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Graduation 2020

Eric Walsh


If you or someone you love is graduating in this year of uncertainty this is a reminder that God is in control.  This graduating class has been birthed into a time of difficulty but God is preparing you for great things for Him.


Eric Walsh

Pastor and Physician



  • July 9, 2020
    6:30 PM
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All right Greetings and welcome to the graduation ceremony I am Dr Eric Walsh and I've been invited by my cousin Barbara your superintendent and I am happy to be with you all for this festive occasion as is obvious these are not normal times and so even here at the church I am standing in a pool plexiglass protection. To give the message but we're going to we're going to give the message anyway this is a time of celebration it's a time of reflection. And a time for the contemplation of what God is going to do with each one of your lives as you move forward after reaching this milestone so I want to thank the Southeastern Conference of 70 of Venice all the people in the Education Department the conference President and all of the leadership. And each one of the parents that of found a way to stick through it with their child and get them either through elementary school all the way up through university and so praise God for all of you I've been asked to give a few words as a commencement speech and. I will not be long but I do want to give some words of encouragement of the graduated many times high school college 3 graduate degrees so I understand kind of the spirit of what commencement ceremony is supposed to be like. But I also noted some of the some of the best advice you get is often in these situations because it's an opportunity as you celebrate to really be forward thinking so I'm going to ask you to turn your Bible to 1st Corinthians chapter 9 and we're going to read verses 24 through 27 many of you for pearls of wisdom that I've learned in my academic and professional career. And then we can then we'll go on with the ceremony before I get into the Word of God Let us just pray Father God we thank you for this opportunity to study your word Lord I thank you for all that you do for us Lord thank you Lord for your patience with us and I thank you lord that you are better to us than we are to ourselves I thank you for the graduates whether they're graduating from kindergarden 5th grade 8th grade 12th grade college or university I think you lord it so many young people. Are moving up in the educational ladder Lord and have made these accomplishments the Father God as we study a word now I just ask that you speak through me let these not be my words let them be yours this is our prayer and Jesus is precious and holy name Amen. So graduating class of 2020 I tell you this is probably one of the most difficult maybe the most difficult year to graduate in recent history. This pandemic has set the world upside down and in many ways the world won't ever be the same I do believe we'll go back to quote unquote normalcy but many of you are going to remember this you'll tell your children and grandchildren about this if the Lord does not come 1st. And I want you to relish that the you are sitting in history not just in terms of the pandemic but also in terms of the protests and uprising that has happened in the country you are sitting at a very. A very serious time in history and one of the ways that you must look at it besides just kind of academically professionally or historically is I want you to also look at this time prophetically you are a generation a class that is being bird into new opportunities at a time. When we are we are in a prophetic stream is very significant and hence the words that I'm going to share with you now in 1st Corinthians Chapter 9 in verse 24 The Bible says no you not that they which run in a race run all but one receives the prize so run that you may attain $25.00 Paul says an every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown but we and incorruptible fall in verse 30 s. and to verse $26.00 as I therefore so run not as uncertainly So fight I not as one that beats the air he says in verse 27 but I keep under my body. Bring it into subjects unless that by any means what I have preached to others I myself should be a castaway So if I had to name our message tonight it would be the races just beginning we graduate sometimes you think you finished there are a lot of people who lay down the baton at graduation and never reach the potential that they have in Christ Jesus many will will stop rest on their laurels and not finish the race and that is not just academically it's spiritually if you going to admin a school there are many people many young people that when they finish their time admin is cool it's almost as if they feel they have been liberated from something and oftentimes run into the world I want to submit to you tonight that you are in a race that you can't just walk away from at least not in wisdom Paul speaking to the Corinthian church who understood the sports metaphor that Paul was using here at the time to Greeks had and I'd already started the Olympics. And Paul is using much of the language of the Olympics here some of the events that they had of course with the great what we now call Greco-Roman wrestling boxing and of course sprinting and running races as a Paul is referencing some of those sports and using this analogy because at that time a tough some young men would work their whole lives training in order to get to this a lympics and when they did the entire towns pride was on the lines of the town was excited that his young men would be going and if you won he and his family would be taken care of basically forever so it was a big deal great pride would come to the town and to the athlete and to the family so Paul understands that and so he begins these analogies that way and in verse $24.00 says no you not that they would run in a race run all but one receives the prize so run that you may obtain Paul says listen when you go to run this race only one person in the Olympics can win a race so that means everyone must run as hard as possible to be the one winner not a beautiful thing about the Christian races we can all win but you still have to run the race as hard as possible and that applies to life as well Paul says so Ron that you may obtain obtain one that crown so that the 1st lesson I want to give you is this one from a great book a book entitled good to great. And one of the lessons of the book is that good is the enemy of great what happens to a lot of people if they've done good you know if they can get seasoned low bees and scurried through school they've done good and I never pressed themselves to become great some of you as we say most of the time that are at our at our graduation some of you graduate magna Gulati some of you graduate summa Gulati some of you just graduate thank you Lawdy But the reality is God has not called you to be the tail he's called you to be the head God has called us to be excellent in what we do to put together our best efforts in order that we might be the sharpest tool that God can use for his purposes so good it is often the enemy of great or what I was at Oakwood you know college then now university and I was pre-med and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do and in my late junior early senior year from Washington d.c. representatives