are they going to be be true to scripture or are they going to be blasphemies?  I recall reading a word of warning somewhere telling others to see one of these movies before exposing their children to them - in case they are full of error, etc.  No matter how these movies treat scripture, however, I see Biblically-based movies as a ministerial opportunity.  If a movie handles scripture appropriately, then we can use it as a springboard into a discussion about the Gospel when discussing it with others.  If a movie is laden with error, then we can use it as a springboard into a discussion about the Gospel when discussing it with others.  By highlighting the strengths of these movies or by condemning the errors found in these movies, we can advance the Gospel one way or another.  

In order to bring the light of the Gospel, however, it is imperative for us to use righteous judgment and to discern the word appropriately.  In spite of some objections coming out of the bleachers that tell us that its not our place to "judge", we must persevere in testing each spirit to see if it comes from God.  Unfortunately, some people never read the Bible.  The only thing they know about scripture is from they hear others say; from what they read in comments on the internet, or from what they see take place in the movies.  Being ambassadors of God, it will be our place to correct these people in love.  These movies can prove to be wonderful opportunities to teach discernment, expose error and to give others grace as we share the love of God with them through His word.  

One last thing to consider may seem to be obvious but worth stating nevertheless.  No movie; regardless of how well made it is, no matter of the star-filled cast it contains, no matter how many tickets it sells at the boxoffice; is a suitable replacement for God's written word that we find in the Bible.  The temptation for some may be to use these movies in lieu of scripture or Bible reading.  It is my hope that this never takes place in our churches.  With short attention spans, cinema is much more exciting than a written word on a page.  What we shouldn't forget, however, is that the word on the page is the living word of God.  This is the word that transforms lives and the word that we transmit when we broadcast the Gospel.  If the movies encourage others to immerse themselves into the word, it will be a day of rejoicing.  If on the other hand, the movies tempt others to learn Hollywood scripture as opposed to the real thing, it will be a travesty.  

I am inclined to see each movie and evaluate them according to scripture.  There may be others, however, that for whatever reason cannot watch these movies in good conscience.  To them, I say, God bless you - stay true to your convictions so long as they are being used to glorify God.  One man eats food for the glory of God and another abstains for the glory of God.  The important thing is that each is doing what he does, for the glory of God.  

Soli Deo Gloria, 
Wade C. Davis 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Steve Lawson's impromptu Gospel presentation.

There's simply nothing to add to this presentation.  Steve Lawson answering a  question about the Gospel in an interview prompted this impromptu Gospel presentation.  May it be used to open eyes, ears and hearts of unbelievers in desperate need of salvation. 

Soli Deo Gloria!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Your Story Can Change...Just Wait.

"Some men will trust in horses and chariots but I'm going to trust in the Lord"

                                   Pray for Will & and Angie Gray from jams 90025 on Vimeo.

On the Sunday after Easter, Patrick Orayi Whyte delivered a sermon called, "Post-Resurrection: What Now?" and in so doing, illustrated the many ways the world did not change after the resurrection of Christ.  Pilot, for example, still ruled and Jewish leaders went back to being religious.  He then went on to point out how the Apostles were "low in spirit" just days after the resurrection.  On the road to Emmaus, Jesus met them but they did not recognize Him.  He asked them about the events that had just transpired and they went on to reiterate the crucifixion and resurrection (Luke 24).  In stead of rejoicing because Christ atoned for our sins on the cross and brought us out of death in His resurrection, they were troubled because they did not see an immediate change in the world.  They were hoping for God to redeem Israel and instead, all they could see was an empty tomb.  Christ had ascended and life appeared to return to normalcy.

Pastor Whyte pointed out that we do the same thing that we see the Apostles doing in Luke 24.  We fall into worry about matters like finances and health regardless of the knowledge we have about the work performed on the cross and the victory claimed in the risen Christ.  We act as if we have no hope of the change that is about to come.  Whyte said that even though the Apostles had knowledge, it in of itself did not have an affect on their heart; "their heart was not activated by faith."

It shames me to admit that the sermon fit me like a shoe.  All week I wrestled with concerns pertaining to the future.  All week I acted as if my fate was resting entirely in my own hands.  All week I was acting like a doubting Apostle that was blinded of the truth found in Christ because he had allowed himself to be distracted by the world.  As if this were not enough, my conviction came to completion when I viewed a video about Whyte's friend (a roommate if I'm not mistaken) from college.

