- (Photo: Twitter/koinonia77)
NFL quarterback Tim Tebow's recent convocation speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., which attracted nearly 10,000 students, centered around the importance of fulfilling one's personal goals while striving to be a servant to God.
"There are a lot of people who are going to tell you that you can't, that you shouldn't, that you couldn't," Tebow told the students at Friday's convocation, according to the university's official website.
"Most of the time those are the people that didn't, that couldn't, that wouldn't ... But you can, because we serve a big God and your goals should be as big as the God we serve," Tebow added.
Tebow took his talk a step further, encouraging students to seek greatness by understanding their obligation to serve God.
"You want to be great? Be a servant. You want to be great? Humble yourself," Tebow told the students, many of whom reportedly lined up in front the university's Vines Center at 4 a.m. on Friday to get the best seats for the athlete's talk.
Tebow ultimately encouraged the students to have passion in whatever path they choose.
"You know you have real passion about something [when] you are willing to sacrifice," Tebow said. "Are you willing to sacrifice? Are you willing to give up your time, are you willing to give up your effort, and ultimately, are you willing to give up your life for your relationship with Jesus Christ?" he posed.
Tebow concluded his speech, saying: "In the end, football is just a silly game. Greatness comes from serving."
Students at Liberty University expressed their high anticipation for Tebow's talk via Twitter, referring to the NFL quarterback, who currently plays for the New York Jets, as an "amazing, inspirational role model."
"I honestly do think Tim Tebow is an amazing man of God. Thankful for the chance to hear him speak," tweeted one Liberty University student.
Videos posted on YouTube show lines of students waiting to hear Tebow speak stretching for multiple blocks outside Vines Center.
The private, Christian college, which is considered to be the largest evangelical university in the world, has been described by The Washington Post as an "evangelical mega-university."
In addition to Tebow's highly-anticipated speech, which was closed to the public, the school will also feature several more promising convocation speakers in the near future, including Judah Smith, pastor of The City Church in Seattle, Wash.; LeCrae, a Christian hip hop artist; and Jefferson Bethke, a spoken word poet known for such YouTube hits as "Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus."
Tebow's stay at Liberty University extended into the weekend when he gave a presentation at the Wildfire Weekend for Men conference, also held at Vines Center and featuring other well-known Christian men such as Willie Robertson from A&E's "Duck Dynasty" reality show, and former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz.
The weekend's conference, which centered on the subject of one's relationship to nature and God, quickly sold out to a crowd of 10,000 males, and Tebow's speech reportedly revolved around a testimony of his personal faith.