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Baccalaurette 2018

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Acts 20:35 NKJV
I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
You have probably already heard and will hear between now and Tuesday night that you are the best and the brightest,
that it is “now” your turn to go out there and make the world a better place,
that you are leaders now and it’s time to take the helm.
You will be told that the sky is the limit and that your dreams should be big.
You will be told to make something of yourself –
especially through your professional accomplishments.
You will be told to live life to the fullest
To make something of yourselves,
Make all the money you can make,
Be as successful as you can,
See the world and enjoy life,
I’m not going to tell you these things tonight;
because I already know that you will,
you are going to do great things, see great places, live life to the fullest
you are going to make a difference in the world we live in.
It’s part of the reason that you are here,
You have been motivated enough to make it this far,
Some of you have been self motivated
other motivated by parents, teachers, mentors, pastor, leaders in this community
but nevertheless you made it this far.
The closing of one chapter and the opening of a new chapter.
and if you will allow me tonight;
I want to speak into your lives;
not about being successful
not about changing the world through your professional accomplishments
not about making a lot of money
not about a higher education.
not about having a big houses and fancy cars.
but I want to speak to you about a principal that is found in
This portion of scripture is part of “the Apostle Paul’s” farewell tour if you will.
This portion of scripture is part of the Apostle Paul’s farewell tour.
Paul
He is on his way to Jerusalem and foresees that he will never see the elders in the church of Ephesus again.
And As Paul speaks his “farewell message”; he does so having no regrets and he makes no apologies..
However; On several occasions
Paul mentions serving the Lord with tears,
In his address to the Ephesians church leaders, he speaks of warning them with tears on a daily basis for three years.
Paul did not have any regrets in what he preached
because what he preached; he preached it with passion
Pauls tears were an expression of his grief over the “spiritual condition” of the human race.
the evil of sin
the misrepresentation of the message of Christ
and the rejection of that message
Because of this; Paul preached with passion
such passion that it often brought him to tears,
We know according to previous verses that Paul had delivered to them the full truth.
He held nothing back and left nothing out.
He preached “the promises of God” and “the warnings of God .
He preached “the blessings of God” and “the judgements of God” .
Paul “did not” preach just what they wanted to hear
Paul was not in the ear scratching business like many are today.
He told it like it was not matter if he lost or gained fanfare.
made no difference to Paul,
His love for the people would only let him preach the truth.
Paul preached about; holding nothing back
Paul preached about; being bond in the spirit
He preached about; the Holy Spirit empowering us to be witnesses
He preached that; he didn’t count his life dear
He preached that; he was pure from the blood of all men.
He preached about; grievous wolves entering in
He preached that; we need to therefore watch
He preached all this in his farewell address.
And he made no apologize for what he preached .
but as I was praying and asking God for direction for tonight.
I asked the Lord to give me a word for these young men and women.
Something that will help them in their journey......
I believe the Lord has directed me to this passage of scripture
Acts 20:35 KJV 1900
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Lord don’t you know that I am speaking to high school graduates at the baccalaureate service
Im not speaking to church folk on Sunday morning
Why in the world do you want me to speak to them about giving.
I directed my thoughts in another direction.
And every where I turned I hit a wall.
nothing.
So finally I decided to search it out
The Apostle Paul as we just look at preached with passion and preached the whole truth.
Didn’t leave anything out.
Often times preached with tears because of the condition of humanity.
and in this farewell address just before his kneels down to pray;
He makes this statement.
Acts 20:35 KJV 1900
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
now I realize that when we read this it is referring to money or monetary things.
But the reality is that; in this scripture there is a “principal”
that when followed will change your life in a way that cannot be explained with words
at least not with my limited vocabulary.
Paul said: it is more blessed to give than to receive.
That word blessed in the context it is used is the greek word “Makarios” which means; to be blessed; highly favored, fortunate.
It means to be supremely blessed
All your life you have been taught and trained;
by society;
media
education
your parents
your peers
by advertisement
that the more you have the more successful your are.
bigger houses
bigger vehicles
bigger bank account
Super size everything!!!!!!!
and through this you have been geared to think that the more you have the better you are
You get stuff for your;
birthday
Christmas
graduation
valentine day
You get stuff when you make good grades
You get an allowance for cleaning your room
We have been geared
we have been trained all our lives to receive
Im not gonna lie to you
I love it when I get things
and so do you!!!!!!
But what I find so interesting about Pauls farewell address is:
at the very close of it
which is usually when someone who is speaking will save the most important information for.
He chose
Paul had preached a bunch of things
But just before he knelt to pray:
Paul said: it is better to give than to receive
I believe that “giving” is not summed up in putting money in the offering plate at the church
but giving can be defined as:
the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return.
the transfer of;
Your time
You going out of your way to speak into somebodies life.
You taking up for those that can’t take up for themselves
You going the extra mile to help a person in need
Not always having to be first
not always having to be right
The opposite of giving is receiving or taken
Nothing wrong with receiving
nothing wrong with taken
however;
if all you do is receive
If all you do is take and never give
You can be defined as someone who is selfish;
Selfish people can be successful
but I never met a selfish person who has peace
I never met a selfish person that is content
I never met a selfish person that can be pleased.
But I have met selfish people who are miserable
I have met selfish people who are never satisfied and never seem to be at peace.
understand me tonight
anybody can give money and monetary things
but ‘m talking about “giving” that requires something of you.
Giving that will require your time, your energy, your efforts.
All throughout history:
three reasons why it is better to give than to receive:
1. Giving submits to God’s Lordship

