10 Truths for Graduates
My heart is for the graduates this month. To all the seniors who are leaving their high school days behind them, here are important truths from The Word of God and a prayer for all:
1. Imitate Christ! Don’t be yourself.
He must become greater; I must become less.
High school is a small fraction of your life. Do not let it define who you are. We do a great job in high school of putting labels on one another. Most Popular. Prom Queen & King. Most Athletic. Most Likely to Succeed. Wipe these titles out of your mind. They don’t matter beyond the walls of the high school (and they really don’t matter in high school).
The world will tell you to “be yourself.” The world teaches us that we need to be strong and independent. Christ teaches the exact opposite. We should live our lives with the main goal of becoming more like Jesus and less like us. This is truth!
2. Love yourself.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
You are unique and no one is just like you. God created each of us to be exactly as we are. When we love ourselves, it is easier to understand God’s love for us. Look in a mirror today and look past your own familiar facial features. Stare at that face seeking Jesus. He is there and He wants to be the one people see when they look at you. As we go deeper into prayer and meditation in the Word, He grows our faith so that the fruits of the Spirit grow in our heart and become evident to all who know us. This is truth!
3. Know who love is.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:10-12
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
1 John 4:16
Jesus Christ is love. Love is a noun. Love is Jesus. We know what love is because of Jesus Christ. He teaches us what love is. We only have love in this world because Jesus is love. He fills our heart to overflowing with love. This is truth!
4. Know your identity.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Know that you are made in the very image of God. You are a child of the Most High God! You are precious and loved. This is the only identity you need to know. Learn this early in your life and you will be spared a lot of heartache. We often stumble through life trying to find out who we are only to feel empty time after time when the things we thought would identify us fall away. People, positions and possessions can never define us! We are new creations in Christ Jesus. The old person is gone and the new person is here. This is truth!
5. Stop the comparisons.
If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.
Comparing ourselves to others is a losing game for all. Comparisons are a trap of the enemy to get us tangled up in webs of insecurity and jealousy. Listen to Paul’s words above. Take pride in yourself alone. Do not compare yourself with others. Carry your own load. This is good and pleases God. We can own something and be completely satisfied until we see something someone else owns that appears to be better than what we have. All of the sudden, we are no longer satisfied with what we have. Sound familiar? Learn to be content with what you have. This is truth!
6. Set Heavenly goals.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Our hearts are linked to what we treasure. For if your treasure is money, there your heart will be also. For if your treasure is power, there your heart will be also. For if we treasure Jesus, there your heart will be also. As you set out fresh in life – whether you’re headed to college, to the military, to new employment, or to start a family – set out with your heart focused on Jesus and loving others. If you find yourself focused on things other than Jesus, ask Him to realign your heart. This is truth.
7. Look inside a person.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
What awesome words to live by. Learn to look deeper into people around you. Don’t judge on appearance alone. Someone who is beautiful on the outside may be ugly on the inside. If you enter into a relationship based on appearance, you may find yourself entangled in a web of hurt. Enter into relationships based on what’s in a person’s heart. Ask God to surround you with people who have a heart after Jesus. Ask Him to bring the right person into your life at the right time and the right place. And wait for Him to do so. It’s that simple. When we rush into relationships without His blessing, we are setting ourselves up for heartache. This is truth!
8. Be different.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
It’s okay to be different. As a matter of fact, as Christians, we are called to be different. We should look different than the world. Others should look at us and see the difference. God will work through us to draw others to Him. They will look at us and see that something different and He will plant a yearning for it in their hearts. This is truth!
9. Seek God’s approval – not man’s approval.
No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.
When our hearts are aligned with Jesus, we are seeking praise from Him and not man. However, when our hearts are aligned with the world, we will be seeking praise from the world. The world is fickle and the praise given from the world will always come up short. The praise we receive from Jesus is always perfect and encouraging and perfect. This is truth!
10. Dream big with NO limitations!
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Memorize these words. With God all things are possible. DO NOT LIMIT GOD with your own limited thinking. We have finite minds and we often limit God’s hugeness. The very God that created everything out of nothing is the same God that lives within us. The same God who wants us to be the head and not the tail, the lender and not the borrow, above and not below. He wants us to be successful and do well in life. DO NOT LIMIT GOD. Dream big. Ask God for big. Then set about making it happen with Him as your Guide. This is truth!
Here is my prayer for all graduates:
Thank You for each of these dear souls. We lift them to You for guidance and direction. Steer them toward the dream that YOU have for them. Before the beginning of time, You created each of them with a purpose and plan. Direct their steps and keep them on the path you laid out for them. Settle love in each of their hearts. Surround them with other people who have a heart for Your Son Jesus Christ.
As they go deeper in their relationship with You, grow their faith. We ask that You use these young people to change the world – to bring revival, to share Jesus. Give each of them a passion and burden to share Jesus with those in darkness. Let them be the light that shines ever so brightly in the darkness. Thank You for Your great protection, love and mercy for them. In Jesus name we pray.