Summary: This message was spoken at the graduation of Jared Laughlin, a homeschooled young man by his father Pastor Terry Laughlin
In just a moment I am going to read from the Book of Jeremiah 29:11-14a.
Title: A Graduate’s Call
Theme: Walking in Biblical Success
Introduction: Today’s passages of Scripture are found around Jared’s theme verse that the Holy Spirit has laid upon his heart for his life. These Scriptures are found in a letter sent by the Prophet Jeremiah to the people of God whom have been carried into exile and placed in idolatrous Babylon. He sends this letter to give guidance and comfort to a people who were held captive by the Babylonians. He knows that true hope is based on the revealed Word of God. (The Holy Spirit laid these truths upon my heart as I study the NIV Bible and these other books, Be Decisive; Matthew Henry Commentary; The Expositors Bible Commentary)
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, there are many references to Babylon, a city that was located in the vicinity of modern-day Iraq. In the Word of God Babylon was not just a physical place but also symbolic of a spiritual condition, representing the condition of fallen man and fallen societies. Today, Babylon speaks of a fallen system, of man trying to find eternity without God or His Word. This system has it own religion and theology and will not bend its heart to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, a religious system that knows nothing of worshiping in spirit and in truth.
Proposition: I would propose that these passages of Scripture hold God’s revealed truths for escaping this world’s system and enabling the child of God to walk in step with the Holy Spirit of Christ, thus bringing Biblical success.
Several times in Jeremiah’s letters to the exile there is a phrase, “bring you back from captivity.” This phrase implies the full restoration of life in all its dimensions in relation to fellowship with God. In today’s work of God’s grace, through faith in Christ as personal Savior and Lord the repentant sinner is brought back into fellowship with God and finds freedom from the captivity of sin. Jesus taught, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. (John 8:34) He also said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
On February 7, 1994 at the age of 6 Jared found that freedom when he confessed his need of a Savior and he invited Jesus Christ to come into his life and heart. Days on end we his parents watched Jared bounce through the house joyfully expressing his new relationship with Christ. He unashamedly confesses Christ by speech, and through expressions of his life he has shown Christ’s love to others. This is especially true in befriending the lonely and the discouraged.
Jared, listen carefully as I read God’s promise to you in Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD," (Jeremiah 29:11-14a) Pray!!!!
Interrogative Sentence: Just how can you achieve the high calling that God has placed before you, determine His plans and enjoy a Biblical successful life? The Lord’s ultimate purpose is to bless you. There are three truths the Holy Spirit wants you grasp as you leave this phase of life and enter into the next phase.
1.) Feed on the Word of God. 2.) Have a heart that says, “Lord, teach me to pray.” 3.) Understand that you are only a steward over what God has given you and there will be a day of accountability.
Transitional Sentence: The first step to walking on the path to Biblical success is to find God’s plan for you through a powerful thirst and hunger for the Word of God.
The key word the Holy Spirit has for you from today’s text is “seek.” The New American Standard Bible gives us this understanding, “And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) “Search” (daras) in it’s most important theological meaning involves studying or inquiring into the Law of the Lord (Ezra 7:10) or inquiring of God (Genesis 25:22; Exodus 18:15; Deuteronomy 12:5). Jared you are to be like Ezra who, “…devoted himself to the study and observance of the law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees [to others].” (Ezra 7:10)
Every Christian who has discovered God’s plans and has been enabled by the Holy Spirit to achieve His plans for them has the heart of the psalmist who wrote, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word. I will seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. (Psalm 119:9-12) In his discourse with the devil Jesus said, “It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)