Some personal remarks to the Spring 2015 graduates at SAGU…

Retirement Cake at SAGU

I spent my morning reflecting on these words from 2 Timothy 3:14-17…

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because know those from whom you learned it, and hwo from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

They prompted the following are comments that I intend to share with the graduates at SAGU later today…

From my own personal experience let me highlight 10 things I believe God’s Word, the Bible, will do in your life if you prioritize it… practice it… and put it within your heart…

1. Gain perspective: God’s Word will give you an accurate perspective on your life and the circumstances of life you’ll face… (God’s perspective) Without it your view of things is jaded, distorted, and out of balance… You only see from the perspective of time – not eternity.
2. Guidance: The psalmist observed… “Your word is a lamp unto my feet – a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105) In all the decisions of life I’ve discovered the principles and clear instruction of Scripture is a reliable guide. It guides my decision making.
3. Success: After the death of Moses, Joshua’s mentor, God spoke directly to Joshua and assured him with these words… “Keep this book always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, be careful to do everything written in it… Then you will be prosperous and successful! – Joshua 1:8
4. Conviction and Cleansing: My mother liked to quote this adage, “This book will keep you from sin – or sin will keep you from this book” … The psalmist posed a key question for young people in our culture…“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word”… Then he responded with this affirmation: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you!” Psalm 119:9-11)
5. Encouragement/comfort: In every crisis and circumstance I’ve faced, I have experienced the uplifting character of God’s word… It’s always there to provide the support, encouragement, and comfort I’ve needed… In a soul shaking, terrifying experience filled will foreboding, there is NOTHING… NOTHING like God’s Word)
6. Strength & Spiritual sustenance: My Bible is what I call “Necessary food!” – I embrace the testimony of Job – who declared long before there was a written Bible… “I have esteemed the words of your mouth more than my necessary food!” (Job 23:12); Peter advised new Christians… “Like newborn babes, desire the pure spiritual milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” – 1 Peter 2:2
7. Values to guide (and anchor) my life: I must say, the values that Scripture teaches, that the Bible elevates and articulates, are the reliable, core ethical standards that contradict what a corrupting culture embraces and act to preserve and promote Godly living in the face of a world that, without Christ is hell-bound, and rotting at its core.
8. Convictions: Reading and embracing what the Scripture teaches, for me, has produced within me, deep, rock solid, circumstance resisting, temptation overcoming, life foundation producing convictions! I’ve chosen to build my house of the solid rock of Biblical convictions – not the shifting sand of human opinion and disobedience! And the Bible assures me when the storms of life have come and gone, my house will still be standing! (Matthew 7:24-27)
9. Core attitudes that influence everything I do – every decision I make: Ah, here they are, well-known within the pages of Scripture – reliable core attitudes that can positively influence every atom of life – every micro-second of human existence from here to heaven… Faith, Hope, Love… How did Apostle Paul say it… “For now we know in part … but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears! When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face! Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love! (1 Corinthians 13:9-13)
10. Finally, Your message and ministry comes from God’s word! Listen “Effective ministry flows from a full reservoir – So keep your reservoir full! I’ve discovered if I fill my mind and heart each day with God’s word – A time each day that I call “Coffee with the Lord” – I always have something good to share with others! God’s word provides the content and basis for my message and ministry – without it, I have nothing significant to say. I am my best when I am simply an “echo” of what He has already said in His word!)

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