OBJECT: Baton for relay race
STORY WITH THE OBJECT
During the relay race in the last Olympic Games when the baton was passed, the Canadians finished in third place. They were very excited until they heard the judge say, “Disqualified!” They were crushed! They thought they had won the bronze medal, but were disqualified because one of them crossed the line into the next lane.
TRANSITION TO THE SPIRITUAL
When I saw that, I thought about our lives. We are running the race of life as fast as we can and with great emotion, thinking we are doing well. But in reality we are breaking the rules, crossing the line by doing things we know are wrong.
THE PROBLEM (LAW)
We cross the line when we disobey the rules God has established to run the race of life correctly. We know the rules because they are written on our hearts. One of them says, “Do not steal”, but it is so easy for us to take things that don’t belong to us, or copy on a test, or borrow something and never return it. We cross the line. Another rule God gave is for us to honor our parents, but we don’t follow it. We constantly mistreat them, yell at them, or ignore what they tell us. Another rule God gave us says “Do not kill”, but we hate others and speak evil of them behind their backs. Another line crossed.
THE CONSEQUENCES (ETERNITY)
The bad news is that at the end of our lives, if we have crossed the line, disobeying the rules, we will hear a voice say, “Disqualified!” We will forfeit our opportunity of getting into heaven, and we will be separated from God forever in hell.
THE SOLUTION (CROSS)
The good news is that someone ran the race of life perfectly, carried the baton and never crossed a line, never did anything wrong. He obeyed each of God’s rules, and his name is Jesus Christ. He came to earth and died in your place and mine, paying the consequences that we deserved to pay.
THE CALL (REPENTANCE AND FAITH)
Now Jesus is offering you His baton and saying, “Do you want to finish the race with me?” In order to receive His baton and finish the race well, you need to ask Him to forgive each one of your sins, leave your sin behind, and run the race with Jesus.