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Southern Baptist Convention leader speaks at convocation

October 13, 2008 : Teresa Dunham

Dr. Johnny Hunt said a prophetic message was on his heart at Monday’s convocation — a sermon based on having the knowledge, understanding and wisdom rooted in Psalms 119:33-37.

An excerpt of the verses says: “Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end (33). Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart (34). Make me go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight (35).”

In verse 33, Hunt said the Psalmist is praying for education and asking the Lord to teach him, just as students are at Liberty University seeking to learn today. Next comes “understanding” in verse 34, but Hunt emphasized that understanding happens through obeying God’s law and having a life experience based on it. You won’t achieve understanding before you commit to do God’s will, he said.

The Psalmist then asks the Lord to “make” him follow God’s commandments. We too must pray that God will make us follow his ways, Hunt said, since the flesh is weak and often struggles against what is spiritually right.

Now is a critical time to start making the right decisions and living according to God’s word, Hunt told the students.

“Wisdom is a gift from God. It comes from Heaven,” Hunt said.

Plenty of Christians start out with a good beginning, but some of their lives don’t end up well, Hunt said, recalling Biblical men such as Lot and Samson. If students are expecting a good ending in their lives, now is the time to start building it, he said.

“I don’t know what you want to do with your life, but if you’re waiting for whatever you want to do to begin, it already has,” he said. “You’ve got to begin with the end in mind.”

Dr. Johnny Hunt is president of the Southern Baptist Convention, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., and a member of the Board of Trustees at Liberty University.