Graduation Speech: God has Blessed Us Richly

Graduation Speech: God has Blessed Us Richly

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As springtime fades to summer and my years in high school draw to a final end, I have often felt within me a gentle beckoning to moments of quiet and thoughtful repose. Here memories of times long past, of friends new and old, of dreams born and forgotten, of affections kindled and discarded so deluge my mind that I am thoroughly overwhelmed by their sweetness so curiously mingled with their sorrow. Then often I turn to gaze pensively at the future, clouded and unsure, yet gloriously bright with hope and expectation. And in these blessed times of sweet recollection and ready anticipation, I have found one enduring joy, one unshakable rock, one sure haven in the unending faithfulness and love of my Lord and my God.

Truly, His mercies have been new every morning. He has upheld me with His righteous right arm. "He [has led] me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake." He has broken me that I may delight in Him alone. And when I have fallen, He has clothed me in the garb of His clemency; washed me in the sea of His grace. I know He will keep me in the years to come.

Oftentimes in these last months, when I wonder about the future -- where I will go, what I will do, who I will become -- I find a solace in the words of Paul: "Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, ... to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen." I cannot fathom the depth of such a statement -- that He can carry me exceeding abundantly beyond all my greatest dreams, all my highest aspirations, all my wishes and desires and hopes. He can give my life meaning beyond what I could ever imagine. What a glorious hope, what a bright future there is for those in Christ!

Yet so many have not found this future. Tonight I feel a tinge of fear, a chill of imminent peril for myself and for you, my dear class. I have no doubt that your discipline will earn great success, for God has blessed you richly with many gifts and talents. Nor do I fear that you will fail in this life or slip into any great evil. I do not even doubt that most of you will remain in the blessed ways of our Lord, learning to love and cherish Him more and more.

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Many of you may settle down, get married, raise a family, and live a pleasant, meaningful life graced with affluence and ease. Others may enjoy the life of constant adventure and enterprise, pursuing your hearts' longings and dreams. All these pleasures are gifts graciously conferred by the "Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." Yet I fear that, in this present age, we may become content and complacent; we may tragically lose our first and noblest love. Jesus has for us a life beyond what we can ever ask or think. With Him is the fountain of life, and in His light we see light (Psalm 36:9). He is our Shepherd; we shall not want. He will lead us beside quiet waters and restore our soul (Psalm 23:1-2). He will keep us as the apple of the eye; He will hide us under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 17:8). He will even disclose Himself to us (John 14:21). He will make known to us the path of life; for in His presence is fullness of joy; in His right hand there are pleasures forever (Psalm 16:11). He has promised that when we seek Him we will truly find Him, ... yet we must seek Him with all our hearts. The life of undivided passion to Christ is the life of greatest meaning and purest joy.

Tonight we stand on the brink of a completely new era of our lives. We are about to leave the comfort and protection of home and enter into a world of greater independence and opportunities as well as greater corruption and sin. Our lives are free to be molded and shaped by the desires of our hearts. And now there lies before us two paths, one of the "simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ" and the other of various degrees of compromise. I want to choose the first path, though it will cost me all I am and have. By God's grace I will surrender my passions, my longings, my dreams, my whole heart to Him "that I may know Him and the fellowship of His sufferings," that I may be changed more to His likeness, being enraptured by His beauty, enchanted by His holiness, and that I may find in the deep, deep love of Jesus a "heaven of heavens to me."

This life is the divine life that we may have if we seek Him with all our hearts. It is my prayer for me and for you, my dear class, that we would fulfill this highest of callings tonight and for the rest of our lives.
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