Julie Powers gave the senior class valedictory address, “You Can’t Do It Without Him,” at the September 1, 2019 graduation of the Faith Builders International Ministerial Academy (FBIMA) in De Soto, KS. The audio and transcript of the address is available below. You can also view the full church service in the video at the end of this post (Julie’s address starts at timestamp 9:00).
Turn with me to John 15. The purpose of this academy is to prepare its students for their ministry calling. And it does this very well. All the homework, all the lectures, all the book reports and speeches have given me a tremendous grounding in the Word of God. I am grateful for this, and I want to thank my pastors for the foresight and follow through that brought about this academy.
But as I stand here in cap and gown, there is something that has become crystal clear to me over the last two years. It is simple and overarching. It is this: You can’t do this life without Jesus. You can’t have a successful and enduring ministry without Him. You just can’t. Jesus said this Himself in John 15: Verse 5.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
For without Me, you can do nothing. That is an absolute statement. But, it is even worse than that. Verse 6:
6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
A life without Jesus is a meaningless, withered life that will eventually end in ashes. Every one of us knows that we are meant for significance. Humans are special, powerful, and relational beings. We were made that way and deep within each of us we know this. A life that ends in ashes as John 15:6 concludes is a universal and eternal waste. Deep inside each of us, we know this is true.
Without Me you can do nothing. But with Jesus, we are significant, special, powerful, relational beings. Life in Christ is something important and eternal. My relationship with Jesus gives me power and insight that I cannot generate on my own or tap into by any other source. My life’s purpose, my ministry’s purpose, is to bear fruit, to have an impact, and to draw others into their own relationship with Jesus.
The academy coursework culminates in a ministry positioning paper. This paper is the road map for my ministry. My ministry is bigger than me, but I am not afraid of it. Even though I can do nothing without Jesus, with Him, I have all the resources I need. I have the Holy Spirit. I have everything salvation bought for me and everything the Bible promises me.
In talking about the true value of salvation and how men will tend to resist it, turn to Mark 10:26-27. Jesus just told his disciples that it is really hard for those who depend on themselves – on their money or their intellect or their own strength – to be saved. The disciples acted the same way we do. Well, if the connected and educated can’t be save, who can?
26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?”
27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
With Jesus, all things are possible. With salvation, your real life begins. Accepting Jesus as the Lord of my life not only guaranteed me a place in heaven, it gave me access to everything I need right now to have an impact, to be fruitful.
You can’t do this life successfully without Jesus, so stop trying. Whatever has been rolling around in your head that is making you hesitate about Jesus, those things are not real. The worries and the fears and the pride are all lies. They completely disappear when the light of Jesus is ignited in your spirit. You have nothing to fear and everything to gain when you ask Jesus into your heart. You can do it! Pastor?
Prayer of Salvation
Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21). I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life according to Romans 10:9-10: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead.
I am now reborn! I am a Christian—a child of Almighty God! I am saved! You also said in Your Word, "If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: HOW MUCH MORE shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13). I’m also asking You to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues as You give me the utterance (Acts 2:4). In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
For more information about FBIMA, please visit https://www.facebook.com/faithbuildersinternationalministerialacademy/ or https://www.buildfaith.net/fbima.