Sow Bountifully and Reap Bountifully - Graduates Challenged To Righteousness

May 31, 2003 02:25 PM EDT

WAKE FOREST, N.C.— The students at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary celebrated their spring commencement Ceremony, May 24. 207 graduates from 24 states and seven foreign countries were awarded associated, bachelor’s master’s and doctoral degrees; undergraduate degrees were granted by the seminary's undergraduate program, Southeastern College at Wake Forest.

The ceremony opened with a prayer from the governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue, and a farewell speech from the Seminary’s president, Paige Patterson.

Citing 2Corinthians 9, Patterson advised the students to sow bountifully in their lives to reap bountifully. Sow bountifully, he said, in Christian ministry, and in the personal walks with God; only by spending time alone with God can a man or woman hope to effectively minister in the world he added.

Sow bountifully in courage and faith, he said, "stand for what is right," he said, "even if you have to stand alone.

Sow bountifully in love, Patterson continued, "You may or may not be a great pulpiteer, but if you sow bountifully in love, then you will reap bountifully that very same thing."

Patterson also challenged the graduates to spend time in the Word of God, reminding them also to stay on the path of righteousness and morality by seeking for the truth of God.

"It is imperative that we practice what we preach, he said. The result will be that you will reap bountifully in the lives of the people that you seek to serve.”

"Let me urge you to look for no earthly reward," he told the graduates. "Let me urge you to keep one eye on the flock that God has given you and one eye on the Father, and devote yourself to faith and righteousness."

By Pauline J.