Congratulations to the latest graduating class!  As one chapter or season of life ends another one begins.  How sweet it is to hear those words, “You are a graduate.”

graduate (noun) — a person who has received a degree or diploma on completing a course of study, as in a university, college, or school.
graduate (verb) — to pass by degrees; change gradually.  []

As a graduate, you have passed where you were by degrees and you have changed gradually over time.  As long as you continue to live and learn, you will continue to graduate in life to the next level.  Our Christian walk can be the same way.  We live, learn, and go forward to another level of spiritual maturity.  Our graduation is our transformation that comes through the change in our mind (Romans 12:2).  We graduate from the memory of who we were and advance to who we were made to be in Christ.  Some change occurs gradually, and other times change can be quick and drastic.  Change is inevitable once we truly grasp the truth of what God has done for us and what God has given to us for this life and the life to come.  There will never be anything greater or better for you than knowing God.  As you step into your future, full of excitement and promise, remember these things:

1. Keep God first, interacting with him daily and throughout the day.

Matthew 6:33 (NLT) — Seek the Kingdom of God[ above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

1 John 2:28 (CEV) — Children, stay one in your hearts with Christ. Then when he returns, we will have confidence and won’t have to hide in shame.

2. Whether you are young or young at heart, you can be an example and influence others.

1 Timothy 4:12 — Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

3. Remember God is good and trust him.

James 1:17 (NKJV) — Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Nahum 1:7 (NKJV) — The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.

4. God makes a way and provides for you.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (HCSB) — And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.

Philippians 4:19 (NLT) — And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

5. God is glorified through the prosperity of His kids.

Deuteronomy 8:18 (NKJV) — And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…

2 Chronicles 26:5 (ESV) —  …and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.

3 John 1:2 (NKJV) — Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

6. Remember money is a tool to do good works and to enjoy, not an idol to worship and chase after. Guard your heart against corruption and greed.

Luke 12:15 (NLT) — Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

Proverbs 11:28 (NLT) — Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.

7. Keep a spirit of generosity with your willingness to share time, knowledge, or other resources, using wisdom in your dealings with others.

2 Corinthians 9:6 (NLT) — Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.

Proverbs 11:25 (NLT) — The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV) — He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

8. Remain teachable, especially by God. Seek godly wisdom.

Isaiah 48:17 (NKJV) — Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.”

John 14:26 (NKJV) — But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

James 3:17 (NKJV) — But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

9. God has given you dominion over the earth as well as spiritual authority. Keep God’s word in your heart and speak it.

Romans 8:16-17 (NLT) — 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.  17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.  18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV) — “No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.

Ephesians 2:6-7 (NLT) — 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

10. Know and always remember how loved you are.  I leave you with this prayer of Apostle Paul:

Ephesians 3: 16-21 (NLT) — 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.




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