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On June 7, 2019, the largest graduating class in Brookfield Christian School history received their diplomas and joined the more than 600 alumni of BCS (and MCS). Twenty nine students, including two second generation students, will head to seven different area high schools in the fall.
The class chose our theme for the year, “Stand Up And Be The Example” from 1 Timothy 4:12. They asked Mrs. Melissa Jongetjes, one of the teachers who guided them through their years at BCS, to speak at their graduation. We’re sharing part of the advice she offered them as they head out to learn, to lead and to serve faithfully in God’s world.
…as followers of Christ, we are called to something more. To glorify and serve God faithfully. To follow Christ’s example.
One of the reasons I love this theme [“Stand Up And Be The Example”] is because it points us in the direction God asks us to live. So you might be wondering or thinking, “What does that mean for me as I prepare for high school? Romans 12:2 (ESV) says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” I have always loved this verse and the simple charge it gives: think differently than the world. In a simple yet profound way, God is asking each of you to think differently than the world no matter how young or old you are, what school you attend or who your friends are.
Next year when you walk into a new classroom, new hallways, meet new people, interact with different teachers, join clubs and teams remember that you are to be the example. God calls us to be the example always. Not just when we feel like it, or when it is easy and convenient.
If you want to be a good example for ALL believers, do it in “your love.” Show love to others, especially those who least deserve it. When others mistreat you, don’t stoop to their level. Be loving even when other people are unkind.The choice to serve with a glad and joyful heart isn’t always glamorous or showy, it can just be in the everyday choices that you make.
If you want to be a good example for ALL believers, do it in “your faith.” Believe that God can use you today, tomorrow and every day. The same God that shut the mouth of the lion for Daniel is the same God that will calm your fears when you walk into a new school building this fall. Believe that God can help you through anything big or small and then be willing to share. Because of your faith you get to do it with a BIG God who doesn’t change and make your faith a part of your everyday life. Celebrate God’s faithfulness!
If you want to be a good example for ALL believers, do it in “your purity.” Stay away from sin at all costs. In high school that will mean saying no to peer pressure, in relationship, to social media, parties and friendships. Seek to please God, not people. It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap or do things so others will like you. But being an example means that we look to please God instead.
You are never too young to be an example for all believers. Don’t let anyone or any decision you make in the coming years tell you anything different. Through the faithful instruction of your teachers, parents and many others from this community, you are walking out of here tonight with the ability to continue to learn, to be leaders and in doing so you can faithfully serve wherever you are.
…remember that God is near, God is present, and God is with you. While farewells and changes are inevitable, the God we serve never changes.
He cares about the details that matter to me and He cares about the details that matter to you. God can use you, no matter how young you are. So, why wait? Be excited for this next chapter and it is my prayer today that you are reminded that you are never too young to be an example for others. Pray that God will change you to reflect more of Him so that He can use you to do amazing things. And never forget who you are in Christ and follow His example.