ST. STEPHEN’S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Where God’s saving Word is taught in its truth and purity.
St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School | Beaver Dam, WI | 920.885.3309
Where God’s saving Word is taught in its truth and purity.
Help us to serve you by updating your address, phone, time and talents and other information for our church database by filling out this online form.Update Your Info!
I Kings 2:1-4
8th Grade Graduation
St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church—Beaver Dam, WI
You finally made it. Nine years ago this day probably was not even on your mind. As the years went by, as you moved from grade to grade, this day came into focus a little bit more. Well, it is finally here. The end of the 8th grade year, and now you look forward to high school. During this past year, and into the summer, many people will offer their advice on the approaching high school years. It will come in the form of something like these. “Enjoy those high school years because they go by way to fast.” “Get involved in as much as possible.” “In high school you will make friends for a lifetime.” The various advice can go on. You have heard it all from pastors, teachers, parents, siblings, and friends.
However, the most important directive comes from our Savior. He has plenty to say to you not only for this day but for all the days of your life. Your pastors, teachers, parents, and hopefully the rest of the class will repeat these encouraging words.
God Gives His Charge To You
Solomon literally had the keys to the kingdom handed to him. His father, David, knew his time on earth would soon come to an end. David accomplished so much during his reign as King of Israel. He subdued all of his enemies. His military strength brought peace to the boarders of Israel. God blessed them with riches. Even though Solomon would be the one to build the temple, David had all the plans ready to go. Israel was most certainly on the rise.
Solomon rose to power at a perfect time. David did not want all that power to go to his head. David knew what success brought. He fell at various times in his life. David knew temptation and how easy it is to fall. At the same time David also knew God’s love. David’s heart poured forth with thanksgiving to God for his forgiveness for all his sins. David constantly prayed for strength to lead a holy life.
David passed down those words to his Solomon, “Now, be strong and act like a man! Fulfill your duties to the Lord your God. Walk in his ways. Keep his statutes, his commands, his ordinances, and his decrees as they are written in the Law of Moses, so that you may have success in everything you do and everywhere you turn” (I Kings 2:2-3). David urged Solomon to remain strong and steadfast as he carries out his duties. This strength came not from studying other kingdoms and kings but from remaining strong in the Lord.
The most important part of Solomon’s reign would not be found in his riches, treaties with other nations, or his buildings, all of which Solomon accomplished and received. Solomon’s success for his rule would be in keeping the laws and commands laid out in the Law of Moses. Solomon had his ups and downs throughout his reign. However, in the end he came back to the realization of what was important, God’s Word.
These words provide the proper encouragement to each and everyone one of us. We pray daily in our life for the Lord to always keep his statutes and commands always before us. We ask our Almighty God to keep us firmly rooted on his promises.
These words are God’s charge to you tonight. Keep his statutes before you. This is the entire reason your parents send you to this school. It is God’s Word and his commands that guide everything. The knowledge you receive, not just in all the secular subjects, but in God’s Word build the foundation upon which to build the rest of your life.
The fight continues. The devil does not want us to remember God’s statutes and laws. It would be easy to dismiss all the things learned in this building. Our thinking can be that the church will always wait around for me while I go and do what I want. We focus on the friendships that were tested, arguments, and the bad times making us question God’s goodness and love.
Your class verse reminds us of the very same thing. You want to remain strong in the Lord because then you will not be tossed around when the waves of life come. You will not follow the latest religious thought or what everyone else is doing. You have a solid foundation. You have Christ with you.
God’s Word continues as our steadfast guide. We place our confidence on God’s Word alone to overcome all those temptations in our life. We walk in his ways all of our days. We will be strong in the Lord. When we do this in our life, our confidence overflows. God is always with us. God will help us overcome all temptations. We also know that God will keep his promises to us.
David’s charge to his son Solomon was based on God’s promises to him. God had promised to have one of David’s descendants sit on the throne forever. David’s ancestors no longer rule over Israel, but he does have an ancestor on the throne. This promise referred to the Savior who was going to come into the world.
God kept that promise. David looked forward to that promise his entire life. David knew what it meant not only for him but for all people. Jesus would come into the world to live and die for all. This great King would take away all the sins of the world. He will continue to sit on the throne for all time.
Jesus does exactly that. He sits at God’s right hand in heaven ruling all things. He watches over our every step in life. The evil of this world tries to cloud out all those comforting promises. We might feel alone in the world. Our plans that we lay out might not turn into what we originally thought.
Hopes and dreams might change. This world will throw curveballs against you. One thing will never change. God gives his charge to you to remember all his promises. You know those promises very well. When life does not turn out as planned, you know who has all the plans in place. When friends leave, you have one that will never leave.
How do you know all of this? It is the very same reason you follow his statutes. You see the love of God each day. God has saved you from sin. God has rescued you from Satan’s grasp. God has redeemed you as his child. Remember all those promises God made to you. They will keep you safe each step of the way.
God gives you his charge not only as you leave this school but as you walk in your life. Be strong in the Lord. You know his teachings and will. You know that God will never turn his back on you. Remember his promises. Even when life gets you down, remember those promises. Those promises point you to Christ every step of the way. Amen.