Summary: Put God first above all things to reach God’s Ideal!
Title: Pass It On-Priorities
Text: Genesis 22.1-14
CT: Put God first above all things to reach God’s Ideal!
Father 'Replaces God' with His Hobby
At the age of 47, the writer William Giraldi's father died tragically in a motorcycle accident. Giraldi's father was a decent husband and father, but he also had a hobby that he seemed to cherish more than anything—his motorcycle. Every Sunday for most of his adult life he cruised the highways with his biker friends. His life advice often focused on two words: Ride hard. Eventually, his commitment to ride at "insane speeds" would lead to his death.
After his father's death, William Giraldi tried to make sense of and then write about his father's passion for biking. The younger Giraldi visited the scene of the accident and talked to the coroner who examined his father's mangled body. For his final stop, Giraldi and his uncle visited the motorcycle shop where his father's bike had been inspected.
[The mechanics] at the shop looked at my uncle and me and solemnly nodded in respect: a comrade had fallen, and we were the comrade's family …. these men on motorcycles reveled in the camaraderie, the bond; they were a band of primordial hunters out for the kill that would sustain them …. [My father belonged to] a private club that chose its members carefully. It was noble to be part of this thrill that was larger than each of them. Every Sunday the ride replaced God, a substituting savior.
And what was the result of following this "substituting savior"? One of the mechanics told Giraldi, "… to go out doing what you love … that's the only way to die. It's honorable." But Giraldi wrote: "Of course I don't believe that … There's nothing honorable about dying a violent death at forty-seven years old and leaving behind a score of family members whose lives are all ruined in some way."
LS: It's the same way for all of us: when we replace God with something else, when we have "a substituting savior," it will, in one way or another, ruin the lives of others around us. We will leave a legacy. The question is this: will it be more a legacy of blessing or more a legacy of hurt?
I. A. Today I am going continue sermon series called, Pass It ON. Have you ever run in a relay race The most critical moment in the race is the passing of the baton from one runner to the next. If the baton is dropped, the race is most certainly lost.
B. Guys, as Christian adults we are biblically charged to pass the baton of faith to the next generation. It is especially important in our world today. Our kids are bombarded daily with concepts and beliefs that are completely opposed to God’s ideal for us. Most all peer pressure that our kids face today is anti-Christian. They are often ridiculed if they attempt to live towards God’s ideal. What are we as adults doing to help?
Our schools teach moral relativism: there are no absolutes and everyone should be free to do their own thing. Church is too judgmental. God’s ideal is not important even though it is for our own benefit. Grace meets us where we are, but we still have to strive for God’s ideal! If our kids graduate from High School with their values intact, they will face an even larger challenge on university campuses. Christianity is often ridiculed as a Bronze Age myth and the Bible seen as an ancient book of myths that has no relevance to our world today. Don’t buy into this! There is more factual truth that the Bible is reliable than any other writings in the history of the world.
Mass media gets more of our children’s time than any other source. TV, internet, music and movies are for the most part counter-Christian. We have to be the force that helps our kids have faith to seek God’s ideal in their lives in spite of all the negative pressure that attempts to steer them otherwise!
C. We continue our series with today’s sermon, Pass It On-Priorities
Deuteronomy 11.18-21, 18 Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. 19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night. (The Message)
The Israelites understood that the transferring of their faith would not occur in a single event, like a baby dedication, but a continual life-long discipline. My goal is that we discover, as we look at the lives of several people in the Bible during this series, ways to better pass the baton of faith to our next generation.