A Word to Graduates

As another academic year winds down, Graduation ceremonies will be held across this land and around the world.  Processions of gowned graduates will march through historic and nonhistoric halls, churches and auditoriums as students mark another major milestone in their lives.

Although the next paragraph in 1 Peter, namely v.13-16, is addressed to God’s elect, to those who are scattered strangers throughout various provinces of the Roman Empire, I want to apply these verses to students.

Because of who God is and what He has prepared for those who love him, because of the impact of the gospel which has preached powerfully to this audience, Peter, by the Spirit of God, calls for a response.

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled, set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written, ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'”

1) Prepare your minds for action – Use your minds.  Passivity is a dangerous neutral gear to remain in while you live in an image filled world.   Technology may be a useful servant, but it is a tyrranical master.   THINK while you can.  THINK carefully.   Just because ‘formal studies’ are over, don’t stop thinking.   Christ followers need a “renewing of their minds.”

2) Be self-controlled – This is not the ‘mantra’ of our out-of-control world.   Self-control your speech, your appetite, your interests, your life.   The fruit of the Spirit is ‘self-control’ and God can enable you to bring everything in your life under His direction.

3) Set your hope fully on grace – Don’t just life in the present.  Most people do that, don’t they?  “Eat, drink and be merry,” they tout, “for tomorrow we die.”  What grace has God given you?  What grace lies ahead for you when Jesus Christ is revealed?  Be ‘all in” with God and may your life, your speech, your entire being be marked by grace.

4) Be holy in all you do – Education is dangerous.  You’ve been entrusted with knowledge, but knowledge is not wisdom.  Now that you “know” more about what God has for you, you no longer can excuse your conduct with ignorance.   You don’t get a ‘pass’ on temptation simply because you have a diploma.   God’s word commands holiness.  Your ‘desires’ are not God’s desires.   In order for God’s desires to become your desires you must ‘work out’ what He works in.

May you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!  May you experience an empowering of God’s grace and Spirit which will revolutionize your life.  May God’s word remain your daily guide.   May others see Jesus in you!

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