Congratulations on meeting this new milestone in life! Graduates, as you walk across the stage and begin a new chapter in life, there are nine things you need to know as you face the future challenges and opportunities in front of you.
- Graduation marks a momentous accomplishment. You made it. You had a goal and somehow lived to get there. You have overcome obstacles, persevered under pressure, and finished the course. Has it been perfect? No. On this day, that does not make a difference. Graduation day stands as a landmark in life – one on which you will consider over and over again as you continue down life’s journey.
- God’s grace sustains you (1 Corinthians 10:13). As it has done in the past (remember, you are graduating!), as it does now, and as it will do every day of your future, God’s grace upholds you every day. No matter what pressure-filled circumstance you face – the ones that are full of joy and potential to the ones which have sorrow and dread, God provides you grace that is greater than the challenge. God is always faithful to provide the grace for you as you need it.
- God’s goal for you is to live for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 5:9). You have so many goals and hopes as you cross this mile marker in life – relational, vocational, personal, and others. Your family, friends, and church family wish for you to fulfill those dreams as well. However, in the midst of all those goals, God expects your primary goal to be living your life in worship and love of Him. Regardless of what you do or how it goes, your overarching aim in everything should be to live a God-honoring life.
- The Lord is your strength for living, and there is nothing to fear (Psalm 27:1; 28:7). God is your strength, your shield, your light. As His child, God is for you. When circumstances seem bleak, less than you expected, more challenging than you dreamed, or full of uncontrollable conditions, you can trust His character in them. He is trustworthy. He is faithful. You can rely on His strength to endure. You can be grateful that He always does what He says He will do.
- God’s mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24). This is great news on many fronts. Yes, you will sin. You will struggle. There are moments ahead when you will be humbled by the depth of your own sinfulness. In these moments, never forget that God is covenant faithful. Because He is, His mercy never ends. On the day of your worst struggle… On the day of your greatest sin… On the day of your lowest point… great is God’s faithfulness to you and His mercy new. Rejoice in His forgiveness. On that day, lean into God for strength, courage, and the ability to move forward.
- Whatever your talents and abilities, intelligence and discernment, or charisma and personality, use those things God has given you to bless and benefit others in the name of Christ (Colossians 3:17; 1 Timothy 6:17-19). Recognizing God’s great grace in your life, motivated by the marvelous love of Jesus, and striving to live life according to God’s purpose, give your best effort. Be generous to others. Think about the character of Christ and consider how you can imitate Him inside your own skin and circumstances.
- Keep Jesus as your first love (Matthew 22:37-40; Revelation 2:1-7). Jesus wrote to the church at Ephesus and recognized all the good deeds they had done. But in the midst of doing a bunch of great things, they had forgotten the best thing – to faithfully love Jesus. It is easy to read the Bible, learn biblical principles, seek to follow God’s commands, serve many people, and otherwise live for God’s glory, while at the same time forgetting life is about Jesus. Learn Him, live for Him, love Him – worship Him daily.
- Jesus is always with you; you are never alone (Matthew 28:18-20). One of the most exciting realities in life is the fact that you are never alone. Jesus is with you always! In the darkest night, Jesus is with you. In the hardest hour, Jesus is with you. In the scariest moment, Jesus is with you. In the toughest conversation, Jesus is with you. In the longest day, Jesus is with you.
- God gives you the power of the Holy Spirit to be a witness in all that you do, to whomever you encounter (Acts 1:8). Wherever you go, whomever you engage, whatever you do, the Spirit gives you the power to be a witness of Jesus Christ. Your witness includes both what you say and what you do. No one can come to faith without hearing the gospel message – that is your witness. Many folks will not hear your voice without you first living the gospel message consistently – that is your witness too. God gives you the power for both.
Join the Conversation
What goals do you have as you seek to serve Christ along the journey?