"We come here this morning to recognize the hard work and effort of these young men and women who are seated among us. They are about to make a major transition in their lives. Graduation is a sign of achievement and success – and we congratulate them. As a gift from our church, at the end of this service we will be presenting you each with a copy of the Bible. The Bible itself makes this claim: God’s Word – The Bible is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalms 119:105 (NKJV). Also remember that the Bible will keep you from sin, but sin will keep you from the bible. We hope that you will take this gift and read it – for the Bible can provide guidance as you travel through life. But now you’re older and wiser…Kyle walked up to his teacher’s desk, holding a report card with a big red F. He said, "If I were you I would change this while you still can." "Why is that?" asked the teacher. "Because my dad told me that if I brought home one more failing report card, someone was going to get a beating." You’ve become role models for many of the younger ones here who look up to you…you’ve become a teacher yourself! You should recognize the power of your influence and step up to the place of leadership, by always being a learner and continuing to look for wisdom. There was a school teacher injured his back in the summertime and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body for weeks. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all. He transferred to a new inner-city school on top of that. On the first day of school, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in that rowdy school. Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with desk work. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest. From that time on he had no trouble with discipline in his class. You’ve earned some respect…you’ve sharpened your edge…but don’t “fly off the handle” in the pride”, rather, whet the edge and keep your edge in life! Many adults lose their cutting edge by not remaining learners, growing complacent and ceasing to go forward. Did you know?
• You have been in school now for 2160 days.
• You have spent 12,960 hours in classes.
• That translates into 777,600 minutes.
• So far you’ve lived approximately 18 years.
• You’ve been around 216 months.
• You have been breathing 936 weeks.
• You’ve been going through the motions for 6,552 days
• You’ve been here 157,248 hours.
• You’ve been taking up space 9,434,880 minutes.
• You’ve slept 52,500 hours.
• You’ve watched T.V. 12,173 hours.
• You’ve spent 7,488 hours eating. (Mostly pizza!)
• MOST OF YOU WERE BORN in the early 90’s
YOU WERE WRINKLED, RED, BALD, TOOTHLESS, COULDN’T HARDLY SEE, CRYING, COMPLAINING, AND HAD NO CLOTHES ON. Well, you’ve come a long way! You’ve reached a milestone. But this is not the end…it’s really just the beginning! You’ve come to the end of a big episode, but just before the credits roll, across the screen flashes the words: “To be continued!” John Adams once said, “There are two types of education: One should teach us how to make a living, and the other how to live.” THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF COURSES IN LIFE:
I. REQUIRED COURSES.
1. LIFE - YOU GOT NO CHOICE - WHERE - WHEN - WHO
2. DEATH - “IN ADAM ALL DIE” (I Cor.15:22)
22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
• “YOU MUST ALL WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF SHADOW”
• “IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MAN ONCE TO DIE” (Hebrews)
3. JUDGMENT - “AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT.”
A. JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. (II Cor.5:17)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
B. GREAT WHITE THRONE. (Rev. 20:14, 15) 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 All whose names were not found written in the book of life were thrown into the lake of fire.
II. ELECTIVE COURSES.
1. TO BE SAVED OR TO BE LOST.
“Nature forms us. Sin deforms us. School informs us, but only Christ transforms us.”
2. TO BE SPIRITUAL OR CARNAL.
Be with God or the world. Your choice.
3. TO BE SCRIPTUAL OR LOGICAL. (HUMANISM)
Believe what the bible says or what man says. Again, your choice.
4. TO BE SAFE IN GOD’S WILL OR YOUR OWN WILL.
Hear a few words of wisdom I have found for you:
1 Do one thing every day that scares you.
3 Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
5 Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
6 Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
7 Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
8 Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
9 Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
10 Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
11 Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
12 Respect your elders.
13 Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
14 Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
15 Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But no matter what always remember:
Continue thou in the things thou hast learned! Go the distance…stay the course, fight a good fight, and finish the course!"