Today I want to talk about words. Language is a funny thing. The English language started somewhere between Germany and Rome. It visited the land of the Anglo-Saxons and eventually made its way to the British Isles. It has seen its battles and has its wounds and scars. And though, like real life, the evolution of language never breaks the species barrier…it does evolve. One of the things that we have seen even during our lifetimes is how words lose and change their meaning. How about couple examples…Ladies, have you ever gotten a permanent? Where is it now? Have you ever seen a jumbo shrimp?
Commencement, Calling, and Courage:
Which leads me to my next word…
We need you guys to be the leaders of other men. We need more men who are more concerned about their relationship with God, than they are about how cute they look in girl pants. Men who will step up, man up, and live lives that advance the Kingdom in a mighty way. My encouragement to you is this: Use this day, this day of commencement, to plan how you can be leaders in the Kingdom of God in such a way the other men follow you. Whether you become a Doctor, Director of Human Affairs, Hydro-mechanic, Electrician, Teacher, or whatever else you do, you can, like each of your fathers have, use your calling to give honor to God and be a leader.
Everyone dies, No getting around that. And on that day everyone will look back on the days of their lives and ask…did I waste it? Men, choose today to live the sort of life that you will be able to, like Paul, say to Timothy say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” And then Dan, Connor, Andrew, Troy, and Nate, then, there is laid up for you, like there was for Paul, a crown of righteousness.
So now for our last word whose meaning has been lost…Courage.
3.Courage – We live safe lives in the 21st Century. We are careful not to rock the boat. We are leery of pushing buttons. We are careful not to exhort one another or they might be offended. Men, We need to stop being safe. Being a Christian must be risky or it isn’t being a Christian. We need to be reckless with how we serve the body of Christ. Do not be fooled…A life truly lived for the glory of God will be a life of sacrifice and persecution and courage. The world needs men like you, but at the same time, the world never stands for men like you. Ask Jesus, “In this world you will have persecution, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world. Paul was beaten, stoned, left for dead, chased, and ultimately killed for Christ. In the book of Acts, Stephen preached one of the greatest sermons ever preached and was stoned to death. And Jesus stood to receive him. That is a life of courage. I don’t expect that will happen to any of you in modern America. But live in such a way that no one would be surprised if it did. Live in such a way that, like Paul, you see your life as Christ and your death is gain. And that takes courage.
I want to finish with a few words to each of you as you are sent out into the world:
Class of 2010, Men. You boys are a breath of fresh air. I can’t tell you how proud I am of you guys. Congratulations.