2. Giving exhibits God’s heart

we read of those that have given of themselves to better the world we live in........................
Moses: receive the torah on Mount Sinai: which included the ten commandments.
Noah: built the ark
Abraham: was obedient unto God; and became the father of many nations
David: stepped up when everyone else was afraid, and he killed the giant
Joshua: Joshua led the Israelites into one of the most famous battles of all time, the Battle of Jericho.
Esther: was chosen to be the Jewish queen, did not cower down in the face of danger and ended up saving king and many jewish people
The apostle peter: preached one of the greatest sermons of all times.
What about Jesus: laid down His life that you and I could be saved
So many have given:
I think of all the men and women who have fought for the freedom we have tonight:
Some have given everything;
some are scared for life.
but they went above and.
I’m telling you friend:
Your giving will make a difference
Yes you can go through life and you can make life all about you.
But I can guarantee you this
If you do make this life all about you
you will never know what true joy is.
There is no greeter feeling
no greater accomplishment
no greater joy
no greater peace
no greater blessing
than when you lay your head on your pillow at night
knowing that you have giving of yourself.
Paul said; It more blessed to give than to receive.

God Is Looking for Men and women to Change the World

Not through your personal accomplishments
But through your giving.
The challenge of the Great Commission is to preach the gospel to all creation.
This includes the young and the old, rich and poor, male and female.
The love of God is generous enough to encompass the whole world.
With all of humanity in mind, God is looking for men who will lead His Church and advance His Kingdom.
It has been said that the church is the hope of the world.
If that is true, then men and women are the hope of the church.
Even a small glimpse of Scripture reveals that God is looking for men.
"I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land that I might not destroy it but I found no one."
God is looking for men and women with humble hearts;
"The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."
God is looking for men and women with humble hearts;
men and women who are willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ
men and women who will stand in the gap as “servant-leader”s for their families, their communities, and for the Church.
The Author “Robert Coleman” put it this way;
It all started by Jesus calling a few men to follow Him...
His concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes,
but with men whom the multitudes would follow...
I wonder tonight; How many have missed the mark because they never learned to give........................................................
Story!!!!!
class of 2018
I encourage you tonight:
Be givers
make a difference in someones life.
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