September 3, 2003
Oklahoma Baptist University’s Convocation, the traditional opening of the school year, included a charge to the students from President Mark Brister to sow generously with their time at OBU to gather a generous harvest.
Citing 2 Corinthians 9:1-12 as his text, Brister used the example of a member of a church at which Brister was pastor to encourage students to invest their lives wisely.
The young church member, Kevin, suffered from cystic fibrosis. Though the dread disease would weaken him frequently, he used his strength to encourage and usually younger CF patients at Texas Children’s Hospital instead of using the time selfishly.
Brister asked the students in Raley Chapel also to be givers.
"What will you do at OBU?" he asked. "You have to decide if you are going to be a giving person. We live our lives either to give or to get. Did you catch what Paul said in verse 1? It should be the nature of Christians to be givers."
Brister also acknowledged that though giving is expected, accountability should also be expected and that those who give generously will be rewarded generously.
"You will reap from your education at OBU as much as you put into it," he said. "Those who give their lives generously will receive generously."
According to the Scripture, Paul also told his audience that God wants his followers to give cheerfully and joyously.
"When you are familiar with the Master's work then you are happy to give," Brister said. "It is not a burden."
Brister reminded the students that the benefits of the reaping come from God and not from a lesser source. The passage said that "God is able to make all grace abound toward you so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
"Can you claim that promise in your life?" Brister asked. "You have the adequate resources within you through Jesus Christ to meet the demands of college life and life itself."
At the end of Kevin's life, those who knew him knew he had gotten the most out of life, Brister said, because had given the most he could.