This is part of the manuscript from the graduation message I delievered last Saturday. At least, this is what I meant to say… For the record, it ended up being two minutes shorter than my alloted time.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27
During your time here at RCCS, we’ve been building a building. Your parents, partnered with your church, partnered with our school have been involved in a tireless construction project that is your life. As you stand here with caps and gowns, and soon diplomas, – you look good – you’re building is magnificent. You’ve been given a good education, but not only a good education, but a Christian education. Your building certainly does look magnificent. Your parents, your families, your churches, your friends and your teachers are all proud of this almost finished project.
However, as we just saw, this building now constructed will be tested. Soon, the winds will blow, the rains will come and storms will beat down upon you. Some of you have already faced difficulties and obstacles, but I’d like you to know that it only gets worse from here.
With college and life come new challenges to life and new challenges to your faith. How will your building stand up? Well, if your faith is founded on the rock of Jesus Christ, I am happy to say that you will pass. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever struggle with doubt and it doesn’t mean you’ll win every fight. But, it does mean that God is faithful to complete what He has started according to Philippians 1:6. You will make it. Your faith is real, genuine and personal – its all your own. One day in the future, it will be the joy of every person in this room to see you still serving the Lord. You will make our school proud. III John 4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
On the other hand, some of you will face these same challenges only to crumble under its weight. You and those around you will be faced with the startling conclusion that you faith was never real, your foundation was all sand. Your faith was merely something imposed upon you – you never embraced it. Sure, you came to church, attended a Christian school and know all sorts of facts about the Bible. Yet, the reality is you never made it your own. Your faith was something you did, not someone you were. You never had a true relationship with God, but a mere knowledge of God. Your spiritual life was a fake and your building has collapsed.
But, I have good news. You can change your foundation. One of the most encouraging passages of all Scripture is found in Jeremiah 18. Jeremiah is told to visit the potter’s house. Here he witnesses the potter molding his clay, and destroying his creation when blemishes are found. He then begins again and makes an even better creation. God tells Jeremiah, God can do the same with His people.
Perhaps one day you will find your faith, your building, in shattered pieces surrounding you. You will finally be discovered as a fraud. The good news is, Jesus will save to the uttermost all those who call upon His name. Turn to Christ; embrace the grace that is offered to who all see the sinfulness of their heart. At that point, you can again begin to pick up the shattered remnants of a once great building and piece together something better and stronger that ever existed before in your life.
The message I have for you this afternoon is hope. Our hope is in Christ and Christ alone. Graduates, seek Him. Base your life, your building, your all upon Him. Never be satisfied in your pursuit of Christ and you will find satisfaction, joy and meaning that can only be found in Him. Pursue Christ. It is Christ that makes the difference.