Thursday, June 23, 2011

Three Things You Need to Know, for a Successful Christian Life: A Charge to the WSCS Graduating Class of 2011

There are three things you need to know, that you need to believe, and you need to be committed to, if you want to live a successful Christian life.  Whatever will be your High school scenario, you will continue to face new challenges, opportunities, and temptations, that will either draw you closer to God, or will lead you further away.  The difference, in many ways, will depend on how well you are prepared.  And in large part, this is why West Sayville Christian School exists. 

Now, one of the most foundational truths for the successful Christian life, is that:

     I.     God is Faithful, When it Seems He is Not
When we think about God’s faithfulness, we tend to measure it according to what we want from God at a particular time.  When in fact, God’s faithfulness is so much greater than our immediate fears, concerns, and complaints.  The faithfulness of God can only be measured by that which He has promised in His word.  This is one reason why West Sayville Christian School has been so consistent in helping you memorize Scripture, and why hiding God’s word in your heart is so important to your Christian life. 
Of all the problems that you will encounter in the coming years, the greatest problem of all has already been covered by the promise of God. 
a.     9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 Jn 1:9)

If you have trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, turning from sin, and turning to Christ, the biggest problem you could ever face (the sin problem), has already been solved. 

So, you can firmly believe, that whether the problem is big or small, God is faithful, even when it seems He is not.  But also:

   II.     God is With You, When it Seems He is Far
As Christians, you are not to just survive High School, you have been given a co-mission.  This means that you have a mission, but you are not alone.  You not only have your brothers and sister in Christ working with you, but even better, your have Jesus Christ with you. 
So, as you live your life on God’s mission, there will be times when God seems to be very close, very real, and very aware of who you are, and what you are doing, but there will also be times when you feel alone and abandoned.  It’s during these times that the difference between standing and falling, success and failure, will depend on whether or not you believe our Lord’s promise that He will never leave you. 

a.     19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:19–20)

So you see, God is Faithful, when it seems He is not; God is with you when it seems He is far, and:

III.     God is For You, When it Seems Life is Against You
As followers of Christ, you are not guaranteed and easy life.  As a matter of fact, it may be that every time you stand for the Lord, someone is there to tear you down.  Likewise, it may be that each time you increase your commitment to God, life gets even harder.  And as a result, you may be tempted to believe that God is not on your side.  

a.     26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness…. Rom 8:26

When you are at you weakest point, when temptation is at its strongest, know that you can rely on the Holy Spirit to help you through it.  God is for you!

b.     28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28

Consider all that goes into baking a cake.  There are several ingredients that would less than agreeable if you were to eat them as they were.  For instance, Flour.  There are not many people that would like to eat Flour out of the bag.  But when all of the ingredients are combined and baked, we can say, as we eat the cake, “it has worked together for good.”  Likewise, your life will work out the same way.  There will be events and circumstances that are good, and there will be some that are bad.  But God has promised you that “all things work together for good, for those love God, and who are called according to his purpose.”  Why, because God is for you!

And furthermore, Paul asks in Romans 8:31,

c.     31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31)

The point here is that there will by many who will come against you.  They will come against your Faith; they will come against your Morality, and they will come against your Mission.  Paul is saying that God is for you, and since no one, and nothing, can rival God, you have all you need live a Successful Christian Life. 

So, as you go from this school to the next, as you move on with all the changes that life will bring, remember that:

a.     God is Faithful, When it Seems He is Not
b.     God is With You, When it Seems He is Far
c.     God is For You, When it Seems Life is Against You