OceanSide church of Christ
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Victor M. Eskew
A. During the course of my life, I have been personally involved in six graduations.
1. Each one was special in its own way.
2. Each one marked an end and a beginning.
3. What each one commemorates can never be taken from me.
We are at that time of year when many, both young and old,
are graduating from high schools, colleges, and specialty schools throughout the
C. We have some of our number who will graduate soon. We will be honoring them after services tonight.
D. We felt it appropriate to give some words of exhortation to our graduates. This evening, we will look at the subject: “Graduate Hodgepodge.” We will be presenting a mixture of thoughts to our graduates in this lesson.
I. EXCITEMENT PLUS DEPRESSION
A. Graduation is a time that is filled with excitement, anticipation, and some depression.
1. It has taken twelve years (for some even more) to get to this point.
2. It has taken both dedication and work.
3. These last few weeks may have been taxing: projects, invitations, meetings, finals, enrolling in college, seeking a job.
4. Then graduation night comes and goes. A ceremony. A speaker. A certificate. A night on the town. That’s it. What now? Depression sets in.
B. Elijah faced a similar problem in his prophetic career.
1. He met the prophets of Baal and was victorious.
2. His work only caused the wicked Jezebel to seek his life.
3. In I Kings 19:9, Elijah crawls into a cave in the southern region of Sinai.
a. He was fearful, depressed, and lonely.
b. He even desired for the Lord to take his life (I Kings 19:4).
C. To overcome the down time, one must set goals and begin to move forward. This is what the Lord counseled the prophet to do (I Kings 19:15-16).
And the Lord
said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of
II. LIFE CHANGES
A. Over the past six years, you have witnessed many physical changes. Compare a 12 year old with an 18 year old.
B. You will not experience as many physical changes for several years. You will face changes that will be life altering. They can be good or bad.
1. College or work.
2. A career.
3. A possible move to another area of the country.
C. Dr. James Dobson speaking about the years between the ages of 16 and 26:
“Some of the most dramatic and permanent changes in life usually occur during those ten short years. A person is transformed from a kid who’s still living at home and eating at the parent’s table, to a full-fledged adult who should be earning a living and taking complete charge of his or her life. Most of the decisions that will shape the next fifty years will be made in this era…
“What makes this period even more significant is the impact of early mistakes and errors in judgment. They can undermine all that is to follow.”
(Life on the Edge, James Dobson, p. 3).
D. They key during these years is to have some form of mooring for life. A mooring is an anchor that will not allow one to drift too far. It keeps you stable in the winds of change.
1. Hebrews 13:8.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
2. Hebrews 6:19.
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.
3. As the song, “Time Is Filled with Swift Transition,” states: “Hold to God’s unchanging hand.”
4. Psalm 46:1-3.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be remove, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
III. REMEMBER THE FIVE STEP FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
A. A - Aim
1. To hit something, one must take aim.
2. One man advised: Hitch your wagon to a star.
3. Another said: Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss you will fall among the stars.
4. The apostle Paul had a goal (Phil. 3:13-14).
B. B - Believe
1. You must have faith that will keep you committed to your goal.
2. Paul’s goal was to reach the heavenly abode. He believed that it would definitely come to pass (II Tim. 1:12b).
…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
C. C - Courage
1. As you seek to accomplish your goal, there will be obstacles and naysayers.
2. Stand with courage against them and fulfill your goals.
3. II Timothy 1:7.
For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
D. D - Diligence
1. Any worthy goal will require work and toil and blood and sweat and tears.
2. Ecclesiastes 9:10.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it will thy might.
E. E – Endurance.
1. The race does not belong to the swift for life is a marathon.
2. Victory belongs to the one who can endure as long as he needs to endure to be successful.
3. Such is true of Christianity (Mark 13:13).
…but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
IV. LIVE LIFE BY THE LAWS
A. Every area of life has a few significant laws that govern that realm of life.
B. Example: finances.
1. Never spend more than you make.
2. Give to God first and pay yourself second.
3. Set aside an emergency fund consisting of 3 to 6 months salary.
4. Pay all credit card debt at the end of each month. Never carry a balance.
5. If any financial deal seems to be too good, it probably is.
C. Why does this concept of living by the laws work? God created the world. He is a God of order and not confusion (I Cor. 14:33). Thus, this world is instilled with laws that will bring us happiness and peace if we seek to live by them.
V. LET GOD DIRECT YOUR STEPS
A. Solomon (Prov. 3:5-6).
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy steps.
B. Jesus (John 6:38).
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
C. David (Ps. 23:1-6).
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
A. Old folks could say 10,000 things to young folks who are just starting.
1. Most young people will not listen.
2. Those who do can be richly blessed.
B. Solomon summarized all things well in Ecclesiastes 12:1.
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.