Graduation time is rolling around for the class of 2011. I am so blessed to have gotten the privilege to be a small group leader for the seniors in Axiom this year. As I am finishing up writing a few cards to some of the graduates I am reminded of a simple truth in the Bible.
John 15 might as well be God’s graduation speech to us. I would post the whole chapter but I’m not sure if you’ll take the time to read it. Here are a few key things that stand out to me for this year’s graduates:
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -John 15:4
I remember graduating Masters Commission as a second year last year and reading this scripture. It was a gentle reminder from God that in order to be a person who bears fruit, I don’t necessarily need to remain at Masters Commission. I just need to make sure I remain in Him. I pray that this year’s graduates know that being where God wants them to be is rarely ever about their actual geographical state, rather it is about the state of their heart in relation to God’s.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” -John 15:18-19
I called the 2011 high school seniors ‘babies’ for the longest time. Probably because they were freshmen when I was a senior. Perhaps because my little brother is part of that class and he will always be a baby to me. Regardless, as they have been putting on their caps and gowns for practices, have participated in their baccalaureate and have received awards at their senior banquet, I am reminded that these young men and women are no longer babies.
I know the world that is out there, the evil that hides outside of those high school walls. I know the freedom that college has to offer and that the enemy is awaiting his new guests. I would love nothing more than to simply hold these graduates in my arms and shadow their eyes from the bad things in life. Verses 18 and 19 however, reveal to me that God wouldn’t even do that. He believes in us, that we can take on the world and the power of the enemy. Just remember, that the promised land was promised…but it was never promised to be easy. May we remind ourselves when the hard times come, who it is that we belong to and may we find comfort in the arms of our Heavenly Father.
It’s time to let go, it’s time to watch and see the destiny that will come out of the class of 2011, it’s graduation time.