Summary: A Graduation Message
June 5th, 2005
Every year this Sunday seems to sneak up on me faster and faster. It seems as though we have our school kick-off and welcome a new group of seniors and in the blink of an eye we’re sending them off in this service. Every class that I have had the privilege of working with has been unique and special in different ways and for different reasons. This year’s class is no exception. These teens you see seated out front, many of them were in our junior high youth group when I got here, some have been added over the years as their families began to attend here, but each one has had an impact on the ministry of this church. Many have served in the youth ministry, many have served with children’s classes or VBS, or in the sound room with lights or video. I look at this class and I see a strong group of leaders and servants who will be missed greatly. It has been fun watching them grow from annoying little kids who would constantly steal my hats and who usually didn’t smell all that good, to young men and women that any parent or youth pastor would be proud to claim. Parents, thank you for getting them to this point, and thank you for allowing myself and my youth staff the opportunities that we’ve had to work with your teens, to teach them, hang out with them, get to know them, and to love them.
Every year I begin just after Christmas to try and find the perfect verse that sums up my thoughts and prayers for my class of Graduating Seniors. I look at graduation cards and in graduation books and keep an eye out in my devotional time to find that verse that will allow me to get my point across, a promise from God that these teens can take with them as they leave this place.
As I was reading several weeks ago, this verse jumped out at me. When I think of the one thing that will benefit you most over your lifetime and in the coming years, it is summed up in the words of Isaiah chapter 26 and verse 3.
You (God) will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you.
That is my prayer for each of your lives, that you would know peace. That your lives would be marked with the peace that comes from God. As Christians, over and over again in Scripture we are called and commanded to be a people of peace.
Sunset. It had been a long time since I had had such a peaceful moment, but God’s peace is so much more, it is peace for a lifetime with no end. What could be more desirable in the life of a believer than that kind of peace. In this world we live in and the worlds you are about to enter in college or in the work force, chaos is the order of the day. People try and cram their lives so full of stuff and to keep themselves so busy that few find peace and even fewer God’s peace.
What is peace? Peace is security and order in life, it’s an inner contentment that is not dependant or contingent upon the circumstances that we find ourselves in at the moment but rather it is based on what we know happened for us many years ago on a cross.
ISA 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
A price was paid, a ransom delivered, and your freedom was purchased, it’s this freedom that gives us the peace God promises. Because we know that whatever happens, whatever we go through, God is in control and our future is certain and secure. I want you to believe that with all of your hearts and experience God’d peace in your life!
Your parents have taught you about this peace and it is the greatest gift they ever could have given to you because this is something that can never be taken from you.
Perfect peace does not exist apart from God.
Jn 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
It is not a feeling that comes and goes or an idea that fades over time. Only God can provide you with the security and confidence that comes from knowing who you are and whose you are. Many enter college to find the meaning of life, to find what they want to live for that will validate their existence, they go to find that one thing, person, cause, or idea that will give their heart the peace they are searching for. The world offers many distractions that promise peace but none delivers. What an advantage in life you have that as you enter this stage of your life, this transition, this time of growth and learning, that you already know the answer so many of these people are looking for. You head out into life already equipped with the reason for your existence and the peace that comes from knowing your eternity is secure. What an advantage, and what a responsibility because others need this peace you have.