Pass the Baton

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Core scripture: “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

Message: Track season is right around the corner at my middle school.  One of my favorite races to watch is the 4 x 100 relay.  You take four of the fastest kids in school and let their combined speed power them through a lap around the track and something magical happens.  Their swiftness, however, means nothing without a perfect passing of the baton.

All it takes is one person to fumble the pass and suddenly the baton is clinking on the track below.  Precision is everything.  You have to stick it right in the next person’s hand, all while keeping your speed and timing it perfectly with the next athlete who is already starting to churn their legs.  Three perfect baton passes can make up for lack of speed and win you the race.

Quick question … Who are you passing the baton on to?  Wait, you say.  I am not an athlete.  Oh, yes you are!  You are passing something a heck of a lot more important than a baton though.  You are passing your faith on to the next generation.  I am not talking about your own children.  All sound Christians do that.  I am talking about reaching out to people outside your family to push them to the next level.

Maybe it is a group of people in your church.  Maybe it is a first-year teacher in your building.  It could be a neighbor, a youthful friend, or even a complete stranger that God has planned for you to meet.  Whomever it may be, pray that God will help you set up a plan to pass the baton.  Pull that person aside.  Ask them if they would be willing to dive into a Bible or book study.

After being inspired by Dan Britton, a member of my church and the Chief Field Officer of FCA, I have sought out intentional relationships through the past six years to do just that.  Keevin, a member of my small group at church.  My next door neighbor, Trevor.  Ryan, a youth group coach.  And now I have begun a Bible study over 2 Timothy with three young men who help me teach 6th grade boys at my church.

Tonight Mason, Thatcher, and Kory will dive into 2 Timothy 3 with me in my family room after school.  We have been trying to hit one chapter per week, discussing the principles and applying the wisdom Paul gives to our own lives.  Tonight, I will charge those young men to memorize my favorite scripture from that short chapter …

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

That Bible you are holding?  It is so much more than a book!  God’s breath is in your hands.  His Word is our roadmap to life, instructing us in every which way, and I don’t know about you, but I need help digesting it.  Once you do digest it, you soak in that power of the Holy Spirit.  Why not empower someone else?  Why not change someone’s life?

It can be as deep as you want it to be.  You could guide someone through a struggle you have overcome.  You could give advice to someone about a successful failure in your life that may have set you back but helped you learn a valuable lesson.  Those connections I have built through the years are priceless, and you would be surprised how much God has used them to teach me.

Who is that person for you?  Who are those people?  Choose someone you connect with.  Someone you don’t mind spending time with.  Someone who is hungry for God’s Word.  Investing in these relationships will make your Heavenly Father smile down on your good works to live out the Great Commission and make disciples who can in turn make disciples.

It is time to multiply disciples for the Lord.  Pass that baton.  Stick it in the palm of your partner, allowing them to run the race set before them …

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1).

Challenge: Who are you ready to pass the baton to?  Who is ready to receive it?  Get together with these people and make a plan.

Just for fun: On the first week of our meeting over 2 Timothy, I began by asking the question of what they thought of 2 Timothy.  A confused look swept over one of our Bible study member’s faces as he shockingly expressed, “I thought we were doing 1 Timothy?”  He has come a long way since!

Prayer: Father, help me pass the baton of Your perfect Word on to the next generation.  Amen.

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