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from the Billy Graham Library

In His Own Words – Billy Graham to the Graduate

May 29, 2014


Spring is a season of new beginnings, celebrating life and milestones all around us, including graduation. Students work for many years to achieve this accomplishment and transition to the next stage of their lives. In 1997, Billy offered the following encouragement and challenge in the commencement address to the graduating class of Palm Beach Atlantic College in West Palm Beach, Florida.

May these words encourage the graduate in your life to commence to a new life in Christ Jesus.

“A student asked me some time ago, ‘What is the greatest surprise of your life?’ I said, ‘The greatest surprise in my life is the brevity of life.’ I never dreamed life was going to be so short. It seemed life yesterday I was in school.

Time is the capital we’ve been given by God to invest wisely. So, the question is, where do we invest it? God calls us to invest our time capital, our very lives primarily in people.

You can’t count your days but you can make your days count. You can invest whatever time is yours for a high-yield return in the lives of people whom you introduce to Christ. That’s one of your jobs.

Right now you can decide to invest your life in such a way that someday you will hear God say to you, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and share in your master’s happiness and joy.’

I’m looking forward to that day. Death holds no terrors for me. I’m going to heaven and I know it. Not because I’ve done anything good or preached to a large crowd of people or read the Bible, I’m going because of what Christ did on the cross and what God did in raising Him from the dead. And I have repented of my sins which were many and I received Him by faith and that’s what He told me to do.

Are you going to spend your life or are you going to invest it. Don’t just graduate today; commence to live a new life with Christ as your total Lord and your eyes on heaven.”

(Excerpt from Billy Graham’s commencement address at Palm Beach Atlantic College, April 1997)

“Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Jude 1:21