Wednesday, May 8, 2024

COTR Grad Night


Ecclesiastes 3:1  To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

We are gathered this evening to honor our graduating high school seniors, Class of 2024. Our Church is blessed to serve a large community in Southeast Texas which is comprised of several Independent School Districts. We are very proud of you all. Even though you come from many different schools, you have become one youth group and are about to begin writing the next chapter of your lives together.

No doubt the experiences you have had in our Church have left you better prepared for the next step. As we honor you tonight, I hope to give you a few nuggets of wisdom you can carry forward with you to meet the new challenges you will face. As your pastor I would like to tell you:

1.   Life is changing.

a.   It’s a good thing.

b.   It is going to happen with or without your permission.

c.    And I encourage you to make the most of it …

d.   Because it’s time.

                                         i.    Some things are expected to happen within a set time.

                                        ii.    Life is time driven.

1.   Birth, 1st grade, driving, graduation from high school.

2.   Life responsibilities increase: There’s work, marriage, family, church, community, retirement, and even death.

3.   These are all the things you will face in the future, in their time.

                                      iii.    These times of life demand our attention and our respect.

1.   If we are properly prepared, we will be able to:

2.   Change with the times.

2.   Life is filled with tests.

a.   There will continue to be tests in every time of life.

b.   It’s much like school …

                                         i.    We join a class with other people.

1.   College

2.   Marriage

3.   Work

4.   Parenting

5.   Other life adventures

                                        ii.    We listen, read, observe, ask questions, practice.

                                      iii.    We are tested.

1.   If we pass, we advance to the next lesson.

2.   If we fail, we repeat the process and take the test again.

3.   If we continue to fail, we can be tempted to drop out.

c.    There are only Two things you will need to pass every test.

                                         i.    Know the correct answer.

                                        ii.    Correctly apply that answer to the test.

d.   And remember, life is an open-book test, and the Bible is the answer key.

                                         i.    There is no substitute for a Biblical world view.

                                        ii.    We need to embrace principles before we encounter problems.

                                      iii.    You can know the answers before you face the questions.

3.   Success in life is simple, but it is not easy.

Here are 5 proven steps to success in life:

·        Work hard.

·        Take acceptable risks.

o   Try things you haven’t tried before.

o   Don’t get stuck in a rut or you’ve been to your greatest day.

o   Yesterday’s bus brings you right back here.

o   Nothing changes until something changes.

·        Get help.

o   Don’t go alone.

o   Two are better than one.

o   Ask for help when you need it.

§  Not help fixing it so much as help changing it.

·        Try again.

o   Sometimes the best time is the next time.

o   Develop patience for retrial.

·        Help others.

o   Make a living.

o   Make a life.

o   Make a difference.

And of course the truth is, without Jesus, none of these matters.

Jesus said, (Mark 8:34-37): “What would it profit someone to gain the whole world and lose their own soul or what would a person give in exchange for their soul?”

You don’t want to live your whole life climbing a ladder only to get to the top and realize it was leaning against the wrong building.

I want to both challenge and encourage you this evening. Decide you are going to make the most of your opportunities and:

·        Work hard.

·        Try some new things.

·        Keep your friends close.

·        Don’t let temporary setbacks stop you.

·        Invest in others.

Allow me to pray over this moment as we thank God for guiding you to your greatest day!