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Valedictory Address 2009
CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN
Dr. Speas, Dr. Hotle, Rev. Lorimer, faculty, staff, fellow graduates, students, family and friends, . . .
We have heard much about change recently. It's all over the news, in the paper, on TV, radio, the internet. It seems like everywhere we look, we see change. We hear about change in the stock markets, change in fuel prices, changes in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan; even pirates – the one-eyed, one-handed bad guys that have been the same since childhood – are changing – in short, change is the world situation. Our country is also changing. We've elected a president that is all about change. And now we're seeing that change: change in abortion laws; change in the acceptance of homosexual marriage and embryonic stem cell research; change in hate crimes; change in gun laws; change in government spending. All around us, our world is changing rapidly. To top all that off, now our lives are changing, too. We graduate today, and our lives will never be the same again. We won't be KMBC students anymore, we'll be doing something new. The structures that kept our lives in order – dress codes, curfews, meal times – won't be set for us any more. The things we could always depend on, like Mr. Street's pop quizzes, or Dr. Speas preaching too long in chapel, won't be there any more. Change. And I hope that in the midst of all this change, we still have a little change left in our pockets.
With everything moving around to something new that we've never experienced before – some of it's exciting, some of it's frightening – it seems to confront us with the question: what truly is Change You can Believe in?
Frankly, the world has it all wrong. They say everything is up for grabs; truly believable change should affect everything. Our place in life, our income, our happiness, our success, our desires, our wishes, whatever we want should be ok. In order to accomplish that, other things must change. Morality must change, right and wrong must change, laws and legislature must change. When we get done, we find out that the only thing that has changed is truth, and we are still the same as we were before. We might have more money, more power, and more fame; but we are still lost! Let us never fall into the trap of believing in the world's view of change!
God gives us a different view of Change you can Believe in. Whereas the world says, we stay the same and truth changes. God says, truth always stays the same; we are the ones that change. In a world bombarded with change, we can rest assured that some things will never alter! God never changes! Truth never changes! God spoke the world into existence from nothing; it did not evolve by random processes. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, the sinless lamb, sacrificed and risen again to redeem us from our sins! The Holy Spirit is alive and active in our world today convincing people of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Christ is coming again someday to take His church to heaven to be with Him forever! Truth tells us certain things about our world we live in: Homosexual marriage is wrong, because God ordained marriage as one man and one woman. Premarital and extramarital sexual relationships are wrong, for God ordained sexuality inside of marriage. Killing of unborn children is wrong, because God commanded against murder. We could name many more things that the world is trying to tell us that they are ok, that these are what should change. But they are wrong. Though the whole world pass away, Truth will remain!
Here is change that you can believe in: our lives must be changed to conform to God's standard of Truth. Graduates, we came to KMBC much different than we are today. We have experienced God's transforming power in our lives. Thank you, KMBC, for giving us an atmosphere and a framework that pushed us to seek God and all that He has for us. Thank you, faculty and staff, for being godly examples and role models and encouraging us to have Passion – to really know God, to prepare for His ministry, to live and teach the message of Biblical holiness, and to evangelize and disciple the world for Christ! We have experienced that Change you can Believe in! Students, family and friends, I ask you today, have you experienced that change? I pray that if you have not, you will make it a priority today to experience the change you can believe in through Jesus Christ!
The world is searching for change they can believe in. They elected a president because of it. But they got cheated. The president can't bring the change that people need, that our country needs, that our world needs – only God can! The change the world needs comes through full surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. And fellow graduates, as we embark today, God is commissioning us to be a part of bringing that change to the world. It may be in big ways. It may be in little ways. But it will be in every way. As our theme says, we are the Fragrance of Christ, and God will spread that fragrance to a world in need, though our lives.
The change we are experiencing today is an exciting time. We have no idea the many places that God may lead us in the years to come. We have no idea the extent of what God will do with us in these upcoming days. But as we stay 100%, entirely committed to Him, we look forward with excitement and anticipation as we go from here, spreading the Fragrance of Christ everywhere we go!
Copyright and printed with permission from Daniel Lorimer, June 23, 2009. No part of this speech is to be reproduced without permission from the Author.