Pass the Baton – January 5, 2015

Today’s Scripture… “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” –  1 Corinthians 3:6

Thoughts for Today… Back in high school I wasn’t the fastest kid on the block, but I still joined the track team. Although I couldn’t run the fastest, I was really good at the High Jump and Long Jump. I loved Track…except for the fact that our coach made everyone run at least one track event. One of my favorite events was the 4X100 relays. In this particular event, there was a team from each school consisting of 4 members.  Each member of the team only had to run 100 meters each…one quarter of the track. Well, because I was so slow I had to run the Two…2…mile race. Not a quarter of the way around the track, NOOOOOOO!!! EIGHT times around the track. Now that I think about it…I hated track.

Anyway back to my devotion. Participating on the 4X100 relay team meant more than just being fast.  You also had to work together as a team.  This was especially true in “passing the baton” between members. As the first runner completed his 100 meter run, the second runner on the team would begin jogging up the track with his hand behind him.  The first runner would overtake him and place the baton in his hand. And the second runner would begin sprinting his lap. This cycle continued through all four runners. Now, the important part was the transition between runners. This had to be done quickly and precisely.  Just a one second delay could cost you the race.  Dropping the baton would be disastrous.  It all had to come together in harmony. The first runner had to make certain that he did his part and then left things ready for the second runner to take over.  The second runner fulfilled his role and handed things over to the third runner.  The third runner did only what he was supposed to do and left the door open for the fourth runner to finish things up. It was a team effort.

That’s what I imagine the Apostle Paul had in mind when he said,  “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (1 Corinthians 3:6) You see, Paul knew that in the race of life it takes teamwork to further the kingdom of God.  It takes each member of the team working in harmony with the next. It takes you doing your part and me doing my part. And here’s why that is so important.

Suppose a visiting relative of Bob had been sharing the Gospel with Him and God started working on his heart.  The first runner finished his lap… …who will take the baton from his hand and start running for the team? Bob’s relative planted, and God needs someone to “water” by being a further witness to him.    And so, He calls YOU to share your faith with Bob. Now, Bob may or may not accept Christ after hearing from you.  If He does, wonderful — “God gave the increase.” If He doesn’t, then the “race” continues on.  Maybe God has you speak to Bob again.  Or, maybe you hand off the baton to the next runner that He puts into the pathway of that lost soul. Team work.  It’s important that we remember that we are critical to God’s plan.  Each one of us has a part to play — our leg of the race to run.

Sometimes we do what God says do and we don’t see “the increase.”  And we feel discouraged.  Or even angry at God — why didn’t He do what we thought He was going to do?  Sometimes we think we didn’t accomplish anything. But, none of that is the truth.  It’s just that sometimes God uses an entire team to accomplish one specific purpose.  Sometimes you and I and ten folks we don’t even know all have a hand in sharing our faith with some mutual acquaintance that God is working on. Some “plant” and some “water.”  We each receive the baton and pass it on to the next person. And we wait for another baton to come our way. Another opportunity to share Jesus Christ with someone who needs salvation.

Christian, what about you today?  Who has the Lord laid upon your heart to visit?  It’s important that you don’t drop the baton!  Or, worse yet, refuse to accept it from the One handing it to you. Do your part.  Share a word.  Give a testimony.  Present the Gospel…whatever God has given to you…then pass the baton on to the next person…and let God give the increase.

Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ,”
Pastor Terry
Family Worship Center

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