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Summary: This is the fifth sermon in a series that brings NASCAR along side spiritual truths in order to call people to keep on learning and growing through the hard knocks of life.

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Bible Text: 2 Timothy 2:1-4:5

Series: NASCAR Comes To Church

Title: Rookies, Veterans and Hard Knocks

Topic: Christian Living / Stewardship

Theme: Purposeful Growth in Christian Living / Stewardship of Life Lessons & Skills

Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness calling God’s people in my care to keep on learning and growing.

Response: Individuals prompted by the Holy Spirit will pray for his help as they face the hard knocks of life.

Pattern: Parable leading to Textual Exposition

Visual Illustration: Race flags; NASCAR memorabilia; R C car

Introduction:

It’s hard to remember that Jesus did not come to make us safe, but rather to make us disciples, citizen’s of God’s new age, a kingdom of surprise. [Something to Think About]

CITATION: STANLEY HAUERWAS quoted at PreachingToday.com

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 kingdom. We’ve been calling the eternal truths his PATTERN FOR LIFE.

Review:

 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.


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