My words will fail to deliver the message you will find in the video posted here.  Allow me to say, however, that the story of Will and Angie Gray is a real-life example of what the love of Christ looks like when it is practiced by a wife caring for her husband.  Its amazing how God can bring beauty out of tragedy.  In all of the trials that the couple has faced thus far, Angie Gray says that through this ordeal, she has experienced - "one of the most beautiful moments in my whole life."

Will Gray needs our prayers and support.  Will is trusting in the Lord as his faith is challenged.  Will shows us how we must keep our hope in the Lord because it is the Lord that brings real change.  We can't allow ourselves to be distracted by our current trials.  Near the end of his narration, Will sums up everything by saying, "Your life can change, just wait."

Your life can change because with the Lord all things are possible.  Keep faith, trust and hope in Him.  One way of making a change in your life is to serve in the Kingdom.  What better way to serve than by offering support to a fellow brother in need.  If it is on your heart to help Will and Angie Gray, please visit #GOTOTEAMGRAY to see how you may donate money, meals and care.

God bless,

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Truth of Christ With the Spirit of Satan


 “Getting doctrine right is a matter of life and dead, but holding that doctrine in the right spirit is essential too. A great deal of damage is done by those who hold the truth of Christ with the spirit of Satan.”

J.D. Greear

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday's Here!

Sunday's Here!

Sunday is here, He is risen!  

The resurrection of Christ is such a defining element in the crux of Christianity, His believers even derive their identity through it.  Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He told Lazarus’ sister, Martha, that He is the resurrection and the life - that all that believe in him will never die even though they will in this world.  In another moment in His ministry, the Sadducees test Jesus with an anecdote about a woman that had been married to a number of brothers.  If she were married to many, then whose wife will she be in Heaven?  Like many fallacies, the premise here is invalid and Jesus corrects them accordingly.  In addition to this, however, we are given a small glimpse as to the identity that the believer will have in Heaven.  We are told that we will be like angels and He goes on to call us, “sons of the resurrection” (Luke 20:36).

When we celebrate Resurrection Day, however, we must always keep our focus on Jesus and not be distracted by the act itself.  The act is marvelous and even miraculous but it is nevertheless found throughout the Bible.  In the Old Testament we find where Elijah, for example, resurrected the son of Zarapath’s widow (1 Ki 17-24) and Elisha resurrected the son of a Shunammite woman (2 Ki 4:35).  Elisha is also involved in one of the most arguably strangest occurrences in the Bible.  When some men were trying to bury a body, they were spooked by a group of marauders.  In their haste, they threw the body in Elisha’s tomb and when the dead body touched his bones, the man they were trying to bury came back to life (Ki 13:21).  

Resurrection occurrences  obviously continue to be found in the New Testament.  Jesus not only raised Lazarus (Jn 11:43-44) but He also raised the widow’s son at Nain (Luke 17-13-15) as well as Jairus’ daughter (Mt 9:25, Mk 5:42, Lk 8:55).  On the day of His crucifixion, the saints resurrected and walked among the living (Mt 27:52-53).  After His ascension, Peter raised Tabitha (Acts 9:36-42) and Paul raised Eutychus (Acts 20:9-12).    Some even argue that Paul himself was resurrected after he was stoned (Acts 14:19-20).  

As previously stated, the resurrection is a marvelous and miraculous act that helps shape the identity of the believer.  The act itself is found throughout scripture so that we will believe.  On the last day, we will resurrect as well (Jn 5:29, Daniel 12:2, Mt 25:46, Lk 14:14, Acts 24:15) when we rise to be in eternity with Jesus.  It is the power of God that raises dead bones (Ez 37:1-14).  The difference in the multiple resurrections found in scripture and Jesus’ resurrection is that all the others except Jesus died as agents of sin.  Jesus, however, became a curse for us and died for our sins.  In His resurrection, He conquered death on our behalf.  Our hope is found in Christ and His work of atonement.  The resurrection and ascension serves as a beacon as to what is to come for the heirs in Christ.  Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit!  

