Standing Up to the Challenge

shutterstock_57140281-coloIn recognition of their accomplishments, this month South Florida students walk up to receive their diplomas and step out into a world of opportunity. Each class has a personality of its own, but this class “has a passion to do things bigger than themselves and connect with others to make things happen,” said Chris Lane, executive director of First Priority, a ministry that supports faith-based clubs in the public schools.

 

Finding what’s real and genuine

Michael Dube, upper school principal at Jupiter Christian School, agreed. “In this particular group of students, I have seen a commitment to serve and make a difference. As a school they went above and beyond, logging over 10,000 community service hours this year with a real heart to serve and lead… I think this generation is looking for something real and genuine – not something fake that won’t make a difference, which is very perceptive. And God will honor that heart.”

“Among them are a lot of great leaders that have the potential to change the world,” said Lane.

“I think we have many future lawyers, psychologist and professionals that will give God glory and are needed to further the kingdom,” said Stephen Smith, principal of Boca Raton Christian School.

But perhaps “this generation’s greatest challenge will be to not merely stand amidst a culture that is so pervasive and opposed to Judeo-Christian values, but instead to see this as an opportunity to be bold in action and vocal for their Christ and Savior,” said Smith. “Judeo Christian values used to be propped up as good things, but now people say, ‘no, I’ll pass on that and do what I want.’”

 

Avoiding technology traps

In this world of technology and social media, this class faces challenges unlike those in the past. “It’s not just trying to make sure I have the latest and greatest phone, but am I will to give up the face to face conversation for the social media post?” noted Smith. “Just because you post a Bible verse on social media, it doesn’t mean that you’re not also a part of encouraging gossip and slander. Will they be fooled that that’s better or honor God?

Lane also recognized, “A big challenge that this generation has is not to get caught up in what others think about them. With social media it is very easy to be more concerned with how many likes did my picture get or how many people retweeted me and lose track of am I concerned with what God thinks about me.”

Lane’s encouragement to graduates is, “Don’t conform to the pattern of this world – be transformed by God’s word.” (Romans 12:2)

 

Walking in God’s plan

Dube acknowledged, “I think that not listening to the lies of this world is a challenge. There are many things that appear all shiny and attractive, but ultimately when they walk in God’s plan for their lives, it is so much better.”

Discovering God’s plan requires that graduates “stay in fellowship with the Lord and seek counsel from people they trust who know God.” It also means “staying in prayer, so they can hear that still small voice because if they ask, He will direct their path,” he added.

During his graduation address, Dube challenged students with two questions: Will they listen to those God placed in their path – parents, pastors, teachers – and heed their advice? And will they trust God?

He then declared the promises of God over them: They are more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37) They are the head and not the tale. (Deuteronomy 28:13) They are made righteous in Christ. (Romans 3:22) They should take heart because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

“Often we are less than who God says we are because we’re not believing what God says about us. If we believe, we can walk in the blessings, power and authority God has given us,” said Dube.

About 69 percent of high school graduates will attend college; others enter directly into the work force. And from the graduating class at Jupiter Christian School, some are going right into the mission field. Whatever the future holds, Dube said, “I am excited about what God is going to do.”

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