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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Mennonite children playing at school 5/2/19
Children playing baseball (or softball) outside of a one room Mennonite schoolhouse north of New Holland, PA
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"Lessons From Coach"
"The Relay"

Note: This week we are studying lessons we can learn from "running the race" since in several instances the Bible describes the Christian life as running a race. We have input from our very experienced 81 year old friend, Coach Bill, who coached track and field for over 50 years. Today let us consider the relay.

Message summary: 
Are you a follower of Christ? Then you are a part of this relay!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others" (2 Timothy 2:2).

The relay
Most races are individual but in track there are also races involving multiple runners (usually four) called relays. I recall running relays in high school. Since I was a long distance runner it was usually the 2 mile relay with four runners each running 1/2 mile, and each part called a "leg". There was a passing zone in which the baton was received from the previous runner and where it was passed on to the next.

In the Christian relay we are far into the race with many baton passes prior to us. The gospel baton does not change. It's probably easiest to see this as one generation passing the baton on to the next. The apostles started the race when the church was established and today's text describes the passing of the gospel baton. There will be a finishing leg. Only God knows but we may be that finishing leg in the long relay!

Coach Bill Preston 4/29/19Coach Bill states,

"Each person on the relay has to carry the baton (the gospel) so that it doesn't get dropped. The start has already been taken care of so we, the incoming runner, have to be sure to pass the baton on safely. It is the responsibility of the incoming runner to be sure the baton is secure in the outgoing runners grasp before we pass it on."

Are you a follower of Christ? Then you are a part of this relay! Some of you just recently took the baton and are on the first steps on your leg, but only for a short time. You also will heed the call to pass it on and there will be baton passes in your life on both the reception and transmission side.

Our daily text indicates that Timothy, upon hearing Paul's words, was to entrust his teaching to reliable men who would also be qualified to teach others. There's four generations here, (1) Paul, (2) Timothy, (3) reliable men who are qualified and (4) those they teach. Thank God for the long relay race since Paul gave Timothy this charge some 2000 years ago and for the scores of faithful servants who have run vital legs in the relay over the centuries. Thank God for those in our own generation who are running faithfully and passing on the baton.

The exciting thing about ministry is that those you impact also impact others for Christ. There is great joy when our spiritual children win and disciple others for Christ, be it their own family members, their co-workers or through a ministry in which God has called them. That's kind of like your spiritual grandchildren. They may also challenge us in our own spiritual walk, either by their example or the inspiration of their words. 

Today let's determine that we will be a faithful leg in the relay of faith. Notice the characteristic "reliable". I thank God for those who ran legs in the relay before me who are a part of my spiritual genealogy, but now I desire to faithfully carry and pass on the gospel baton to many spiritual descendants and being a part in someone else's spiritual genealogy. And I hope you do as well!  After all, it's our turn now.

It's my turn now,
Yes, it's my turn now.
My turn to give my life away.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, lay upon our hearts the unquenchable desire to pass on the gospel baton to others, the important truths we received from reliable followers of Christ and from our own study of Your Holy Word. Help us not to relegate our duties to others, but take up our responsibility as we link together with other believers all over the globe transmitting Your timeless, life-changing truths to those who have ears to hear.  Amen.

Personal story of how we find baton passing such a blessing.

We have had the privilege of imparting the glorious truths of the Gospel for over forty years now. What indescribable joy wells up in our hearts when we see those to whom we've entrusted these truths now passing them on to their own generation.

We just got a note from a New England friend we had discipled over 20 years ago after coming out of a very broken life. She and her husband are in ministry and, although they have faced some tough and discouraging hurdles, they are staying faithful. Her son is now in ministry and this week is over in Zimbabwe on mission work.

Of course we, like many, have also had the sad experience of passing on the baton to someone who dropped it or quit the race.

This week' series considers lessons from life's race:
Monday: "Running The Race Set Before Us"
Tuesday: "The Start"
Wednesday: "The Hurdles"
Today: "The Relay"
Friday: "The Finish"

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Pass It On"  Video  The Orchard Music  A popular song when we were in college and preparing for ministry.

"My Turn Now"  Video  Steven Curtis Chapman

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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