Congratulations, Graduates!

New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra, addressing graduates, once said, “Your future’s bright, even though the future is not what it used to be.”

The poet Martha Snell Nicholson wrote of the future:

“I stood with God on the edge of the world, and my hand was in His hand. I looked down the road of the past as it stretched away in the dim distance, til it was shrouded in the mists of time. And I knew it had no beginning, and a little chill wind of fear blew about my head. God asked, ‘are you afraid?’ And I said, ‘Yes because I cannot understand how there can be no beginning.’

“So God said, ‘Let us turn and face the other way.’ And I looked into glory, and my heart rejoiced with joy unspeakable. And then my mind went ahead a billion, billion years, and I knew there would be no end, and again that little chill wind of fear began to blow.

“And God asked me again, ‘Are you afraid?’ And I answered, ‘A little, because I cannot understand how there can be no end.’

“So God asked me tenderly, ‘Are you afraid now, today, with your hand in Mine?’

“And I looked up at Him and smiled and replied, ‘O my Father, No!’

“And God said, ‘Every day in eternity will be today.’”

Which begs the question, graduate: Is your hand in His? It’s really the only way to face today,  tomorrow, or the future.  Salvation now, in time, is the only sure way to look at the future or eternity. And, salvation is by grace through faith. I hope and pray that you have the assurance that only being saved by His grace can give you. 

Here’s how it happens: “But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:12) Do you believe? Have you received?  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Believe. Receive.

I would like to share with you some salient advice that I penned for a graduating class a few years ago. Longing for your personal success in whatever you put your hands and heart to, from this day forward, I know that each of these axioms will stand you in good stead. You will need an understanding heart

  • To discern God’s will for your life (vocation, location, education)
  • To avoid the snare of Satan
  • To live peaceably with all men
  • To find the LIFE’S PARTNER God wants you to have
  • To know how God would use you to edify the Body of Christ
  • To know how to possess your vessel in sanctification
  • To protect yourself from the philosophies and vain deceit of the traditions of this world
  • To learn how to master, under God, your spirit
  • To cultivate a proper appreciation for God’s Word, and to make it a life’s companion
  • To be a godly person
  • To be a good parent
  • To be a faithful friend
  • To honor God’s Church by serving Him faithfully in the local church
  • To know how to counsel well your friends who will seek your advice
  • To know how to balance the spiritual, material and social demands of life
  • To know how to handle bitter disappointment and stinging personal defeat
  • To cultivate a wholesome outlook on death
  • To learn how to be a citizen of heaven and at the same time a subject of Caesar
  • To learn how not to take yourself too seriously
  • To learn how to make a living—while at the same time, a life

And, ABOVE ALL, make a point to remember what the wisest of all mortals said in his conclusion to his search for the purpose and meaning of life:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Eccl.12:13)

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