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By BARBARA BROWN
At this time of the year, across the nation, hundreds and thousands of graduates will take hold of highly desired diplomas they have earned. Friends and family will flood auditoriums to cheer them on. They’ve all been anticipating this special moment in time; the end of one season in life and the beginning of another.
Other “graduates” will celebrate the end of something like a medical treatment program, cancer treatment, drug/alcohol treatment or painful physical therapy sessions. These celebration events may take place in a hospital ward or in an institutional lunch room. Smaller groups may gather, and there are no tassels to turn, but hearts are just as glad. And lives are just as precious, whether one graduate is just starting out in life, or another graduate has suffered a failure and was granted a “second chance” at life.
Graduation indicates a state of completion or perfection. The perfect graduate is one who can say, “I’m ready now to apply myself and get the job done.” These words turn my thoughts to the Lord Jesus who completed a mighty work here on earth. He knew his mission was to reveal the Heavenly Father’s love to us, and he performed this task with great passion.
While Jesus walked this earth, he was very focused on his mission. And he knew he had only a few short years to get it finished. But he stayed close to his heavenly father, applied himself fully to the task ahead, and passed every test! When his contemporaries were up late through the night scheming how to grab more power, Jesus was praying to his father and downloading holy instructions for the next day. Father God revealed to Jesus every person he would heal and every word that he would speak the next day.
And then Jesus knew when his good work was completed. That’s why he cried from the cross, “It is finished!” He had satisfied every requirement for us to gain eternal life through him. By his death and resurrection, Jesus made new creatures of all who believe. Forever, we will be known as the redeemed, “With your blood you purchased people for God from every tribe, language, people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9b ISV) Well done, Jesus!
Jesus was glad to finish his job on earth so that Father God would place him as our advocate in heaven. Then he filled us with his holy spirit. In this way, God gifted us with assurance and boldness to do his will. But what does that look like in our everyday living? “… Whoever continually keeps his commandments is the kind of person in whom God’s love has truly been perfected. This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God: the one who says that he abides in him must live the same way he himself lived.” (1 John 2:5-6 ISV)
Jesus, our perfect savior, calls us to follow him. He calls us to be good stewards of all that God has granted to us. His word explains that he is looking for us to be faithful stewards. One day, Jesus asked a pointed question, “When the son of man comes, will he find faith?” Let’s be determined to hold on to the faith passed down to us from David who battled the giant and Daniel who conquered the lion’s den. Jesus revealed that a day would come when he will say to us as we stand before his throne, “Well done, good and faithful servants!” We can finish well, if we follow him in all his ways.
Barbara Brown is a member of the ministry team at the Lighthouse Church of God.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.