June 11, 2012 • By Ed Wrather
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. - John 1:12.
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. - 1 John 3:1-3.
"...do not get the idea you're anything special. Because you're not." - David McCullough Jr. speaking to the 2012 Wellesley High School graduating class in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Sadly, I agree with David McCullough Jr. somewhat; in that it appears that students in these days whether graduating from an exclusive, private school, or from a public school have a sense of entitlement. However, is this worse today than it was thirty or forty years ago? Maybe we are just better at identifying and communicating about this issue than we were in the past. In part, we are better at this because we experienced it ourselves.
For the majority of students in schools, in the United States, they live in a some what protected environment. The egos of these students have been protected to some extent from the reality of what it will be like to live in the real world making a living. Even though, I grew up on a farm, and had my share of work on the farm; I still was not as prepared for life on my own as I would have liked to have been. I know what McCullough was trying to do, because I have tried to do the same thing in baccalaureate messages I have given. In other words, these students, maybe all students need to wake up to the fact that life is not a bed of roses; and it will be a shock, a challenge beyond anything they have faced, to leave their protected environment and face life in the real world.
What I found out, after I had left my protected home environment, was that my own abilities, my own intelligence, my own resources were not enough to survive in the real world. What I needed was something, no someone, bigger than me to enable me to live life. That someone that I needed was and is, Jesus Christ. I would not be alive today without Jesus. I would have long ago been crushed and defeated by life without Jesus walking with me through each day.
The truth is that without Jesus you are not all that special*, but with Jesus you become a very special person. Receiving Jesus as your personal Savior makes you a child of the King, and not a child of just any king, but a child of the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. When you are "born again" by receiving Jesus as your Savior, the Creator of the universe takes up residence within you (1 Corinthians 3:16). By yourself, in your own strength, life can be very difficult. However, when God Himself lives within you, when the Creator of the universe lives within you, your resources for living life are exponentially greater than anything you can imagine. That is why the apostle Paul was able to say in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
* I should say that every person upon this earth is a completely unique creation created in the image of God. Also, God loves every person so much on this earth that Jesus died for them (John 3:16). But God has much more, incredible things for the person who receives Jesus as their Savior.