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OBU Students Challenged in First Chapel of Fall Semester

August 27, 2003

Speaking at the Fall Challenge, the university's first chapel of the semester, Edwards used the example of Simeon found in the Gospel of Luke 2:25-35 as the model of "a life of faithfulness."

Edwards said that Simeon, at the age of 24, received the word from the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Christ, but for the next 82 years waited for the promise without further word from God, yet remained faithful.

Like Simeon, Edwards, said, Christians can live a life of faithfulness by accepting three practices.

"First, you must commit yourself to a personal relationship with God," Edwards said. "The reason Simeon could spot God the Son was because he spent his life committed to walking with God the Father."

Edwards added that putting your faith in people, circumstances or emotion would lead to confusion and failure.

"Second, you have to connect your life to the principles of God," Edwards said. "Simeon put the Word of God into his heart and into his head and when he needed it, it was there. We're losing battles every day of our lives because we don''t know what (the Bible) says."

Edwards said that the third principle was concentration on the process of right living. To illustrate, Edwards used an oversized hula hoop. The inside of the ring, he said, represented the presence of God and His principles. He placed the hoop on the ground and stepped inside and told the students, "Don't break the ring."

"It doesn't matter if you can get away with it. It doesn''t matter if other people are doing it or if in society it's legal. The thing that matters is, do I have to break the ring to do it? Do I have to step outside the Word of God or step over the presence of God to do it? Inside the ring there will be struggles, but God is right there to help you. Outside the ring, you're on your own."

Edwards told students they could remember that concept each time they put on a ring, a belt, a bracelet or a necklace and commit that day to staying in the ring.

The chapel service began with praise music by the Jason Tompkins Band. Both the band and Edwards will speak again at 10 a.m., Friday.