Summary: Here's a sermon to preach while the Olympics are going on.

Let's Not Drop The Baton

Deuteronomy 6:4-7

4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

6"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.

7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

How many of you have been watching the Olympics?

The games began in London, England last Friday, July 27th...

and will come to a close next Sunday, August 12th.

Athletes from all over the world

are competing in numerous events

hoping to win the Gold Medal.

The last count I saw had China leading in Gold Medals.

China ____

United States ___

France ____

Germany ____

Korea ____

My favorite events to watch are the Track & Field events.

I especially like the relay races.

Have you ever watched a relay race?

There are 4 runners on a relay team.

The distance of the race is divided into 4 equal distances...

and each runner runs his distance as fast as he can.

Usually the team's fastest runner runs the final leg of the race.

I ran for the Bone Gap Grade School Track Team Relay Race.

I was the fastest runner in the school so I ran the last leg.

As the lead sprinter on each team runs the first leg of the race,

the next runner gets set.

He anxiously times his teammate's arrival,

and begins running before the lead man overtakes him.

Then, the crucial moment arrives,

and the lead man passes the baton to the second leg runner.

The process is repeated twice more in the race,

as each man passes the baton to the next.

A good track coach will tell you that the relay is won or lost

in the transfer of the baton.

A miscalculation or hesitation at that point can cost the race.

Today, I want to take you back 4 years

to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The events were held in Beijing, China.

The United States was favored to win the Gold medal

In both the men's 400 meter relay

and the women's 400 meter relay races.

Both teams were set to run in their semi-finals races.

Running the First leg for the men's team was Rodney Martin.

The runners all took their marks at the starting line.

The Starter fired a gun and the race was on.

Rodney Martin quickly took the lead for the U.S. team.

In a separate race...

running the First leg for the women's team was Angela Williams.

The runners took their marks at the starting line.

The Starter fired a gun and the race was on.

Angela Williams quickly took the lead for the U.S. team.

Rodney Martin and Angela Williams ran their 100 meters well.

Both led all runners in their respective races...

As they approached the place to hand the baton to the next runner.

More of this story a little later!

As Christian parents and grandparents,

we have a responsibility.

The Apostle Paul often likened the Christian life to a race.

1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

Galatians 5:7

You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Philippians 2:16

holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Someday, like Paul, we will be facing death.

We will finish our race.

We will not be around here forever.

But before we finish our course

we have to prepare our children and grandchildren

so we can pass the baton off to the next generation.

We must transfer our Biblical values to our children and teenagers.

We must equip them to live godly lives

in the midst of an ungodly world.

We can't turn back the clock.

We can't start over.

We can't insulate our kids from the effects of a depraved culture.

So what can we do -- now -- to pass on our values to our kids?

Let's look again at our Bible text for today.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7.

This passage gives us God's three directions

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