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‘Make a difference’ for Christ, SBC president tells Palm Beach grads

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (BP)–Southern Baptist Convention President Jack Graham encouraged Palm Beach Atlantic University graduates to be “light illuminating a darkening culture and salt penetrating a decaying culture” during a baccalaureate service at the school May 2.

“PBA is a testament to what the Lord is doing,” said Graham, who served as pastor of First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach from 1981-89.

Now pastor of the 21,000-member Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, Graham is serving a one-year term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, an association of some 42,000 independent churches. He was elected to the post in June 2002 and is expected to be nominated and elected to a second one-year term this summer.

Preaching from Matthew 5:13-16, Graham told the students that effective Christians create a thirst and desire for people to know God.

“You didn’t get prepared by this institution to just make a living, but to make a difference for Jesus Christ,” Graham told them.

“You have the opportunity to be the next great generation,” he said. “Jesus wants us to maximize our influence in the world. That’s why He put us here.”

Christians can lose their influence by compromising or containing their message, Graham said. As lights reflecting God’s love, Christians are to be conspicuous like a light on a hill — consistent, compelling and consuming in their radiance.

Palm Beach Atlantic University is a comprehensive Christian university in downtown West Palm Beach with an enrollment of 2,800. Founded in 1968, the school offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: SINGING.

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