Jackson, professor of youth ministry at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and founder and director of the Youth Ministry Institute, spoke about Jeremiah 29:4-14 in a speech titled “Turn the Page.”
He said many tend to think the often-quoted passage Jeremiah 29:11 that states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (NIV), is about material prosperity.
Jackson said many don’t notice that the same chapter mentions the promise will be fulfilled as soon as Babylon’s 70 years are completed.
“The verse is not so much about prosperity than about perseverance,” Jackson said.
Jackson also told the graduates he hoped that “as you graduate you will be a follower of Christ that happened to be a college graduate and not the other way around.”
He said that should be the same with their career choice, saying they should be “a follower of Christ that happens to be a lawyer,” and not the other way around.
He also encouraged the students to remember in challenging times to “listen to the heart of God as he reassures you that you are going to make it.”
About 500 students graduated, including the university’s first graduates who received a bachelor of science of nursing.
Craig Schull, university provost, announced that Kristy Brown received the Vulcan Materials Excellence Award for a junior faculty member, and Jill Borchert received the President’s Award, which is presented to a senior faculty member.
Click here to see a complete list of graduates.