Friday, May 26, 2023


Colossians 3:13-14

“Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” Colossians 3:13-14 (MSG)

The MSG version of these verses is certainly different, but I like the straightforwardness it offers. We are in a month of transition as graduating high school and college seniors wrap up school and embark on their next level of education or start careers. We’ll be celebrating our high school seniors this Sunday in church. Inspiring commencement speeches from transformational leaders will be broadcast. One speech that stands out to me is from Franklin Graham at Liberty University in 2020. Here’s a snippet:

“A lot of the things you could do today, society says it’s OK. But God doesn’t say it’s OK,” Graham said. “We try so hard to look like culture, act like culture, smell like culture, to taste like culture, but God has called us to be holy. We’re not to be like the rest of the world.”

Graham recalled the story of Daniel who chose to follow God in the midst of impossible circumstances. King Nebuchadnezzar had laid siege and destroyed Daniel’s city of Jerusalem around the time Daniel was 16. The king sent much of Israel’s population into captivity in Babylon, but hand picked several young men, including Daniel, to serve in his administration. Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego chose to serve the Lord despite being surrounded by pagans. “They stood out alone,” Graham said. “It would’ve been very easy to say, ‘Listen, God understands. He doesn’t want us to hurt, to suffer. He’s put us in a position of authority, we’re some of the leaders here in the country. We’ll just go along, we’ll just take one knee, half a bow and that’d be OK.’” But they didn’t. 

King Nebuchadnezzar was livid and had them thrown into a scorching furnace. They survived, and were seen walking in the inferno with a fourth man who appeared to be the Son of God.

“God delivered them, and it goes back to what they purposed in their heart,” Graham said. “All through your life, God can deliver you from all kinds of circumstances if you’re willing to honor Him; and willing to take a stand even though people may ridicule you, accuse you and say all kinds of things about you.”

All of us can learn a thing from Daniel as well as Colossians 3:13-14. May we be full of integrity, even-tempered, steadfast in our faith, humble, and wear love every day.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Will you take a stand like Daniel and his friends when the time comes?
  • How do you feel on the days you’re following God versus the days you’re following what our culture deems important?
  • Where do I feel the need for strength? Where, what or with whom am I struggling?


Dear God, please be with our seniors as they embark on new stages of their lives. Help them remember their ultimate purpose – to do your good works with the talents you’ve blessed them with. May we all wear love each day and do our best to honor you.


Posted by Jenna Huttenmaier

Jenna attends church with her son, Calvin, and works for UNL’s Center for Materials & Nanoscience. Favorite things include serving on church council, bargain hunting, yoga, and a good happy hour. She hopes to meet or catch up with you soon!

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