Summary: The final sermon in this NASCAR series that uses Parable leading to Textual Exposition to call people to generous living.
Bible Text: 1 Timothy 6:3-19
Series: NASCAR Comes To Church
Title: Take the Checkered Flag
Topic: Christian Living / Stewardship
Theme: Purposeful Growth in Christian Living / Stewardship of What We Have
Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness calling God’s people in my care to commit themselves to live generously in order to experience true living.
Response: Individuals prompted by the Holy Spirit will come forward and take a checkered flag to indicate their commitment to live generously.
Pattern: Parable leading to Textual Exposition
Visual Illustration: Race flags; NASCAR memorabilia; R C car
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.
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.
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 a love relationship with God and others. We need to plan and purposefully decide how to realize those relationships in our lives. The more we strive for these things the more we will see our need 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. To do anything else would cost the driver a disqualification. It could even cost him and others their lives.
This parable shows us that we need to live according to God’s pattern for life. We dare not fall into the trap of thinking any and every lifestyle is acceptable. We must pursue progress in developing the attitudes and actions of Jesus with persevering purpose.
GOD’S PATTERN FOR LIFE IS LIKE THE NASCAR DRIVER who knows he/she cannot win without a team. It takes a top-notch pit crew to change tires, adjust the car, and fill the fuel tank so fast that the driver doesn’t lose his/her position in the race. It takes a team of drivers, sponsors, owners and designers to win championships. So every driver develops a good team and treats each member well because he or she knows that the team is vital.