Lessons for Life
It’s graduation time! What a milestone for young people – and older ones, too! What lessons do we want our graduates to remember as they embark on a new phase of their lives?
Here are a few “Lessons for Life” that I’d like to pass along.
1. Put the Big Rocks in First.
In First Things First, Stephen Covey tells a story that one of his associates heard at a seminar. The seminar presenter pulled out a wide-mouth gallon jar and placed it next to a pile of fist-sized rocks. After filling the jar to the top with those rocks, he asked, "Is the jar full?"
The group replied, "Yes."
He continued to add different things to the jar: gravel, sand, and finally water. After each addition, he’d ask the same question: "Is the jar full?"
Then he asked the group for the point of this illustration.
Someone replied that you could always fit more things into your life if "you really work at it."
"No," countered the speaker. The point is, if you don't put the big rocks in first, "…would you ever have gotten any of them in?"
We must put the “big rocks” in our lives first – the things that matter most. The most important rock is GOD. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). The “Big Rocks” – the priorities of our lives – should be: God, our family, the church, our Christian service, and our jobs.
2. Remember, The World Does Not Revolve Around You.
It has been said, “A person wrapped up in himself makes a mighty small package.” Our proper priorities should be: God first (Matthew 6:33), others second (Philippians 2:3-4), and ourselves last (Matthew 22:37-39). Remember the letters of the word “joy” - Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. A person who is self-centered is off-center.
3. Consult Your Map Frequently.
Have you ever been hiking on a trail and got lost? I have! My fellow hikers and I were relieved when we finally found a map. Then, we could locate our current position, our proper destination, and the way to get there. These are the very things that God’s Word does for us. It tells us:
Our current position: we’re lost without Christ! See Ephesians 2:11-13.
The greatest destination: Heaven. See Revelation 21:1-4.
The Way to get to heaven: Jesus. See John 14:6.
Jesus died on the cross for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:1-3). God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
We should always use God’s Word as the map for our lives. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Consult the Map frequently and follow Jesus all the way to heaven.
-- David A. Sargent