Summary: The sermon is a kickoff to our VBS with the same theme. The idea is that the characters of the bible were significant to God in their development before him. We used CAR names to remind us of certain bible characters.

1. A Car Ride Home

After a baby dedication service for his baby brother in church, little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, but I want to stay with you guys!"

2. CARS2God is our VBS theme this year – Children ARE Really Special to God

Matthew 19.13-14

Psalm 78.4-7

3. At a congregation I worked for a few years ago, many of the adult bible classes named their classes with some biblical principles within their names. One was Encouragers; One was Bridge Builders (led by a dentist, oddly enough); a couple of the classes noted that they had named their classes after cars – Pathfinders; Forerunners;

4. I don’t want to be overly cute with this lesson, but the theme of our VBS and my experience with those classes made me think about some Bible characters and some modern cars and trucks

• Toyota “4Runner”

John the Baptist – Forerunner to Yeshua (Jesus) – Mark 1.1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,

who will prepare your way,

3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight,’”

4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Cf. Isaiah 40.3-5

3 A voice cries:

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;

make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

and the rough places a plain.

5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,

and all flesh shall see it together,

for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Why did people flock to the desert to hear John? They thought he was ushering in the presence of GOD himself – and he did. He prepared the way for Yeshua (Jesus) – Messiah-God

• Ford “Mustang” – Wild and Reckless

Car was named for the WWII Mustang airplane – but to be a combat pilot you have to be a little wild and crazy!’

Ishmael – Genesis 16.13-14

11 And the angel of the LORD said to her,

“Behold, you are pregnant

and shall bear a son.

You shall call his name Ishmael,

because the LORD has listened to your affliction.

12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man,

his hand against everyone

and everyone's hand against him,

and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

13 So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”

Ishmael means “God Pays Attention”

He came about in an erroneous way – Abram and Sarai took matters into their own hands instead of waiting on God – problems ever since: between Sarai and Hagar; descendants of Ishmael and Isaac

Abram loved Ishmael AND Isaac Midrash in Genesis 22.1-2 (CJB)

After these things, God tested Avraham. He said to him, “Avraham!” and he answered, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitz’chak; and go to the land of Moriyah. There you are to offer him as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will point out to you.”

God to Abraham: Take your son; Abraham: Which son?/ God: Your only son; Abraham: Which only son – I have two sons who were only sons of their mothers/ God: The son you love; Abraham: I love both sons; God: ISAAC!

Ishmael was frustrated and angry

A father of four boys came home to find them all engaged in something of a free-for-all. Addressing his remarks to the most aggressive of the four, he asked, “Butch, who started this?” “Well, it all started when Harold hit me back,” exclaimed Butch.

• Mercury “Mountaineer”

Caleb – faithful spy with Joshua

6 Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the LORD said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea concerning you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. 8 But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the LORD my God. 9 And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children forever, because you have wholly followed the LORD my God.’ 10 And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, just as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. 11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. 12 So now give me this hill country [“mountain” KJV] of which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said.” Joshua 14.6-12

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