Graduate Sunday 2022
We value sending at TRC. Sending is part of our strategy of the Radical Life of UP/IN/OUT. Sending is the very essence of OUT.
Ezekiel 36:37-38, I hope, is always a prayer we keep before the Lord.
- Increase us.
- Cause us to grow in being holy to be worthy of filling the waste cities.
- Send us to be ambassadors of the kingdom of God to fill the waste cities with God’s people.
We love to put our hands on, pray for, bless, and send TRC folks to their domains on God’s mission glocally.
Today, as we recognize our high school graduates, we are sending them.
In sending Addie and John Mark, I want to encourage you two as well as the whole church and give you some wisdom that I have been given as an application of the encouragement.
Let’s read Ephesians 2:1-10 and see the encouragement.
Our salvation is entirely God’s work. 2:1-9
- We were dead, apart from Christ, and by nature under God’s wrath. V. 1-3
- In mercy and love, God makes us alive from our dead state. V. 4-5
- This power to save us is what grace is. V. 5b
- God raised us up to life and seated us with him in his reign. V. 6
- God raised us and seated us to show us how his powerful grace results in his kindness to us. V. 7
- This precious salvation is God’s gift, having nothing to do with our effort so that we can never brag that we earned it, kept it, or deserve it.
Our salvation is the workmanship of God to bring about new creation AND position us for eternally prepared good works, RIGHT NOW, as partners in his work of bringing about new creation everywhere. 2:10
There are 3 purpose clauses in the first 10 verses of Ephesians 2.
- Verse 7 is the first purpose clause, and it tells us that God saves us to show us the immeasurable riches of his powerful grace through kindness.
- Verse 8 is the second purpose clause, and it tells us that God saves us as a display of his power in a display of him doing all the saving with no help from us.
- So, we don’t earn it, and we don’t get to lose it.
- Verse 10 is the last purpose clause in these first 10 verses and tells us that God saved us as his workmanship for doing good work that he prepared beforehand for us to engage in.
- In the total work of salvation, God is re-making us as a part of the first fruits of new creation, so that we are his workmanship!
- We didn’t make ourselves.
- We didn’t save ourselves.
- We are completely God’s workmanship.
- As God’s workmanship then, he has sent us on a mission to engage in good work he prepared uniquely for each one of us in Christ Jesus.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CSB) 19 Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (CSB) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 18 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
- In our salvation, we are a part of God’s Genesis 1-2 reboot in the new creation that the life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus have brought about.
- From Ephesians 1, all the spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, your election, redemption, and being given the Holy Spirit are for mission, not merely private theological reflection and personal comfort.
- Therefore, as God’s workmanship, he has confirmed that he has specially created purpose for you RIGHT NOW as his workmanship in his world.
- The question is, what have you been saved to do for the glory of Jesus?
- And, this is not just the question for you, Addie, and John Mark.
- This is the question for everyone.
- This question leads to us living on mission so that we can learn the Lord’s prepared way for us as his workmanship for his glory and our ultimate joy.
Decades of Life
What I’m about to share with you, the framework and some of the content, is the work of Bob Biehl. My spiritual father and mentor, Bob Roberts, provided for me and a few other young men he has invested his life in to spend a couple of days with Bob Biehl. I have supplemented with some of my own observations as I’ve lived through that decade. Bob Biehl put this together for folks in the business world, and it applies to all of us, so he shares this when he mentors folks.
20’s – Survival
- Relax. No one is expecting you to change the world.
- This is the decade to decide what “good work” you were created for NOT what you want to do.
- Commit to becoming financially savvy. Learn to use God’s gifted finances well.
- Keep your integrity the first priority.
- In everything and every decade, guard your emotional and mental health.
- Learn about these. Read about these. They are powerfully spiritual and one of the ways God made you in his image. Don’t neglect these.
30’s – Success
- Make sure you know who your spiritual father is.
- Make sure you maintain that mentor/spiritual father relationship.
- Go after them. Seek them out. Keep this a lifelong relationship.
- Learn the balance of home/vocation with the overriding value of Sabbath.
- If you have kids at this point, guard them.
- Pay attention to 4th grade / 9 years old.
- This is the most formative year of your kid’s life in every biological/emotional/spiritual level.
40’s – Significance and Struggle
- Find the “one thing” you are going to go to the finish line doing vocationally (Whether you get paid to do it or not. You may have to work other jobs to be able to do your “one thing”).
- Of all the things you do well, what is the one thing you do best?
- It’s ok if the “one thing” God’ created you for does not pay well because it’s not valued where you happen to live or it simply does not come with huge pay.
- Do it anyway, and finance it through holy means and hard work.
- Understand that the struggle to define the “one thing” is a phase, and it will come to a close. But make sure you use this phase and strive to find your “one thing”.
- This challenge might extend into the 50’s. That’s ok.
- Understand that you are about to enter “half-time”.
50’s – Stride
- You are just entering your years of most extraordinary output. Don’t start the wind-down. Begin the ramp-up to effectiveness.
- Ramp-up is not in becoming a workaholic.
- Ramp-up is the efficient honing of your craft and where your fruit begins to multiply.
- Become, if not already, a spiritual father or mother.
- Make a list of milestones and achievements.
- This will be helpful to help you remember the faithfulness of God as you will have navigated hard times and there will be more to come.
60’s – Strategic
- This is the greatest decade of influence if you will not bail on work and life.
- You are a sage and full of life experience. Don’t quit now!
- Take care of your health.
- Build a legacy in your immediate family and your spiritual family.
70’s – Succession
- This is where you begin to pass the work on to those who are coming after you.
- Be a good baton passer. Pass it on, and let the next generation carry it without your interference.
- Support them. Be a listener. Offer counsel.
- Make a plan to finish your years full of life, joy, and wisdom.
Addie and John Mark, TRC, ask and answer the question: What did God uniquely save and build me to do for his fame and my joy in his kingdom?
As a first step to hearing the answer, let’s worship together.