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2000 Issue 4 - Living for Christ as a Student - Counsel of Chalcedon

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Having been a high school principal, teacher, and parent, I have heard more than one hundred student graduation speeches. I was quite impressed on the night of Geneva Academy's first graduation to hear Josh Bailey's challenging address to himself and his classmates. Never have I heard a young man take a stand for Jesus Christ and challenge others to do the same in the way Josh did. He explained to his listeners in emphatic terms, backed by scripture, what it means to live for Jesus Christ. Josh cited that the world will present temptations, but strength from Christ enables the Christian to withstand those temptations. It became obvious to me, not far into the speech, that Christ has his hand on this young man and has provided some tremendous Christian teaching since early childhood from his parents, his ministers, and the teachers in the Christian schools he has attended the last two years. Josh is a prime example of the kind of student we want all of our graduates of Geneva Academy to be -- devotedly Christian with an eagerness for learning throughout life! -- Bob Boyd Member of the Board of Governors Geneva Academy
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  Having been a high school principal, teacher, and parent, have heard more than one hundred student graduation speeches. was quite impressed on the night of Geneva Academy's first graduation to hear Josh Bailey's challenging address to himself and his classmates. Never have heard a young man take a stand for Jesus Christ and challenge others to do the same in the way Josh did. He explained to his listeners in emphatic terms, backed by scripture, what it means to live for Jesu s Christ. Josh cited that the world will present temptations, but strength from Christ enables the Christian to withstand those temptations. t became obvious to me, not far into the speech, that Christ has his hand on this young man and has provided some tremendous Christian teaching since early childhood from his parents, his ministers, and the teachers in the Christian schools he has attended the last two years. Josh is a prime example of the kind of student we want all of our grae uates of Geneva Academy to be -- devotedly Christian with an eagerness for learning throughout life -- Bob Boyd Member of the Board of Governors Geneva Academy We have finally made it to the end of our high school career. This final year has been a difficult challenge for all of us, but believe, however, that we are all better for the experience and knowledge that we have gained due to this challenge. Our generation for the most part looks down upon the hard work and dedication that it took to accomplish what we have accomplished. As we move on to college think that it is appropriate to look back upon some of the things tbat we have learnee this year that will better equip us to serve Christ and His kingdom. Now is the time when we can truly make an impact upon this world. We can choose whether we will now fall to the background and let others define our lifestyle and our interests, or we can take a stand for the only thing for which it is worth living. We can say that, and it sounds nice, but what does it mean? What does it mean to live for Christ? Among the many things that living for Christ entails, I would like to stress a few major traits that ought to characterize a person that is living for Christ. First of all, there needs to be a desire to be righteous. Righteousness is not something that we can wear, or pretend to be - it is an inner desire to be like Christ. t is holy living. God's Word tells us to be holy for am holy. t is not something as a Christian that we can choose to do occasionally or when we feel like it. We are commanded to be righteous. believe that we must challenge ourselves to be holy in a culture that ridicules righteousness and glorifies sinfulness. t is not easy. Just go to a movie, or turn on the radio, or walk into a store. The world is competing for our minds; they want us to become like them. t is so appealing to be like everyone else. No one wants to be the outcast or laughed at; it is much easier to go with the flow and succumb to the pressure that surrounds us. We know however that all those who reject Christ will recei ve their just reward. encourage you as your fellow graduate and friend not to be allured by the temptations of our day but to be a warrior for Christ. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 to Be strong in the ord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil... Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all , taking the shield offaith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Truth, righteousness, and faith charac-terize a righteous man. Let these things be June/July 2000 -THE COUNSEL ofChalcedon -21  foremost in your mind as you enter college and you will be able to stand unflinchingly for Christ. Secondly, we must have a desire to learn. Learning is an incredible gift. Oftentimes we forget what a blessing it is to be able to learn. We cannot forget the words of Solomon in Proverbs 1:5,7. He says, A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel ... The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowl-edge, but OOLS DESPISE WISDOM AND INSTRUCTION. We are fools if we despise learning. We need to be consumed with a passion for deepening our knowledge. t is to despise the mind that God has blessed you with to allow yourselfto stop learning. Tennyson in the great poem Ulysses challenges us through his character's example to strive, to seek, to frod and not to yield ... o follow knowledge like a sinking star, beyond the utmost bound of human thought. To live for Christ means, secondly, to strive after knowledge. Lastly, the man or woman who lives for Christ is c1w. , cterize.d . bya .prayerfullife. Prayer is a means of grace given by God so tha.t we may confess our sins, acknowledge His mercy towards us, and draw closer to Him in communion. Pastor Strevel pointed out to us how Daniel's life is an excellent example ofthe effectiveness of a life filled with prayer. God will honor those who honor Him. As we meet with the temptations which the world will present to us, we must run to the Lord for the strength we need to remain faithful to Him. We do not walk this life alone, and thus we cannot expect to have the power to live as becomes a follower of Christ withQut His help and sustaining power. We are told that the prayer of the righteous man availeth much. Let us remember to utilize the means of grace which God has given us in order that we might be able to withstand the pressure put upon us to conform to the world's standards. Be a man of prayer- encouraged, strengthened, and built up for Christ's service. Metallica has a song entitled Nothing Else Matters in which the lead singer, James Hetfield, sings, life is ours we live it our way ... and nothing else matters. This idea of living for self and pleasing yourself even at the expense of others characterizes the majority· of our generation. We must reJect this unbiblical outlook upon life by being a servant and seeking the needs of others above that of our own. Our life is NOT our own, it is God's, and because we owe our very existence to our Creator EVERYTHING else matters. Our speech, our conduct, our view of history, . science, and literature all must be affected by this belief. In Galatians 2 20 Paul says, I have been crucified with Christ; t is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I. live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. We are' Christ's and we must act as becomes the name· Christian. We must be righteous and prayerful young people who love to learn and apply God's Word to all areas oflife. We doubtlessly will be presented with new and challenging ideas in the coming years, and unlesS we. decide today that we will stand firm in the. belief that Christ alone is King of he uni:l(erse, . we will be washed away by every new idea' . and fad. In Christ alone can we find the stability and persevering power that the world so desperately craves. We must not forget that true happiness is found only in Jehovah. , Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and otfaint ~ As we stand, remember that God honors those who honor Him and that we run for a prize which is imperiShable -established in the heavens by the work of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to challenge my fellow graduates ,and my generation as a whole to strive, to seek, to frod, and not to yield until this culture has been conquered for Christ and His kingdom. 22 - THE COUNSEL ofChalcedon -June/July, 2000
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