It is my hope that you enjoy this Resurrection Day with family and loved ones as we reflect on Christ and remember what He did for us.  

Happy Resurrection Day!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sovereignty in the Super Bowl

On January 16-20 (2013), the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) conducted a random telephone survey consisting of 1,033 adult participants.  They asked respondents what role (if any) God “plays in determining which team wins” - in regards to sports.  Its interesting to look at polls such as these to get an idea as to what the populace believes or holds to be true.  In light of the derived statistics - PRRI’s CEO, Robert P. Jones, thinks the numbers are "significant” and show that “Americans see a divine hand at play”.  Jones goes on to say that the statistics show that Americans believe in a “very active God”. 

To provide some context for the numbers that the poll extracted from the sample group, categories and groups were fabricated.  Participants responded to the idea that God plays a role in determining which team wins.  The following are a reflection to those that agree accordingly;

Geographic Areas:

Americans - 27%

South - 36% 
Midwest - 28%
Northeast - 20%
West - 15%

Ethnic Group
Nonwhite Christians - 40%

Denominational Group

Evangelicals - 38%
Catholics - 29%
Mainline Protestants - 19%
From looking at the data derived from the poll, we can say that over one quarter of Americans believe in a God that plays a role in determining the outcome of events.  The numbers, after all, support this statement.  We can also say, however, that a little less than three-quarters of Americans deny the belief in a God that participates in determining events.  From the data, we may not be able to say that Americans completely deny God’s sovereignty.  They may believe, for example, He is sovereign and can determine outcome but chooses not to, via; leaving matters to a person’s free will, leaving matters to chance, etc.   There is, after all, a difference between not bringing matters to pass  because you choose to omit your will and not bringing matters to pass because you don’t have the power to do so.  Regardless of the explanation, God is not in complete control if He allows something to come into creation in a means outside of His determination.  From the results gathered from PRRI’s poll, however, this is exactly what God does according to 73% of Americans.  More succinctly or in other words, 73% of Americans deny the sovereignty of God in the greatest degree.  

If we are to get a true picture about God’s sovereignty and not look at matters through rose colored glasses, we must earnestly seek the truth.  We may be tempted by the powers of cognitive dissonance but we must resist dishonest persuasion that distorts our window into the world.  Regardless of how honest we wish to be, however, we all view and interpret through our own worldview. The same as the Pharisees had a vision of the Messiah and clung to it all the while hating Jesus, we have a view as to how we perceive God.  Everyone does it.  We fashion a god of our choosing that meets our likeness if we are left to our own predisposition.  We may not even cognitively realize we’re doing this at the time we’re doing it.  The world after all, encourages us to do it.  How often, for example, have we heard, the heart does not lie?  The implication being we can draw upon truth from the heart and ultimately, we can trust it.  Placing blind trust in the heart is not, however, a prescription found when examining scripture. 

When it comes to discovering a doctrine of sovereignty, we aren’t going to find the answers through statistics, our world view or through an examination of our heart.  Depending on which version you read, Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the heart is sick/wicked/deceitful (KJ,NASB, NLT).  Its ironic that Pilot asked Jesus, “What is truth ?” (Jn 18:38) all the while, he was seeing it in the flesh with his own eyes (Jn 14:6).  Truth can be staring at us in the face but if we don’t have eyes to see it, it will escape us nevertheless.  So not only can we not trust our heart, we can’t even necessarily trust what we see with our own eyes, even our first hand experiences may be delusional. If our heart and eyes can fail to be effective tools for extracting truth, how much more fallible are the idols we make and fashion after the desires of our heart that is ultimately influenced by what we see and feel?  We can’t place our trust in the golden calves that we fabricate as a means to be pleasing to ourselves.  His word is truth (Jn 17:17) so it is in His word we must seek the truth.  We must leave behind our presuppositions and look to God inspired scripture that is good for teaching (2Tm 3:16).

For your viewing pleasure, behold some verses that attest to the sovereignty of God.  As a way to establish organization, I’ve grouped them into broad categories:

Disclaimer - In no way is this list intended to be totally comprehensive but to provide a first hand illustration with how the subject matter is addressed in scripture.  

God does as He pleases/He works in the counsel of His will:

Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.

Isaiah 46:10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.

Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Ephesians 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

Proverbs 16:4 The LORD hath made all [things] for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Psalm 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

Genesis 39:3 And his master saw that the LORD [was] with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD.

Jn. 3:27 A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

Psalm 33:11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Acts 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

1 Sam. 2:6-7 The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts.

Job 1:1 And Job said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Isaiah 45:6,7 There is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well being and creating calamity [Lit.,"ra", evil]. I am the Lord who does all these.

Daniel 2:21 And it is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding.

God’s will stands/cannot be frustrated/cannot be thwarted:

Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand.

Daniel 4:35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and He does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?” 

Exodus 4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 

Isaiah 14:24 The Lord of hosts has sworn:
“As I have planned,
so shall it be,
and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand, 

Isaiah14:27 For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?"

Lamentations 3:37 Who [is] he [that] saith, and it cometh to pass, [when] the Lord commandeth [it] not?

Psalm 33:10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.

To deny the sovereignty of God is to deny what we know to be true as found in scripture.  From the scripture previously listed, we see that God does whatever He wants as it is purposed after the council of His will.   The Lord gives and He takes away.  He places kings on their thrones and alters the courses of nations.  Everything we have is from Heaven above.  Our abilities as well as our prosperity come from God.  Even the wicked have been made for the day of evil according to His will.  This does not mean God makes people sin but allows them  to act according to their own nature to accomplish His purposes the same as He loosened the leash on Satan so that he could attack Job.  When Job persevered, he served his purpose in giving God glory.  That’s the whole reason we were made after all, to give God glory (Is 43:7).  

Scripture in of itself, however, will not necessarily yield a correct doctrine of sovereignty.  When the devil tempted Jesus, he did so with scripture.  Doctrine is holly and righteous but it can be corrupted by and through the teaching of false prophets or teachers.  This is why we are warned about such things and told that we will know them (false teachers) by their fruit (Mt 7:16).  God is spirit and He must be worshipped in spirit (Jn 4:24) and it is in this spirit, we receive His word (2 Pt 1:21).  Paul told the Ephesians to be imitators of Christ and in doing this, they will avoid actions that are not fitting (Ep 5:1).  If they live with a mind set that is in the spirit, they will seek the same things the spirit desires (Romans 8:5).  It is in these matters that God uses His sovereignty to bring things to pass.  Unfortunately, some people look to the desires of their own heart/nature that is influenced by sin and view the sovereignty of God in this context.  They read verses like, “May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” (Ps 20:4) and think that God is bent on giving them the life they want.  They neglect to see that He gives you these things when you delight in Him (Ps 37:4).  To delight in Him means to want the same things He wants and what does He want?  He wants to be our God and for us to be His people (Ex 6:7; Lv 26:12; Jeremiah 30:22), He wants us to obey Him and in this obedience, He wants us to love Him with all our heart and to love one another as we love ourselves (Mt 22:37-40); and He wants us to deliver the Gospel so that all who will believe, will become heirs in Christ (Mt 28:19, Rm 1:16, Rm 8:17).  It is in His sovereignty, He has made provision to reconcile us to Himself through the blood of His Son but what does all of this have to do with sports?

Sporting exhibitions, like all things, exist within the confines of God’s sovereignty.  Like all things, the outcome of games/matches will yield consequences.  Like all things, the outcome delivered from a game can be used for the glory of God.  Regardless of who wins a game, believe that His purposes have been fulfilled thusly.  It may not be apparent to us at how these things work out in their full course but if it has come to pass, it has happened according to God’s will that guides events by His sovereignty.  We can’t truly grasp the full measure of contingencies at play.  Imagine, for example, the untold number of lives that are involved in a Superbowl game.  Think about a million acts, that appear to be random, that have played out in order for the Superbowl to take place.  God was involved in every act working out His purposes for His glory and for the good of those that love Him (Rm 8:28).

In our human nature, we want to win.  If our team wins, we conclude that God must be for us or our team.  Perhaps we believe our team won because we prayed for it and God is giving us the desire of our heart.  God does answer prayers but let’s consider He doesn’t answer them in the limited terms we typically think of when we ponder such matters.  What happens, for example, if two devout Christians pray for victory but one is praying for one team while the other prays for the other team?  What is God to do? 

