September 28, 2016 : By Drew Menard - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Taking the stage at Liberty University Convocation on Wednesday, Dr. David Jeremiah stirred the crowd to passionately engage God’s purpose for their lives.
Jeremiah was welcomed back to Liberty, where he has been visiting since the 1970s, by his longtime friend Dr. Ed Hindson, distinguished professor and dean of Liberty’s Rawlings School of Divinity.
Hindson gave students a personal introduction to a man who is known around the world for his television and radio ministry, Turning Point, and as a best-selling author and the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in the San Diego area. Jeremiah is the grandfather of freshman David Todd, a member of Liberty’s football team.
“He is a man of intelligence, integrity, of passion, and commitment,” Hindson said. “(Jeremiah) is the epitome of a pastor — a brilliant man with a heart for God, and a love for people, and a ministry that touches the world.”
As he began his message, Jeremiah looked back to his youth, when he chose Colossians 3:23-24 as his “life verse.” The passage says, in part, “Whatever you do, do heartily as unto the Lord, and not unto men.”
“I committed myself to never look back,” Jeremiah said of his decision to live life with no regrets.
Jeremiah challenged students to put God at the forefront of their lives and follow Him with fiery ambition. Too often, Jeremiah warned, Christians want God to serve as a security blanket to protect them from life’s struggles, which then prevents them from taking risks and living an enriching life.
“It seems today there are so many of us in our churches that are so afraid of being on fire for Jesus Christ,” he said. “Yet in every other area of life we laud wholeheartedness. We are enthusiastic about entertainment and sports, but much of our Christian experience seems kind of dead and cold, without much zeal and without much enthusiasm.”
Like it says in Colossians, Jeremiah told students, they should give their all in everything they do, even the mundane chores.
“We are to dive into all of our tasks fully engaged with each one,” Jeremiah said, encouraging the crowd to not compartmentalize their lives. “The Christ way is the all-encompassing way; there are not sections of life: our Christian life, our student life, our athletic life. If you know Christ and He is on the throne of your heart (then) He runs everything from the center.”
Living boldly sold out for Jesus is not easy, Jeremiah acknowledged, but for those willing to endure the hardships, he said it is the most rewarding way to live. He differentiated having a job or a career from having a calling, the latter being the only truly fulfilling work in life.
“If you are a Christian, you have a calling,” Jeremiah said. “If you are doing a job or a career you can’t live life with passion. But if you know in your heart that God has called you to do something, a wonderful thing happens to you. You become proactive, you take initiative.”
Jeremiah told the students to not get stuck worrying about the future, but to instead follow God’s leading in the present.
“Do what you know to do. If you do what you know to do, God will help you to know what to do next,” he said in closing. “I am not talking about knowing where you are going to be 10 years from now or five years from now, I am talking about living for God every day, one day at a time, listening to the Spirit of God and doing what He tells you to do.”
After speaking, Jeremiah stayed to interact with students and sign advance copies of his upcoming book, “Is This The End?”
Convocation also included a passionate time of prayer as LU Shepherds led students in praying for hurting families in the Liberty community, racial harmony and justice in America, and for the persecuted church.
Students were also given a look at the upcoming film, “I Am Not Ashamed,” based on the life of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history. Scott was targeted specifically because of her faith.
After showing the film trailer, Masey McLain, the actress who plays Scott, shared how the role impacted her life. She said Scott may have been an average teenager, but she was determined to make an impact on the world. This began with how she lived her life, touching others with kindness as she followed Christ. Though Scott’s life ended after she refused to renounce her faith, its influence has only increased. Her funeral was, at that time, the most viewed funeral in CNN history and her life is once again inspiring countless lives through a powerful feature film.