Summary: Graduation message
IT ONLY WORKS WHEN YOU KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Pastor Brian Matherlee
A doctor was traveling to find a patient in a small town who comes to a split in the road on a back country lane. The road sign at the fork points both directions for the same town. Seeing a farmer beside the road he asked him, “Does it matter which road I take to get to town?” The Farmer replies, “Not to me it doesn’t.”
GPS systems are great. Getting around with precision—what a gift! No man should ever get lost. Of course, people do get lost with GPS. They could refuse to use it or type in the wrong information. It only works when you know where you’re going. But how many of us know where we’re going in life? On this graduation Sunday I want to talk to you about the journey we could take in life. It’s for young and old, new Christian, not sure if you’re Christian, you know you’re not a Christian, and sure you’re in Christ.
How do we make the journey? In Hebrews 11:8-10 we find an example of someone who gives us a pattern to get where we want to go.
1. Trust God
a. “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (v.8)
b. Trust—who do you trust? Is it hard for you? If you have a hard time trusting people, you probably have had a hard time trusting God.
c. I recall the story of the sea captain who was a Christian and given to much prayer. A great storm was blowing and someone came to the wheelhouse where the Captain was. It was a great storm. A man shouted to the Captain, "Why are you not praying?" The Captain said, "I pray during the calm and when the storm comes I sail my ship."
d. Trusting God in tough times comes naturally when we have kept our relationship with Him in the good times. It’s not that the Captain didn’t rely on God in the storm; it’s that He trusted Him to remember him through the storm because of the relationship.
e. Trust God makes a difference every day. Don’t put off following Him until there’s a storm.
2. Don’t Get Attached
a. “By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country.” (v.9)
b. How do you live like a stranger in a foreign country?
i. You can go about life but you long for your true home.
ii. You don’t find ultimate satisfaction in the things that don’t last.
iii. You always live a bit different… “you’re not from around here, are you.”
3. Pursue things that will last
a. “He was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (v.10)
b. Abraham was going after a place that would last forever.
c. He lived with principles that were going to guide him to this place he really wanted to reach.
d. If you want the same kind of destination you need principles that will guide you:
i. Relationships that are Godly
3. Integrity-The Leo Burnett advertising agency did a nationwide telephone survey a few years ago on lying, cataloging when we lie, how we lie, and why we lie. The results were interesting. Ninety-one percent of all Americans confessed that they regularly lied. Seventy-nine percent had given out false phone numbers or invented new identities when meeting strangers on airplanes. One out of every five admitted that they couldn’t get through even one day without going along with a previously manufactured lie. Guess what the survey revealed that we lie about the most: our income, our weight, or our age? It’s our weight! This is kind of funny, since that’s the one truth no lie could ever conceal. In second place was money, and third was our age. There was also a contender that came in fourth: our true hair color. People no longer seem to care about lying. We accept it. It doesn’t bother us. We don’t get upset anymore when someone exaggerates, falsifies, fabricates, or misrepresents the truth. We live in a day when we’ve been bombarded with erased tapes, tampered evidence, illicit cover-ups, padded resumes, and exaggerated ads to the point that we’ve pretty much given up on truth being a viable enterprise. The study found that in the past, people thought lying was wrong. Now, almost half of all Americans say it isn’t. (James Emery White, You Can Experience an Authentic Life (Nashville: Word Publishing, 2000), 121-122.)
4. Develop relationships built on trust and integrity and they’ll be there when you really need them.