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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

GRADUATE WITH CONFIDENCE!



This handsome young man is our grandson Kristopher who was one of the many thousands of students who recently celebrated the completion of a journey that began at the age of six years old. Many will continue their studies and graduate with a college degree or they will attend a vocational school to learn a specific skill. Some will join the military and serve their country. 'Graduation' isn't the end, it's the beginning of a whole new adventure.....becoming an adult!

It doesn't happen over night, this adult thing. There is a lot of 'trial and error' that occurs during the process. Each individual needs to find their way to cross the bridge from childhood dependency to adult responsibility. This is hard! Maybe the hardest thing in life we do. Discipline won't be new, but it may be more intense, and what we learn from it will take on more importance. It is the Lord Himself who disciplines us, and He does this in love.

" My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." Proverbs 3:11

We often told our five children to notice that we didn't discipline children who were not ours, we only disciplined those who belonged to us. It's the same with our Heavenly Father, He disciplines His own - because He loves them.

".....God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12: 10 - 11.

You have to wonder if you're a Christian, and maybe if you're not, why God puts such a big burden on one so young with such meager life experiences. Could it be that He doesn't expect us to do this 'adult thing' on our own without Him? Now, at this pivotal time of life, what He may be teaching is a principle that we can hold onto for our entire time on this earth, DEPEND ON GOD TO DO WHAT YOU CAN'T! God became human in the person of Jesus Christ, he knows our human sufferings as He's fully divine and fully human. He knows we are not able to come up with all the right answers.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3: 5 - 6.
God wants us to trust Him and recognize His authority, and concede to His power so our path will be straight! We occasionally go up to our beautiful Southern California mountains. I don't enjoy the drive on the winding, curvy roads, it's tense, I get sick to my stomach! How relieved I am when the road straightens! Twists and turns in life are inevitable but as they come we can trust that God knows the 'way' He needs to take us to our goal. Asking Him to give us the faith to trust Him will bring us CONFIDENCE. Not confidence that we can accomplish our goals alone, but knowing with God, 'nothing is impossible', Mark 10:27.

We can know that being confident is important because the Bible has much to say about this subject. For those who know me personally, or regularly read my blogs, you know I 'think' in Bible verses. I don't have an 'opinion' - that wouldn't count for much. I know what the Bible says and apply Scripture to life. "For the word of God is living and active", Hebrews 4:12. God meant for His Word to be 'living', applicable for our circumstances here on earth. Lets look at some verses that focus on 'confidence'.

Proverbs 3:26 - "....for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." When your foot gets 'snared' you usually stumble and fall. When the Lord is your confidence you'll be able to avoid many of the pitfalls in life.

Philippians 3:3 - "......(we) who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put NO CONFIDENCE in the flesh - " Paul is teaching that it isn't wise to depend on our abilities, but rather to depend on the Lord who gives us our abilities.

I John 5:14 - "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." At first glance, this verse may be disappointing. What, God isn't going to answer all my prayers and give me everything I want?? Do you really know what is best for you? No, you don't, but God does. How comforting to know that our trustworthy Lord will only allow what HIS plan calls for - nothing else. We can ask, but never-the-less, ' Lord, Your will, not mine be done'!
Jeremiah writes in 17: 7 -8 that we are blessed when we trust the Lord and our confidence is in Him. When bad times come, we do not fear or worry and we never fail to bear fruit.

*HEBREWS 4:16 - "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." We can always approach God with confidence. That may not have been true with your parents. It is by grace, through faith that God has redeemed us....grace means we don't deserve it or earn it....His love, mercy and help is always available to those who believe in Him. This is the one sure thing we can count on!! It doesn't matter how badly you mess things up, always go to Him.

We can buy our grandson Kris a new laptop as he prepares to enter college, but we can't buy him what is really important; a relationship with God . We are so grateful that He knows the One who is God, loves and honors Him. We're proud of you Kris and know that you'll be on a wonderful journey, and we'll be spending eternity together!

I'd like to quote from the card we sent him, the words are just perfect!

"Just think, you're here not by chance, but by God's choosing.  His hand formed you and made you the person you are.  He compares you to no one else---you are one of a kind.  You lack nothing that His grace can't give you.
He has allowed you to be here at this time in history to fulfill His special purpose for this generation."
Author - Roy Lessin

Thank you Lord for Kris and each one of these graduates. Inspire them by the confidence they can have in You alone. Allow them to feel Your Presence in their life daily.