Congratulations Class of 2013!
You did it! You graduated high school. Now what?
Within the past year, you’ve probably been asked that question at least a hundred times by parents, teachers, and friends. And your answer has probably changed several times.
There are literally thousands of possibilities to this question. You have the possibility of pursuing countless colleges, careers, and callings. What should you do? And how should you go about doing it?
Although we recognize that these questions are important, and that we should make biblically informed decisions about the future, there is one supreme goal that you should have upon graduation: the glory of God.
Our one aim in life should be to live for the glory of God. To live in such a way that all we say and do is aimed at honoring and exalting the name of Jesus—the name that is above all names.
At Senior Night, Pastor Jason said, “As you now launch into a new season of your life and youthfulness shifts to the rearview mirror, you must elevate the desire to live for the glory of God as supreme in your life and make all other aspirations subservient to it.”
But why should we live for the glory of God rather than our own glory? Because He is supremely valuable and satisfying. When we receive Him as He is—our greatest Treasure—then we will find full, everlasting joy. The Bible is full of commands for us to glorify God, and God does this out of love, knowing that we will be most satisfied when we glorify Him, rather than when we glorify ourselves. Here are a few examples:
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
“It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:20-21).
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).
“You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20).
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! (Psalm 115:1).
So, your one supreme goal in this life is to glorify God. All of your other goals, desires, and aspirations exist to serve this ultimate purpose. Glorify God in all areas of life—in your college studies, career, vocation, marriage, family, hobbies, and relationships.
You may be asking, “How does this practically apply to my life?” Well, when you live for the glory of God, it changes the way you deal with everything else. Let’s look at four areas of life with some practical application: God, time, relationships, and money.
In our relationship with God, we should be studying, serving and strengthening each other.
Study: In the midst of studying for college and learning the roles of adulthood, make it a priority to study God’s Word. Be in the Word daily, and let the Word be in your daily! (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:18).
Serve: In this season of life, most people are consumed with self. What do I want to do? How can I get ahead in life? As you move forward in life, don’t forget about others! Serve Christ as Lord, serve the church as family, and serve the world as those who are in need of a Savior. Don’t be selfish; be a servant. (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).
Strengthen: We value the help we get through study groups and co-workers, but what about our relationship with the Lord? Don’t be spiritually isolated during this time of life. Stay connected to a group of Christian friends who will strengthen you spiritually, provide the accountability you need, and the fellowship and friendship we all need. (Hebrews 10:23-25).
In a season where many squander their time, we need to be most effective and efficient with out time management.
Laziness: If there is one thing this generation has lost, it’s a strong worth ethic. Don’t be lazy. Success doesn’t come overnight; you must work hard, persevere, and struggle. When you focus on the glory of God and the mission of God (Matthew 22:37-39), you’ll be motived to work hard as unto the Lord. (Proverbs 6:1-11; Colossians 3:17, 23-24).
Time Management: For the first time, many will have to learn how to balance their schedule between school, work, family, and social life. It’s important to get sufficient sleep, regular exercise, and maintain a healthy diet; this will help you when you have to pull those all-nighters. Since you probably won’t have much free time, make sure you use it wisely. And remember the important principle of taking a Sabbath. Use your calendar, and learn how to say “No” to things that aren’t essential.
As maturing adults, we need to be forming quality friendships and preparing for marriage.
Quality friendships: The majority of people you knew in high school will become distant friends. Through school and work you’ll meet many new people, so keep in mind the importance of maintaining godly friendships. Be a friend to all, but only let your closest friends be those who will have a positive spiritual impact on your life. (Proverbs 27:17).
Prepare for marriage: Now is the time to really start to consider and prepare for marriage. Of course, think about the type of person you want to marry, but what’s even more important is that you consider the type of person you need to be in marriage. Marriage is a blessing from God, and it’s something that we need to be ready for spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. Don’t delay marriage. Pursue purity, maintain a godly dating friendship, and experience the joy of a Christ-centered marriage (Genesis 2:24; Proverbs 18:22; Ephesians 5:22-32).
We need to discover the balance between spending, tithing, saving, and giving.
Spending: For the first time, many will start to get a consistent paycheck. With this comes the temptation to spend all of your money on things you don’t necessarily need. Guard against covetousness and trying to find happiness in things, rather than the One who has created all things. There’s nothing wrong with getting some things you like, but consider their purpose and longevity. Be wise with credit cards and not racking up foolish debt. Don’t buy what you can’t afford. Make wise investments. (Luke 13:21)
Tithing: The meaning of the word tithe is “a tenth part.” If you haven’t already, develop a regular habit of tithing at your local church. It may be difficult at times, but remember: it’s easier to live on 90% of your income inside the will of God than it is to live on 100% of your income outside of God’s will. (Malachi 3:8)
Saving: Just as you tithe 10%, try to save 10% of your paycheck. Whether you like it or not, there is a cost to living, and it can be expensive at times. Start to save now so you can financially provide for your family in the future.
Giving: Jesus said “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Do you believe that? Try this and you’ll see! With more income, comes more spending—on ourselves. But have you ever thought that God may give you more money not to raise your standing of living, but to raise your standard of giving? Set money aside to bless those in need.
As you venture into this new season of life, our prayer is that you would live for the glory of God and for the good of others. We’re praying that you’d rise up and take a stand for Christ, making a lasting impact for generations. Congratulations 2013!