Summary: This is the third sermon in a series that brings NASCAR along side spiritual truths in order to challenge God’s people in my care to live holy lives on purpose and by design.
Bible Text: 1 Timothy 4:9-16
Series: NASCAR Comes To Church
Title: Design Is Crucial
Topic: Christian Living
Theme: Holy Christian Living
Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness challenging God’s people in my care to live holy lives on purpose and by design
Response: Individuals prompted by the Holy Spirit will promise to develop holy Christian lives by confessing their sins and submitting to God’s truth while receiving his forgiveness and restoration.
Pattern: Parable leading to Textual Exposition
Visual Illustration: Race flags; NASCAR memorabilia; R C car
Jesus told stories called "parables" to bring everyday experiences along side eternal spiritual truths. His goal was to help people like you and me understand God and his PATTERN FOR LIFE.
• GOD’S PATTERN FOR LIFE IS LIKE the NASCAR driver who works out everyday -- training hands, feet, eyes and mind to function at his peak on race day. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
• GOD’S PATTERN FOR LIFE IS LIKE the NASCAR driver who studies every rule and decision made by the Racing officials in order to avoid any possibility of being disqualified on race day. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
• GOD’S PATTERN FOR LIFE IS LIKE the NASCAR drivers who focus all their energy on finishing the race. Once the green flag has been waved they forget the qualifying runs. They know the prize goes to the winner and each one is determined to take the checkered flag. As the laps mount, up they try harder and harder to finish the race well because they know Victory Lane is reserved for one who finishes the race first -- no matter how many laps were led by someone else. (Philippians 3:13-14)
• GOD’S PATTERN FOR LIFE IS LIKE the NASCAR drivers who keep a sharp eye out for other drivers who might cut them off and send their cars into the wall. (Galatians 5:7)
• GOD’S PATTERN FOR LIFE IS LIKE the NASCAR drivers who work with their pit crews and other teammates to lighten and tune their cars so that they can have nothing holding them back on race day. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
• These parables show us that we need to choose the Necessary Actions for Superb Christ-like Attitudes & Relationships because living according to God’s pattern for life doesn’t happen by accident. It is something we do intentionally.
• GOD’S PATTERN FOR LIFE IS LIKE NASCAR. Every driver lines up at the Starting Line with one purpose in mind. Every one of them is determined to complete the set number of laps and to cross the Finish Line. Every driver in a race has his/her own strategy for winning the race based on the car they are driving and the skills he/she possesses. The drivers know they must START WELL and FINISH FIRST in order to win. When the Green Flag is flying they concentrate all their thoughts and decisions on running a good race. They will follow the rules or they will face the Black Flag of disqualification. They are focused on doing their very best in hopes of crossing the Finish Line and receiving the Checkered Flag first. And every driver knows the power to win the race is not in his/her own skills, mind or strength. The power is under the hood as the engine converts fuel into acceleration and momentum.
• This parable shows us that we need to PURSUE God’s Universal Purpose; to PLAN how to realize the Universal Purpose in our lives and to PRAY in order to fill up on God’s power.
GOD’S PATTERN FOR LIFE IS LIKE THE NASCAR DRIVER WHO REFUSES TO DRIVE THE WRONG WAY IN A RACE AND WHO ALSO REFUSES TO DRIVE THE WRONG VEHICLE ON THE TRACK.
“The Bottom Line”:
God DESIGNED us to live according to his pattern for life. When we don’t live that way it TEARS us apart.
How can we live according to God’s pattern?
It takes PERSEVERING PROGRESS. The apostle Paul put it this way:
This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.