Fortunately for us, God is beyond measure and with His ways being higher than ours (Is 55:9), He can manage to create magnificence from piles of rubble.  God disciplines His children out of love (Hebrews 12:6).  Even if a team of our choosing looses, do not think that God cannot make good come of it.  In our carnality, we despise hardship.  Our dearly beloved brother James, however, tells us that we are to consider it as joy when we face trials (Jm 1:2).  It is when our faith is tested, that we will gain endurance that will complete us so we will lack for nothing (Jm 1:3-4).  Even if we are being persecuted, it is happening inside of God’s sovereignty for the things they mean for evil, God means it for good (Genesis 50:20).    

By now, there should be a picture of God’s sovereignty to behold.  Some fear His sovereignty and perhaps they should, for it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).  There will be a day when every knee will bow (Rm 14:11, Is 45:23, Philippians 2:10) and some will hear,'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'  To anyone that is outside of God’s will, His sovereignty is a death sentence.  Who can take comfort and solitude in that?  There is, however, comfort, solitude and joy in the promise He has for those that repent and believe.  His grace abounds and cannot be overcome by anyone’s life of sin so long as they come to know the Gospel. In becoming an heir in Christ, there is hope - even for the chief of sinners.  

If there is hope to be found in God’s sovereignty, even for the worst of sinners, how much more hope is there for those who believe?  In God’s sovereignty, we take comfort for the great Redeemer holds true to His covenant.  The bride in Christ awaits for the appearance He will make as He executes His sovereignty and redeems those to whom He has bought with His life’s blood.  For the believer, God’s sovereignty is something we can take comfort in.  In our humility, we look to God in His sovereignty and stand in awe.    

Does God play a role in determining which team wins?  To the believer, perhaps a better question would be, what role does God play when determining which team will win?  Considering the number of Americans that do not believe in an all sovereign God, perhaps we are being called to proclaim it for the world to hear.  Its one thing for non-believers to be ignorant of God’s sovereignty but to look at the number of professing members in the faith to be just as ignorant is troubling, to say the least.  The sheep should not have so much in common with the goats.  Its possible that some in the pen are not really what they profess to be and its also possible that they are but have fallen victim to biblical illiteracy.  

Virginia, you should know there’s not a Santa Claus but America, you should know there is an all sovereign God.  If the Creator of the Universe has enough interest in His creation to know the number of hairs on your head and be concerned about five sparrows that are sold for two pennies (Luke 12:7), perhaps the same Creator will have as much interest in the actions being carried out by His creation – even as they participate in sporting events.  If God does not exercise His sovereignty and determine the outcome of sporting events, then what is the alternative? 

As mentioned previously, some may believe that God limits His sovereignty to leave room for free will or allows for matters to conclude by chance.  Free will, however, is negated by and through the very nature of sports.  Both sides desire to win and execute their free will to make the outcome agree with the desire of their will.  Through untold variables, however, the outcome will materialize into reality in one form or another leaving one team the victor and the other the spoil.  There are too many variables and factors at play for free will to determine the outcome.  Intrinsic talent that each player has was given by God and no amount of training can make one achieve more than he is designed to accomplish.  No amount of free will can alter the untold contingencies at play within the context of a game.  If the star member, for example, is injured and can’t play in the next game then what is left of his free will?  Human determination can only accomplish so much and cannot be compared to the breadth of God’s hand (Is 40:12).  God’s sovereignty does not rest in the constraints of the human condition .  Our spirit may be willing but our flesh is often weak (Mt 26:41).  Paul tells us that he does things that he hates and doesn’t do things that he wants to do and by telling us this, he brings our attention to the battle between the spirit and the flesh.  What becomes of free will when the spirit wills one way and the flesh wills another?  What is free will to do?

While no one denies that people have a will and they maintain the ability to exercise it, James warns us about the matter.  Its empowering to say we’re going to exercise our free will but James also tells us that such action is boasting and not only tells us not to do it, but to do so is evil (Jm 4:13-16).  If its evil to say you’re going to go and do this and that tomorrow, how can it not be evil for a sports team to say we are going to win this game here today and that game tomorrow?  If they are to follow James’ teaching, they will say, “If the Lord wills, we will win this game today and that game tomorrow.”  If your victory is contingent upon the Lord’s will, then did He not influence the matter with His sovereignty?  Without sovereignty, God’s will is rendered irrelevant.  

