Summary: This sermon gives encouragement and advice to graduates.
A. Forest Gump was a popular movie some years back.
1. Forest was a mentally challenged child born in rural Alabama.
2. When it came time to go to school, his mom was told that he would have to go to a special school.
3. She convinced the principal of the public school to let him attend even though his IQ was below average.
4. She always said to Forest, “You’re no different than anyone else.”
5. Later in the movie, Forest entered the shrimping business and did very well.
6. He bought a fleet of boats and had many people working for him.
7. It seemed he had finally found his destiny.
8. Then word came that his Mom was sick and dying.
9. With great haste, he made his way home to find out that she had cancer.
10. As they were talking in the room, she spoke of her destiny and how a part of that was to bring him into the world.
11. Forest then asked, “What about me Momma? What’s my destiny?”
12. She told him he would have to find that out himself.
B. This is a question that all of us have no doubt asked ourselves at some point in life.
1. It is probably a question that is asked in the years prior to graduation and maybe after.
2. Many enter college not knowing immediately what they want to major in.
3. Majors are often changed several times during the college years.
4. My brother is in his early thirties and just recently quit his full time job to go to college full time and finish his bachelor’s degree.
5. What he is majoring in now is not what he majored in when he first entered college.
6. Many leave high school and enter the world of work not knowing what they really want to do.
7. People sometimes go from one job to the next in search of what they are supposed to be doing in life.
C. Graduation is a time of contemplation.
1. Now that you are at the end of this segment of your journey, what is next?
2. It can be a scary time, a time of joy and a time of sadness all rolled into one lump.
3. In all the indecision that might be a part of our lives, we can still be a hero for God.
4. Being God’s hero is the most important thing we can do, and Gideon shows us how to do that.
BELIEVE GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU
A. Gideon ruled during the period of the judges.
1. This was a time of great instability in the nation of Israel.
2. Joshua had led the Israelites into the land of Canaan, and they had for the most part conquered the enemies who lived there.
3. After Joshua and his contemporaries died, a generation of Israelites grew up who did not know the Lord or serve him.
4. God used enemies to inflict punishment on his people.
5. When they cried out for help, he would send judges, or local rulers, to lead the Israelites to fight against the enemy.
6. But after the enemy was defeated, the Israelites would again grow complacent and disobey God.
7. The cycle would start all over again.
8. Gideon was one of these judges.
B. The condition in Gideon’s time.
1. “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds.”
2. The Israelites would plant crops only to have the Midianites ruin them.
3. God sent an angel to Gideon to tell him of God’s plan that he was to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites.
4. Gideon objected, “But Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
5. Gideon needed to recognize that God had a plan for him.
C. Joseph is another example of one who recognized God’s plan.
1. Joseph was a dreamer, and dreamed of a time when he would rule over his family.
2. His brothers hated him because of his dreams, but his father took more careful notice of them.
3. Joseph’s brothers finally sold him into slavery, and he ended up in Egypt and eventually in prison.
4. Through God’s direction and overruling power, he was eventually delivered from prison and made the highest ruler in the land.
5. One of his responsibilities was to dole out food to people who needed it because of the famine in the land.
6. Who should come before him and bow down but his brothers who needed food.