PhD Program Chair Dr. Mark Wagner Exhorts Students to Focus, Let Jesus Lead

March 04, 2019

Olivet University (OU) Riverside main campus welcomed guest speaker Dr. Mark Wagner, Committee Chair and Director of Olivet's PhD program, to deliver God's word at last Wednesday's Chapel service.

Emphasizing on Jesus and the journey each believer should take, Dr. Wagner's sermon drew from Hebrews 12:1-2 which said, “God has a special journey for everyone.” To inspire young souls and remind them of their commissions, Dr. Wagner shared three points that each student should know and follow as a believer. Firstly, lay off the things hindering us and the sins that easily entangle us. Secondly, run with perseverance the race God has marked for us. Thirdly, fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.

Dr. Wagner explained the first point by quoting an example from his own life experience when he was on a vacation in Germany. From the trip, he realized that there are a lot of stuff in between our relationship with Jesus. He encouraged all students by saying, "In Christ, we all have a new identity. We are sons and daughters of God. So, do not take the burdens with you. Lay off and give it to Jesus."

The second point Dr. Wagner stressed upon was to run the race God has marked for His people with perseverance.

"When God created us, He even had plans for our lives. We need not go too fast. We just needs us to go with our pace. God has a great calling for His people. Walk the journey with faith and you will find true joy and peace in the Lord."

Touching on his third point, Dr. Wagner encouraged OU students to set their eyes only on Jesus so that they don’t lose orientation. Jesus always reminds His people to turn back to Him. In Christ, we have the right orientation to go where He is leading us.

Furthermore, commenting on the spiritual atmosphere of OU, Dr. Wagner said, “I am very glad that students at Olivet University have a lot of set standards to get together and refocus on Jesus.“

In the end, Dr. Wagner encouraged Riverside main campus students and staff with these words, “If you want to be a faithful person, you need to lay off the things hindering you and focus on Jesus. He will take you to a place where you have never imagined. God has a journey for you. Trust in him.“

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