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Summary: This is the second sermon in my NASCAR-themed "Finish Line" series, focusing upon the preparations that must be made in order to get ready to run our "race of faith." (04/17/05)

**Sermon Outline**

Start Your Engines …

Galatians 1:11-2:2

A Little Review (From Week 1 - Who Is Your Sponsor?)

1. This race of life has a finish line.

2. Sometimes you need a little help to run the race.

3. You are already on the winning team!

4. Does the world know who your “sponsor” is?

Bible Truths

As you get ready to run life’s race with Jesus, certain preparations need to be made:

1. You must first have a personal encounter with Jesus. (vv. 11-12)

2. You must change some of your behaviors. (vv. 13-14)

3. You must seek a unique ministry of service that God is calling you to. (vv. 15-17a)

4. You must spend personal, quiet, devotional time in preparation for this race. (vv. 17b-18a)

5. You must seek the counsel of other experienced “racers.” (vv. 18b-19)

6. You must start your engines, and RUN THE RACE! (vv. 21-24)

**Message Plan and Transcript**

Start Your Engines …

Galatians 1:11-2:2

“Igniter” Video

Show video clip from “Days of Thunder,” when the car designer seeks to build the “perfect” car.

Transition

There’s a bit more to racing than I really ever thought about. It’s not like you can run down to the corner car lot and pick you up a competitive stock car. A racing stock car has to be envisioned, designed, and built. It has to be assembled and maintained properly. Without hours and hours of work and preparation, done by dozens of people you really never see, a race car will never even hear these words, “Start your engines...,” much less cross the starting line.

And that’s what we’re going to learn about today … preparation. Getting to the point in our lives, in our walks with Christ, and in our personal ministries where we are ready to “start our engines.”

But before we get too far along, let’s have a little review from last week…

A Little Review

1. This race of life has a finish line.

2. Sometimes you need a little help to run the race.

3. You are already on the winning team!

4. Does the world know who your “sponsor” is?

Now, as we get ready to learn more about running this race called life, we’re going to look at the life of a man named Paul. Now, in his younger days, the Apostle Paul was known as Saul. He was a very educated and very dedicated Jew. He was also born a Roman citizen. As a young man, he fought hard against the growing movement that was known as “The Way,” what we call today Christianity. He worked under the guidance of the Jewish leadership to travel throughout the Roman world, hunting down Jewish Christians and hauling them into Jewish courts. He was vvery thorough in his work, and was surely feared by all Jews who had converted to the Christian faith.

Then, one day, Paul had what is known as the “Damascus Road” experience. Listen to these events in Acts 9:1-19. You see, Jesus intervened in the life of Saul, in an incredible, supernatural way. He blinded him along that road t Damascus. And the man who was once the great Christian hunter became the greatest apostle, theologian, church planter, and hero of the faith that we have ever known.

What’s interesting, though is that Paul didn’t just wake up the next day and get right to work as a faithful Christian leader. He took some time, first. He made some preparations.


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