by Steve Jones

This content is part of a series.

David, Real Succession (31 of 32)
Series: David - Keeping It Real
Steve Jones
I Kings 1 and 20

Introduction: (Excerpted from ''Handoff'' by Jeff Myers).
The 2004 U.S. Women's 4 X 100 relay team performed impressively in the semi-finals of the 2004 Athens Olympics. Commentators confidently predicted that the gold medal was assured.
In the finals Marion Jones completed the second leg, while teammate Lauryn Williams bolted from her starting position, thrust her arm back, and anticipated the thump of the baton being pressed into her hand. She never felt it.

Said Jones, ''I just couldn't get the baton to Lauryn. I kept yelling, 'wait, stop, hold up' but after running 100 meters I was out of breath and I don't know if she could hear me.'' By the time Williams understood the situation it was too late. She had crossed out of the exchange zone. As long as they were in that zone, they could have even dropped the baton and picked it up to finish the race. But once they passed out of that zone without the baton having been passed, they were disqualified according to Olympic rules.

The women's relay team had entered the Olympics with great promise, but one missed baton pass dashed all hopes for a gold medal.

Graceful baton passes can make or break a relay team. Most teams succeed most of the time. Even if they don't, there's usually another race. In the race of life, though, there is only one chance to make the pass. Today I want to talk about passing the baton of leadership in the church.

In the waning years of his reign, David, the king of Israel, took the necessary steps to place his son Solomon on the throne as his successor. In so doing, he models the process for passing the baton of leadership in the Kingdom of God, the Church. Let's note three steps in that process today.

I Kings 1:1 and 20 ''When king David was old and well advanced in years...(Bathsheba said to him) 'My lord the king, the eyes of all Israel ...

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