from the National. Fire department of national forest fire people from the u.s. force tree came to recruit and they offered a salary and benefits at the time it seemed like a fortune I was tired of going to school I was sick of classes I was done I studied so hard and worked so hard in school trying and all the other things I was doing in school and I did not want to go anymore to school and here I was now at a point where I was going to apply to medical school and add 4 more years even more difficult years then the years I just completed at 0 when they said they would pay me the salary they said I could tell you the salary at the time was $70000.00 a year which at the time was was not a bad salary and I said you know maybe I should take that salary. Maybe I should go and work in the us for story take the money take federal benefits and call this one a day that would be good but if I hadn't taken the good the good would have been a enemy of great and can you imagine it has put me in a forest in the middle of nowhere and when the bears and all kind of animals came for me I'd be out there by myself would not have been a good thing far more beneficial to take the road less traveled to take the rough side of the mountain and keep climbing I want to emphasize that each of you tonight especially those coming out of high school or just for college do not be afraid of continuing on the road the beautiful thing about graduation is it's like finishing the regular season in the n.b.a. already n.f.l. if you can get into the postseason if you get into the playoffs even if you just get in by the skin of your teeth you've got a brand new season a brand new start graduation is like the blood of Jesus it washes away all of the weakness of your past efforts if you work in the top 10 percent or 20 percent of your class here you have an opportunity now to search and chase for greatness do not blow this opportunity because good is the enemy of great God is not called you to simply be Ok and mediocre we live in a mediocre society where people are just happy getting by I'd challenge you a photo for the glory of Almighty God you'd be great great like Daniel's great. Great like Isaiah the prince of the prophets was great great like Paul wrote most of the New Testament was great great like Moses educated in the schools of Egypt and in the fields of the wilderness of the many and of the many a night. Greatness came to Moses and I want to challenge you not to just accept anything 2nd verse says no and every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown but we and incorruptible says that those that are seeking greatness and tempered in all things I want to say to you that the next thing number 2 is you need to take your life seriously the Spirit of Prophecy one of my favorite quotes and white gives is to young people and what I think she says is that once you have passed over that. The time of your youth you cannot return back to what right now seems like something you have an infinite amount of you may even feel as if you are indestructible like like like like your invincible let me tell you something all of that will fade and one day instead of being 17 or 18 you will be 35 or 40 what will you do at that time take life seriously because Paul says he beats down his body and he any brings it under into submission a lot because Paul understands the seriousness of the time as an outfit is Christian that means something for you in 2 ways number one it means that you don't have a long time to live on this earth to accomplish what God has for you the plans as Jeremiah says that he has for you but the 2nd thing is you don't have a lot of time before Christ returns. Bosses are therefore so run not as uncertainly he takes it seriously so fight I not as one that beat of the air take life's if you're not shadow boxing you're not playing around this is not practice this is the real thing when you graduate especially those who leave in your parents' house or already out of the house at take life seriously the last 2 lessons are in verse 27 the 1st one is pauses but I keep under my body and bring it into subjects. And I want you to understand that lesson number 3 is your body will conspire to kill you your body will conspired to kill you when you get out into the real world some of you young people that are now going to go off to college or finish college or even some of you going into high school the world is going to try and make you think you need things like alcohol marijuana even in a realm of romance and intimacy you want to think you need these things and let me say something if you allow it your body will conspired to kill you there's many a young man and young woman who never finished their education of course because they got caught up in a love affair they fell in love they got romantically involved they got so caught up in and being in a relationship or or with someone that it actually dashed their hopes and dreams your body will tell you you need this person or you need this to be have fun you need a drink you go to the clubs I mean let me warn you your body will conspire to kill you Paul says I beat down my body and I bring it into subjection if you're going to make good not be the enemy of your great you have to learn temperance and self-control the last thing is this. Pauses lest that by any means when I have preached to others I myself should be a castaway the word castaway there in the Greek is the Word doc a mosque adopt a mosque and the word adopt they must means disqualified poss as I don't want to preach to everybody else and then I'm disqualified some of you coming out of Adventist call you've been Sabbath school and Paphitis enquires let me say something do not take that spiritual heritage that your parents gave you and squander it do not be a doc a mosque. Do not be disqualified as you go into the world to do great and big things don't be disqualified in fact the last lesson is this one make your 1st profession your profession a faith make Christ the center of who you are and what you do when I was in medical school one of the guiding light principles that kept me going when I was tired of studying even when I was doing my doctorate in public health what kept me going is I want to god to be able to use me I wanted to be the best tool he would have I wanted to be able to reach the sick and I can tell you story after story after story of people who have been downtrodden depressed anxious that I've been able to reach with the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the love of the true physician who sits on a on a throne in heaven and I was able to introduce them to the answer to their problem I would never have had that opportunity but didn't have the lonely nights studying the disappointments of not getting the Great I wanted or the challenge of rising up and doing better the next time your 1st profession must be a profession of faith a class of 2020 You've already shown resilience. You've already survived a pandemic economic collapse you're in the middle of the throes of of of of of a revolution against injustice but let me say something it's all just beginning and I want to challenge you to what's what God has for you is greater in front of you the whatever you leave behind. Remember good is the enemy. Grabs leasts last. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w w w audio verse or.


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