In conclusion, most Americans deny the idea that God plays a role in determining the outcome of sporting events.  Regardless of our worldview, truth can and should be found in scripture.  Outside of faith in Christ and repentance of sin, God’s sovereignty is a death sentence to the non-believer but there is hope in His Gospel.  If there’s hope for the lost, how much more is there for the saved?  God’s sovereignty is a magnificent attribute that belongs to our Lord.  

In God’s economy, He can bring Himself glory through sporting events.  At the same time, He can also work matters out for the good of those that love Him.  If God cares for two sparrows, how much more does He care about those involved in sports?  Even in hardships, God can perfect our faith through sporting events the same as He can with anything else.  God is all sovereign and His sovereignty reigns throughout His creation.  The advent of sports coming through His creation does not negate the Creator, it only serves as another avenue for Him to exercise His sovereignty.  

Look to scripture and see how it reveals the magnitude of God’s sovereignty and how it yields so much more than giving us the desires of our heart.  We must deny the evil temptation to cast it to the side so that we can boast in our own feeble will.  Take comfort in knowing that in God’s sovereignty, Christ redeems the elect with His life’s blood when they have faith in Him that they have gained from believing the Gospel.  Victory is an analogy any sports aficionado can appreciate.  God does determine the outcome of sporting events by granting victory to one team over another.  He did after all, give us victory in Jesus.  If He cares for us then why should He stop working for our good, even when it comes to our participation in sporting events?  He doesn’t!  Take comfort, God is at work, even in the Superbowl.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gospel Coalition Conference - April 8-10, 2013

"The Gospel Coalition’s 2013 national conference will be a five-day event, including a weekend world missions conference and three-day main conference focused on the mission of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. Overall the event features 80 speakers from around the world aiming to stir your affections for Jesus Christ, equip you to live faithfully in this world, and spread the gospel to the ends of the earth."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

David Platt on the Doctrine of Suffering

David Platt on the Doctrine of Suffering

"No topic is more enduringly relevant. Everyone encounters suffering one way or another and Christian leaders are called to help them understand its meaning.

David Platt, pastor at the Church at Brook Hills and author of Radical, sits down with David Mathis to discuss how he counsels individuals in the midst of affliction. He highlights five essential truths: 1) the sovereignty and goodness of God; 2) a humble view of man; 3) the ultimate reason that suffering exists is to exalt the glory of God's grace in the sacrifice of his Son for sinners; 4) God has a variety of good purposes in suffering; and 5) suffering is a means through which God leads the church to fulfill the Great Commission."
- Jonathan Parnell

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Is Morality Other Than Harm?

What Is Morality Other Than Harm?

"Tim Keller, Collin Hansen, and Albert Mohler discuss why the common good requires some laws that limit personal freedom."

For other videos like this, visit The Gospel Coalition

Also, be sure to read Justin Taylor's "When Even Joel Osteen Is Treated as a Bigot" piece that you'll find in the blog section of The Gospel Coalition's website.

May it all be for His glory,
Wade Davis

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2012 Port-de-Paix, Haiti Mission Trip

2012 Port-de-Paix, Haiti Mission Trip

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope this letter finds you well, and that you have enjoyed your summer. While I was able to spend some extra time with my family, I did spend some time preparing for the new school year. This school year presents a new and exciting opportunity for me in that I will be helping missionary teachers in Haiti as they begin their new year with their students.

I have been asked by Southland Christian Church to be part of a short-term missions work team in Port-de-Paix, Haiti. We will be working with Sonlight Ministries' teachers and students. We will arrive on October 13th and return October 20th. I am so excited to have the opportunity to use my teaching skills on the mission field! Sonlight Academy is a K-12 English emersion school established to educate students in a Biblical environment in order to provide Haitian children opportunities they otherwise would not have. In addition, we will be visiting an orphanage and the House of Hope, a home for terminally ill children.

While I will be traveling and serving with 6 team members, I invite you also to be a part of this trip. I believe that all people can be involved in missions, even without going out on the field. I would be honored if you would be my prayer partner. I will provide specific prayer needs before the trip as we prepare, during the trip, and after our return.

