2023 Graduation Magazine

CLASS OF 2023 LINCOLN DAILY NEWS.COM MAY / JUNE 2023 Page 55 YOUR OBEDIENT SERVANT Commencement 2023 Col 3:12-17 In 1966, I met Dr. Bell for the first time. Dr. R. M. Bell was the imposing president of Johnson Bible College, and I was a freshman, newly arrived from Belgium. The American immigration office required that I get his signature to validate my presence in the United States as a legitimate student at an American school. Without his signature, I could be deported! I stood before him in his spacious office. As he slowly signed his name, he paused briefly and looked at me intently and asked me: “Do you understand how important a name is?”Totally out of the blue! And then, as he handed me the important document I depended on to be able to stay, he said: “Receiving the name of Jesus Christ is the most important signature you’ll ever need.” I have never forgotten that penetrating question and that important challenge. This morning, as you graduate from this Christ-centered school, I want to ask you a simple, oft repeated question: “what is your name?” You know what I mean: “What is your signature of who you currently are and of who you plan to be?” Completing this milestone in your education is a great achievement! Congratulations. May you never forget the feeling of completion and satisfaction you have from a job well done! But I would like you also to remember this important question: has our Lord Jesus Christ also signed off on your diploma, on your character, and on your intended mission in life? Like many others in his day, President Abraham Lincoln ended many of his personal letters with this significant signature: “Your Obedient Servant, Abe.”Therefor the title of my testimony and challenge is this: “Your Obedient Servant.” I hope that your heart this morning gives that signature to our Lord Jesus Christ! As we reflect on the unique signatures each of us are choosing in our lives, I want you tell you why and how being “the obedient servant Continued --