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What the birth of Coca-Cola says about your potential to do great things for the kingdom

Ryan Denison is the Senior Fellow for Theology at Denison Forum, where he contributes writing and research to many of the ministry’s productions.

He is in the final stages of earning his PhD in church history at BH Carroll Theological Institute after having earned his MDiv at Truett Seminary. Ryan has also taught at BH Carroll and Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife, Candice, live in East Texas and have two children.


Coca-cola birthday
© Lunatictm/

On this day 134 years ago, pharmacist John Pemberton first advertised a new drink that was originally intended to be a substitute for morphine and a tonic for most common ailments.

Its original purpose quickly faded, however, as Coca-Cola took off simply as a delicious and refreshing drink.

That the original recipe included small amounts of cocaine—an ingredient that wasn’t removed until 1903—perhaps had something to do with its initial success.

Pemberton sold the business shortly before his death two years later, and the company eventually grew into what is now one of the largest corporations in the world and the purveyor of more than 2,800 products across two-hundred-plus countries. All of which would have come as quite the surprise to Coca-Cola’s creator.

What can God do through you?

Our creator, however, is never surprised by the potential of his creation. And while far too many of us never fully live up to that promise, it can be reassuring to remember that it’s still there.

Regardless of the choices you’ve made in life to this point, your existence still carries the potential to do great things for the kingdom of God. The Lord’s capacity to redeem your mistakes and amplify your correct choices exceeds anything our finite minds can imagine.

It may be that, like Pemberton, we never see that potential come to fruition this side of heaven. In fact, on some level, I imagine all of us hope that what we do in this life echoes well beyond the span of our years.

But that simple fact is all the more reason not to allow the limits of our own imaginations to impose unnecessary barriers on what the Lord can do through us.

So, whatever you may have planned for this weekend and beyond, take a moment today and ask God to set your priorities and expectations for what’s to come. It could very well be that many years from now, you look back in awe at all that he’s accomplished.

After all, if it could happen to a glass of drug-laced, carbonated water, surely it could happen with you.