Our team has been asked to raise $1,700.00 for airfare, lodging, and transportation. If you are in a season of life in which your budget is tight, please do not feel obligated to give financially. Your prayer support is greatly appreciated. If you are in a season in life in which you are blessed financially, and you feel led to help in this way, we will greatly appreciate it.

I am so excited about being a part of this team and anticipate the incredible opportunities to serve in education abroad. Thank you in advance for your prayers, support, and encouragement.


For financial support:
Checks or money orders made payable to Southland Christian Church

For your contribution to be tax deductible do NOT put my name in the memo line (IRS prohibits church finance office from giving you tax credit for donations designated to individuals).

Mail check or money order to:
Sarah Moll
110 Hemingway Place
Georgetown, KY 40324

Copied w/permission.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Quote - Leap of Faith

Quote - Biblical Leap of Faith

"The Bible never tells us to take a leap of faith into the darkness and hope that there's nobody out there.  The Bible calls us to jump out of the darkness into the light.  That is not a blind leap.  The faith  that the New Testament calls us to is a faith rooted and grounded in something that God makes clear is the truth."

R.C. Sproul

Sproul, R.C. (2003). Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics
     Illinois: Crossway Books. pg 25.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Running the Good Race

Running the Good Race

Paralysis and marathon are usually two words that appear to be at odds with one another.  Marathon runners do not typically inspire images of crutches or implements of mobility providing assistance for persons with an impairment.  It is, however, this incompatibility that lends itself an opportunity for awareness.  Claire Lomas, paralyzed from a horse riding accident, has used her current station in life to raise awareness for spinal cord research through her involvement in the London Marathon.  Claire didn't raise awareness by taking first place.  She didn't raise awareness by finishing in a manner worthy of winning a medal.  In fact, Claire finished 16 days after the 26.2 mile race began.  Claire did, however, raise (circa) $160,000 for the cause of spinal cord research and became the first person to have ever completed a marathon - not through the use of a wheelchair - but through the use of a ReWalk bionic suit.  

In Paul's second letter to Timothy, he tells his son in the faith, that he has finished the race.  Paul wasn't trying to raise awareness for charity but to offer encouragement to Timothy through his epistle that is believed to have been written in a jail cell.  Paul presses on to preach perseverance.  It is the man that keeps the faith that wins the prize - so it is all the more important to preserve.  In matters of the spiritual realm that Paul is talking about, we are speaking of a crown of righteousness that is granted in eternity as opposed to an earthly accolade - a prize that will fade away.  Seeing Claire finish her race in spite of her trials, reminded me of Paul's race.  I think sometimes we hear the call of evangelism and think to ourselves we aren't in an opportune time to serve in the Kingdom of God.  We have imperfections, limited resources and extenuating circumstances that keep our hands tied and our mouths gagged in a manner and fashion that decommissions us from the preaching, teaching and spreading the Gospel.  If Paul can finish the race in spite of being beaten with rods, stoned, ship wrecked and snake bit, what is stopping us?

Unlike Claire, we don't have a ReWalk bionic suit that can provide assistance and afford us an opportunity to triumph our physical barriers.  With the hardness of a fallen world, who would not be down trodden and disheartened?  With God, however, we aren't given a spirit of timidity.  Paul tells Timothy that we have been given a spirit of power, love and discipline.  Paul encourages us through his epistle to Timothy that the Holy Spirit indwells us and it is under His power that we can guard the truth.  It is in faith and love that we have that is from Christ Jesus that will be our instruments to carry out His will.  So instead of dwelling on the lack of power we have in ourselves, let us be reminded of the power that we have in Him by trusting and resting in Jesus.  Let us stand firm in the truth and press forward on to win the prize for God has equipped us for a good work.  The same as Claire Lomas has used her physical challenges to bring awareness to spinal research, let us use our worldly challenges, our weaknesses and shortcomings to bring awareness to the Gospel.  Jesus didn't die for people living in perfection.  He died for sinners that were dead in their trespasses.  He humbled Himself and died for the lowly.  Before our salvation, we were without hope and it is in our weakness that He is glorified.  If Jesus can save a lost sinner like me then He can surely save you.  With God, all things are possible.   

Soli Deo gloria,