Motivation to Complete the Work You've Begun
The Rock Bible College just celebrated its 20th commencement ceremony for the graduating Class of 2016. This ceremony was both inspirational and commemorative in that the College was able to honor its founders Pastors Jim and Deborah Cobrae for their lifelong commitment to developing full-time ministers and ambassadors of the gospel of peace, with a professionally bound manuscript of the Christology class for—Pastor Deborah and the Cardiology 101 class for—Pastor Jim.
I am extremely proud of the graduates and the first year students for successfully completing the academic requirements for the first year of the Biblical studies program. Celebration!
In this letter, I would like to reiterate some of the things I shared during the commencement, in my charge to the graduates, to those of you who are newly enrolled at TRBC as well as to the returning students. In the year 1995 the first year of the college God had a plan to build and equip full-time ministers of the gospel, and He used Pastors Jim and Deborah to put that plan into action; now, your decision to begin as a new student or if you are returning as a 2nd-year student makes you part of that plan. As full-time ministers and ambassadors of the gospel of peace, you are charged with the responsibility for fulfilling your part of the plan.
As a TRBC student, you will be trained as workman fit for the gospel, able to rightly dividing the word of truth. You will be trained to continue in the study of God’s word even after you have satisfied the requirements to receive your degree in Biblical Studies. It will be very important that you continually renew your mind in the Word of God so you can prove what the acceptable will of God is and fulfill the part of the plan that God places before you!
When Donald Rumsfeld was the United States Secretary of Defense, he said and I quote, "There are known knowns and known unknowns and there are things that you don't know that you do not know."
To that I say, TRBC students, "Do not set yourself up to be defined because of what you don't know." Renewing your mind is not a onetime event. You must continually apply yourself to the Classical Spiritual Discipline of Study.
The Discipline of Study incorporates two concepts:
1. "History" meaning factual data: Historical: facts; birth records, parents, education, age, weight
2. The German word GESCHICHTE which is German for "history," which means the meaning behind the event. Source/origin--the results and effects of those events and the lessons learned.
Geschichte: meaning behind the events; lessons learned, childhood influences, etc...
Therefore, when you apply yourself to the "discipline of study" you will see the factual data as well as the meanings and lessons learned behind the event. Because your thoughts become words, your words become actions, your actions become habits, and your habits dictate your future. The future you create is your destiny. Therefore, the formulation of good "thought" habits is very important to your Christian walk.
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
One of the most interesting and godly characters who ever lived was Enoch. He is one of only two people who lived before the flood of whom it is said that he "walked with God." The other was (Noah Gen. 6:9)
He is one of only two individuals who "never died", the other was (Elijah -II Kings 2:11).
The Bible describes Enoch among men, as a man of faith.
(Heb. 11:5-6) tells us, "By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
This evidence that you believed that God "is" and that He exists, is marked by the first step of faith you took when you enrolled at TRBC to learn how to know God in a more personal way.
The fact that you as newly enrolled TRBC students or as returning 2nd students will, or have attended each class session is evidence that you apply yourself to the Classical Spiritual Discipline of Study.
As I stated above Enoch was a man of faith. His faith was in "the work" of God which yielded a closer walk with God. Over your two year journey here at TRBC you will develop this same faith which will also be evident by "your" closer walk with God.
Just as Enoch had faith in God who "rewards" the diligent who search for Him; on His terms with sanctification, fellowship, and eternal life. You likewise, will receive this "same" reward because of your study and diligent search to know God in a more personal way; by sanctification; and through fellowship with one another, with the anticipation of eternal life!
Lions of the Tribe of Juda, I am saying to you God is a "rewarder" of those who "diligently" seek Him! So, for the duration of this two-year program commit to allowing yourself to be sharpened, shaped, and honed into vessels that God can use to "solve" the ministry problem He places in front of you. He has uniquely gifted each one of you to be the "solution" to a ministry problem somewhere. The harvest is great but, the labors are few. Your completion of the Biblical Studies program better qualifies you to do what God has called and gifted you to do.
Be strong in the Lord and continue in the faith and apply yourself to the Classical Spiritual Discipline of Study and God will have the same testimony about you that He had about Enoch. That, "you" pleased God!
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