"Trust in the LORD" Graduation Address - 11 May 2019


(The following is the graduation charge I gave to six high-school graduates during ceremonies at Faith Bible Church, Edmond Oklahoma, 11 May 2019)
Proverbs 3.5-8 
[5] Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
[6] In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
[7] Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
[8] It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.

I was around 15 or 16 when my dad started a new business…in those times, when I wasn’t complaining and griping, he would talk about craftsmanship, business and customer satisfaction. I gained a ton from those talks. And so, we need to hear Proverbs as the counsel of a father to his son. More importantly, listen to it as the speech of the Eternal Father to his eternal, unique, one-of-a-kind Son, Jesus Christ, who followed through perfectly, and once said: “I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him” (John 8.28-29). But then, for those who have been made the sons and daughters of God through Jesus, Proverbs is the heartfelt, warm words of your heavenly Father to you, his sons and daughters.

Now listen again to Proverbs 3.5-8… 

These verses bring us to the central theme of all of Proverbs. The point is clearly that the way of genuine wisdom and real sensibility is both negative and positive.

On the negative side: “do not lean on your own understanding…Be not wise in your own eyes” (5b, 7a)! Not Omni-competent; not fully self-reliant; not masters of our own destiny nor captains of our own life-ships.

On the positive side: genuine wisdom trusts and obeys.
  • Trust in the LORD with all your heart” - rely on the LORD; convinced that he is good, he wants your good, and his way is good .
  • In all your ways acknowledge him” – Hebrew: da’ehu; know him – and point out that you know he is good, wants your good, and his way is good! And that you’re willing to stake your life on it!
  • He will make straight your paths…; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil” (6b-7) – lean into the trail he leads us.
  • It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones” – the promising result is that this path of wisdom and sensibility is remedial, restorative, and refreshing.
St. Augustine…, In his prayer he made this astute and affectionate claim: “He is your best servant who looks not so much to hear what he desires from you, as to desire that which he hears” (“Confessions,” 10.26). To choose God’s good way of wisdom as your own is to trust that God knows how things ought to go and being willing to stake your life on it! It’s what his only-begotten Son did – even when it took him to that kangaroo-court, to the cross and to the crypt. And then the Father vindicated his trust by raising him from the dead, and crowing him King of kings and Lord of lords! And it’s the way Jesus brings us everlasting, unending healing and refreshment. Jesus’ “I do nothing on my own authority,…for I always do the things that are pleasing to him” becomes ours by grace alone received in faith alone to the glory of God alone! Or as John put it in 3.35-36, "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."

And so, I charge you graduates...Proverbs 3.5-8

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus" by Nabeel Qureshi. A Short Review

"When Narcissism Comes to Church" by Chuck DeGroat. A Review

"The Beautiful Community" by Irwyn L. Ince Jr. A Review