“My Prayer for Our Graduates”                                                         June 1, 2014

Ephesians 3:14-21                                                                                Stephens City UMC

 

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

I.                   Graduates are often asked what they hope for in life.

A.    It is a good question but think about your answer.

1.     I say that with the story in mind about a young man who found a genie in a bottle.

2.     The genie says, “Thank you for freeing me from the bottle. In return I will grant you three wishes.”

3.     The young man says, “Great! I’ve dreamed of this and I know exactly what I want.”

4.     “First, I want one billion dollars in a Swiss bank account.”

5.     Poof! There’s a flash of light and a piece of paper with account numbers appears in his hand.

6.     “Next, I want a brand new red Ferrari right here.”

7.     Poof! There is a flash of light and the sports car appears right next to him.

8.     “Finally, I want to be irresistible to women.”

9.     Poof! There is a flash of light and he turns into a box of chocolates. (http://www.humorplanet.com/joke)

II.                 I can’t say for sure what our graduates hope for in life but in the Letter to the Ephesians the Apostle Paul prays for people he cared about so I’d like to pray like Paul for this year’s graduates as well as all of you.

A.    The main thing Paul prays for in the context of today would be for Jesus to rule in your life, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in whatever career you choose. (Ephesians 3:16-17a)

1.     To quote Paul, that “he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.” (3:16)

2.     This really gets at the power source for your life.

3.     No matter what career you eventually choose you will need power if you are to grow in that career and be effective, and of course, there’s the matter of whether you are effective in a worldly sense or effective for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

4.     You may indeed be a person of great intellect, various gifts and impressive creativity, but I would put forth that you will not go very far on just your own talents and abilities.

5.     Your own power source is limited, but if your power source is God then we know that God’s power is unlimited and who’s to say how far you’ll go or what all you’ll accomplish.

B.     To illustrate – I have a grass trimmer here with two batteries.

1.     This first battery has not been charged and you see that it accomplishes nothing.

2.     However, this second battery has been charged and so the power is supplied for what it is designed to do and that which I want it to do which is trim grass.

C.     As this is a Communion Sunday not only our graduates but all of us here have the opportunity to be empowered through this sacrament.

1.     By partaking of the bread and the cup you receive power that goes to the very core of your life and fills you to overflowing.

6.     And when the Spirit of God dwells in you, empowering you, you will also experience one of the fruits of the Spirit which is joy. (Galatians 5:16)

7.      So I pray that you will come to experience the joy of the Lord.

8.     And we are filled with joy knowing that God can do more than anything you ask or imagine.