One of the most exciting events in track and field is the relay races. It takes a combination of speed, timing, precision, and teamwork in order for a relay team to be victorious. Now the suspense is much greater than an individual race because in an individual race the fastest person always wins. In a relay race the fastest team can lose if one thing happens –they fail to pass the baton. Any track coach will tell you that relay races are won or lost not in the sheer speed of the team, but in the transfer of the baton. There is that critical moment when everything can be lost by the slightest miscalculation.
In the 1988 Olympics, the world just assumed that the United States would be victorious in the 400 meter relay because we simply had, by far, from top to bottom the best team. From the crack of the opening gun, we took the lead and extended the lead through the first three runners. After the last curve, the unthinkable happened. The United States was ahead by ten meters and no one was going to catch them. At the last hand off the impossible happened. They dropped the baton and the fastest team in the world lost not only a gold medal, but any medal because of a dropped baton.
I thought about that when I read something that Dr. James Dobson once said. “According to the Christian values which govern my life, my most important reason for living is to get the baton – The Gospel safely into the hands of my children.”
I could not agree with him more. I can tell you both as a pastor and as a dad, you will never teach your children a greater lesson than the lesson of having faith in God. I have said before, nobody can change your life like God, but even God cannot change your life until you place your faith in Him.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “It’s impossible to please God apart from faith.”
Why is faith so important? It is just this simple. You cannot please God without faith, because you cannot know God without faith. You cannot be saved without knowing God and that is why the greatest lesson you’ll ever teach your children and the greatest lesson you’ll ever learn yourself is what real faith is, how to get it and how to live it.
Dr. Merritt begins a new teaching series for June 2012 entitled “Up Close and Personal”. What is your relationship with God like? Is it distant, like there’s an ocean between you? Or, could it be something more? Something closer, more intimate and personal than you imagined? Join Pastor Merritt for this fascinating teaching series entitled “Up Close and Personal” as we open God’s Word to discover just how close He really can be in our lives daily.
Up Close and Personal is a four-week teaching series, June 10 – July 1, 2012.
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