OFF Road

10 Week Sermon Series

"Finding God For Yourself"

God invites us to discover the unique adventure that He has for our lives.

About this Series

Beginning Sunday August 4th, 2019 at 10:00 am

A relationship with God is very personal.  You can’t follow the crowd.  It requires you to get off the broad road and know Him for yourself.  After all, the Bible says He formed you in your mother’s womb, He knows you by name, and has a unique plan and purpose for your life on this earth.  Off Road may be rough and bumpy, but it gives you the opportunity to cut your own path and go straight to the goal, the shortest distance, a straight line.  Noah made the decision to walk with God in his day, and by so doing, he built an ark that saved him and his family from destruction.  Matt. 24:37 “But as the day of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

Faith in God will kick-start your life, but it requires something of you.  Your motor will not start on it’s own.  You have to kick it, or turn the key.  Faith is not just a knowledge of the Truth, but it is an action that invites God’s participation.  That action is obedience to God’s instruction.  Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”

Most cars on the road move with two-wheel drive.  But four-wheel drive gives you more traction on the ground for off road driving. Genuine friendship is like four-wheel drive and gives your life more traction for adversity.  Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. (10) For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”  Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” In I Samuel 14, we read an exciting account of supernatural victory for Israel, when Jonathon and his young armor-bearer went after the enemy in four-wheel drive.

Off Road driving has some dangers due to the uncertain terrain.  Just like life, you can expect to fall down from time to time.  That’s why it’s important to be prepared with the right protective gear and first aid supplies.  Our salvation, like a helmet, creates a protection for us.  Ephesians 6:17 “And take the helmet of salvation…”  Our first aid comes in the form of forgiveness.  Proverbs 24:16 “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.”   Calamity comes in many forms, some is self inflicted and some comes from outside sources.  In John 8, Jesus gave forgiveness to an adulterous woman when the law said that she should be stoned to death.  John 8:11 “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.”   Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  When we “put on” Christ, we are able to survive the falls.

People say that off road racing and extreme motor sports is for those with a high spirit of adventure.  But God has an incredible journey and adventure for all of us during our years on earth, it’s just that many us choose not to tap into it.  Jesus said, “I am come that they (you) might have life, and that they (you) might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)  He has called us all to a mission, and it’s not Mission Impossible.  An abundant life begins with complete trust in God and recognition of His Spirit with you.  Romans 8 gives us an understanding of living by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I Timothy 1:6 exhorts us to “stir up the gift of God, which is in thee… (7) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Every off-road extreme sports enthusiast loves the sound of roaring motors peaked out at top speed.  But even the finest tuned racing motors have their limits.  Nothing is designed to run full throttle all the time.  There is a “red line.”   You need to know your limits.  We live in a face-paced world.  Everybody is in a hurry and kids today feel invincible.  There was a young warrior named Asahel, the fastest man in the Bible.  II Samuel 2:18 “Now Asahel was as fleet footed as a wild gazelle.”   Intoxicated with his own abilities and the opportunity for fame, Asahel tried to run down and kill an older, more battle-tested man-of-war, Abner, and ran full throttle into a planted spear to his death.  This story has countless applications from car driving, to text messaging, to beverage drinking, to romance rushing, to decision making, to risk taking, and beyond.  Slow down… speed kills!

Off Road driving is a dirty business. An iconic rock-and-roll anthem recorded by Queen back in the 70’s starts with a stomp-stomp-clap beat and carries depressing lyrics about a young man dreaming of a better life, and he grows up an old man with dreams unfulfilled, because at every turn he’s got “mud on your face, you big disgrace…”  It might surprise rock & roller’s that this song was written as a Czech lullaby with a parent promising the child, “we will, we will rock you.”  Life is dirty and rarely fair.  How do you handle broken dreams and public disgrace?  God, the only righteous judge, offers forgiveness.  Jesus forgave the woman caught in the act of adultery when her accusers were prepared to stone her to death.  He challenged them to search their own hearts.  John 8:7 “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”  I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Most vehicles have automatic transmissions these days, but “4-on-the-floor” is a beautiful thing!  “Going through the gears” is part of the culture of riding off road.  Low gears for climbing, high gears for speed.  But life has low and high gears too.  They’re called SEASONS or chapters in the book of your life.  Some chapters are slow and uphill and some seem easier going downhill.  The Bible says, as long as we are here on earth, there will always be seasons.  CHANGE is the only thing that is for certain.  Galatians 6:9  “And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season (Gr: Kairos) we shall reap, if we faint not.”   In John 2:5 we learn a Bible key for changing your season,  “Do whatever He tells you.”   It’s time to shift gears and see a season change in your life!

“Winning isn’t everything, It’s the ONLY thing .” ☺  Of course we know that isn’t true, but competition is the spirit of off road racing.  Racers push themselves to the very limit of their ability and records are continually broken.  Apostle Paul exhorts us to live our lives with winning as the goal. I Corinthians 9:24 “Run in such a way that you may win.”  Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”   There is an important key in the game of life, found in II Timothy 2:5 “Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.”  King Solomon started his life strong, but finished lousy, because his heart had turned away from the Lord (I Kings 11:4).  Apostle Paul, on the other hand, started bad and ended his life strong.  II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”   Winning in life is about finishing strong!

Off Road racing is a lot like driving in many third world countries.  With no lines on the roads, signs, or traffic signals, everybody races to get ahead.  I call it “the bumper ahead rule.”  If you can just get a bumper ahead of the car next to you, then you have the right of way. 😊 There are pros and cons to running ahead of the pack.  On the positive side, you have less traffic to deal with.  On the negative, everyone is gunning for you.  But God has called every Christian to be a leader in this world, to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14) What does a leader look like?  How does a leader live? Matthew 20:26  “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.”  Servant leadership is a powerful force, in the home, in school, and in the marketplace.  Jesus is our example.  We are called to leadership.

Conclusion

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