Summary: A Baccalaureate Service of recognition and encouragement
• TO THE STUDENTS:
o Well, what a glorious day and what a glorious time in your lives.
• TO THE PARENTS AND CONGREGATION
o We have all come here this afternoon to recognize the hard work and effort of these young men and women.
o 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, we will be presenting each of these students with a Bible. There are a lot of Bibles out there these days. A lot of good ones. Life Application Bibles, Study Bibles, Teen Bibles, Women’s and Men’s Bibles and so on. Each one of these contains notes and commentaries generally designed to meet the needs of that particular group of readers. The one we have chosen for you is called “THE JOURNEY.”
• The Bible itself makes this claim: “105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path. “(Psalm 119:105)
• I have looked over this Bible and believe it is an excellent choice to accompany you as you complete this chapter of your lives and begin a exciting new adventure!
o We hope you will take this gift and read it – for the Bible can provide guidance as you continue on your journey through life.
• This afternoon, I would like to share another verse with you, one I feel you may agree with… and find comfort and encouragement in.
• This if from the book of Philippians 4:4-7.
• “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
• I’m going to share three thoughts with you this afternoon, thoughts about life and about God. Here’s the first:
• This is a wonderful afternoon for you and a wonderful time of life for most of you. But even now, in your relatively short lifetime, I’m sure there have been some difficult times for you as well.
• The Bible tells us in Romans 8:28:
o 28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
• Now, some people try to read this verse this way… “God works good into all things.” But, this simply isn’t true
• By now you may have come to realize not all things that happen to you are going to be good. All you have to do is look around and see there are a lot of bad things happening in this world. I could give you a list, and I’m sure you could come up with one too.
• But I’m not here today to talk about bad things. What I want to say to you is that whatever happens to you, whatever life throws your way, rely on Jesus…”The Lord IS near…”
o Learn from all your experiences both good and bad. Learn from them, and grow from them.
• Paul, who wrote our Scripture this afternoon and much of the NT says this a little later in the book of Philippians:
o 11 … I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
• You see, education does not stop with graduation.
• Life is the greatest classroom that there is. Learn from life.
• My second thought is this: Learn what has real value.
• Some of you are going on to continue your formal education, and that is wonderful. But I hope and pray that already, at this point in your lives, you are realizing that education is more that going to school.
o It is learning to treat others with respect
o It is learning the importance of honesty
o It is learning the importance of integrity.
o It is learning the importance of faith in Jesus Christ.
• By now I’m sure someone has said to you that no one can take your education away from you. True
• Here’s another truth. No one can take your integrity from you. Only you can give that away.
• And no one can take your faith from you either.
o In today’s world with its values so contrary to what God considers valuable, the temptations are everywhere. But take heart…REJOICE! ... …”The Lord is near!”