Summary: A challenge to live this life we’ve been given making the difference God put us here to make.
I want to talk today about the reality of the world you are entering and your place in it. In perilous times, God always raises up men and women who will fight for what is right. During the infancy of our nation God established our Founding Fathers who crafted the most successful democracy in the history of the world and simultaneously freed us from the tyranny of our oppressors. In our country’s darkest hour God established Abraham Lincoln who preserved our union and freed those held in the bondage of slavery. As Hitler and the Nazis were murdering millions of innocent people and poised to subject hundreds of millions more to fascism and genocide God established Winston Churchill and FDR who led the charge of freedom. While our nation was embroiled in racism and segregation, God established Martin Luther King Junior who took a stand for equality and justice. When the World was deadlocked in the fear and uncertainty of the Cold War, God established President Reagan who brought down an evil empire. The last 50 years have witnessed a level of moral depravity unparalleled in human history, yet, in the midst of that spiritual emptiness God established Billy Grahm and Bill Bright to further His kingdom more than anyone in history. Even before them, He used a humble and willing woman, Henrietta Mears, whose life, teaching and ministry were the catalyst for both of those men and all God used them for. Finally, as the last 2 decades have witnessed a vicious assault on the family God has established Dr. James Dobson as a defender of the foundation of society. You will see this pattern throughout all of history. As you begin this new chapter in your lives, you are entering a world more dangerous than that of any previous generation. There are more people suppressed by both physical and spiritual tyranny, oppression, bondage and slavery than ever before. Innocent people are being murdered in numbers never even imagined in history. Racism, inequality and injustice dominate our planet and billions live in fear and uncertainty. All along the moral depravity and assault on the family continue to proliferate mostly unchallenged. Don’t let that scare you, let it motivate you. Churchill described it like this: “One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half.” You are not here today, only to walk across a stage and receive a diploma. Just as He appointed great men and women to stand up for what is right at critical times all through history. He has chosen to establish you to be the men and women who will fight for what is right during this crucial moment. He has chosen you to be the Lincolns, Churchills, Reagans, Grahms and Dobsons of your generation. Today marks the beginning of that mission. Acts 17:26 tells us “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” You are not 2nd rate kids, graduating from a dinky little homeschool association in a little town in Colorado. You are the men and woman God Himself has chosen for this very time, who have grown up in the exact city he desired you to grow up in and He has prepared you more than adequately through the friendships, fellowship and education you’ve received. I encourage you to leave this place today, recognizing that His plans for you are incomprehensibly larger than any you’ve ever had for yourself. It may not seem so now but your time here is very short, allow Him to use you in bigger ways than you can imagine. God promises, in Jer.29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” And Eph.2:10 tells you that you are His masterpiece, created specifically to accomplish great things that God has planned for you. There are a few things that will prevent you from the life of impact He’s made you for. You may be distracted by the pleasures of this life, we call them the 6 C’s - Cash, Cars, Careers, Condos, Cuties and Computers! Keep your eyes on Christ instead!Ravi Zacharius put it like this: “Meaninglessness doesn’t come from being weary with pain; meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure.” Most of the world allows their actions and desires to determine their values and then they allow those to develop their convictions. Anything goes in that scenario. Allow the convictions you’ve developed here determine your values and then let those guide your actions. True joy and fulfillment is found in Him alone. You may be tempted to think more highly of yourself than you should. Rom.12:3 warns us about that. The world has to many examples of hypocrites and needs more men and women of integrity. C.S. Lewis said, “Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst.” Be the person you need to be first, then do what you need to do. Be faithful with little for the sake of the little, then you’ll be ready for more. Don’t see what you’re doing now as just a stepping stone to what’s next but give what you’re doing now 100%. Teddy Roosevelt put it this way, “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” Remember Henrietta Mears: She did not seek fame or fortune but was faithful with little, God in turn used her to train and develop the 2 greatest evangelists in history, Billy Grahm and Bill Bright. You may be tempted to think of yourself as incapable and insufficient for the challenge. Remember that you are who He made you to be; don’t try to be something different. Trust Him with your insecurities and insufficiencies. Your weaknesses, inabilities and failures present no challenge to God’s plan for your life; your willingness does! Churchill encourages us that, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm...the price of greatness is responsibility...Never give in - never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Thomas Edison wrote, “Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Keep going no matter the obstacle! You may be tempted to try to accomplish what He’s called you to in your own strength. Realize the plans He has for you are much greater than anything you can do on your own. We often think of God like C.S. Lewis described: “We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it’s there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.” In reality, you will only be able to accomplish His purposes for your life out of a close daily walk with Him and the power that comes from that. Jesus told us, in Jn.15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” In Col.1:29, Paul reiterated that we accomplish God’s will for us when His energy works mightily through us. That brings me to the conclusion: Jesus told Martha, in Lk.10:42, that only one thing in life matters and that is a close and intimate relationship with Him. If you will make Him your focus, drawing closer to Him each day, He will do what He desires and plans in and through your life. As you look at the world today, you’ll notice everyone is clamoring for change. With the mess things are in, I understand why. You can’t determine what blessings and hardships will occur in your life. Bertha Calloway stated, “We can not direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.” I hope as you leave this place today, you will adjust your sails towards Christ, keeping your eyes on Him. If you do that you will be the change this world desperately needs. If you do that you will be the Lincolns, Churchills, Reagans, Grahms and Dobsons of your generation. I wish you the best and pray you’ll truly impact this world in ways that will never be forgotten.