Christian Living

Finishing Well – A Gift to Generations

One week ago today, when news came that Billy Graham had died, I didn’t get down in the dumps over it.  I celebrated!  In my mind, I joined the worship – not of Billy but of Jesus for the life of Billy Graham.  Billy would never want us to worship him, but rather his Savior!  His focus was always pointing others to Jesus.  That was the true pattern of his life.

I don’t think I ever knew of a more Christ-like person.  Did (or do) you?  He treated others with love and forgiveness, no matter what they had done or how they had lived.  His was a life of compassion.

Billy Graham was the most non-pretentious and humble man of notoriety in America (and I daresay the entire world).  I heard it said that, when addressed in a formal fashion, he always said, “Call me Billy.”  Many educated and successful people want to be addressed by their earned title and recognized for their accomplishment in it.  Not Billy.

He had a peaceful countenance.  How I would have loved to have met him!  You, too?

An early remembrance of Billy Graham was when I was about nine years old.  I was on my bicycle, parked in front of a house one street over from my home.  My mother had told me about the neighbor friend (who lived in the house where I sat on my bike that day).  She was saved while watching Billy Graham on television the last time he was on TV.  Her husband was traveling at the time and was saved as he watched the program in his hotel room that very same night – neither knowing until later what was happening with their spouse.  What an awesome God story that was to me!

Remembering that Billy Graham was to be on TV again that night, I scooted toward home on my bicycle so I wouldn’t miss it.  Any time he was on TV, I wanted to watch the event.  It could be a little boring at that young age, but somehow, it was captivating.

The altar call at the end was the best.  Hundreds and thousands of changed lives, going forward in faith.  Billy Graham was definitely a gifted preacher of great influence to the entire world in the 20th century.  Interesting how God left Billy Graham with us these years into the 21st century for his continued impact on a more Godless society than ever seen before in our country.

His master replied, ‘ Well done, my good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!’
(Matthew 25:23)

We all need Jesus.  Every hour.  Every day.  Even for those 0f us who already know Jesus, we need His continual presence in our life.  The lost need Him, too, and Christians are to be an example for Jesus and a witness to His Good News.  Billy was a wonderful example – second to Jesus, of course.

Dr. Graham met many influential world leaders!  What would you say to world leaders if you had the chance to meet them?

Billy Graham didn’t discuss worldly things with them.  His conversations centered around Jesus – and His free gift of forgiveness.

I imagined the party that went on in Heaven last Wednesday.  What a welcoming it must have been!  Imagine Billy running to Jesus, arms open wide, ready to embrace Him.  What joy!  And a host of angels gathered around to worship in song.  Not because of what Billy did, but what Jesus did through  Billy Graham.  He was a faithful servant who finished well.

As we think about the years of serving Christ during our fall and winter seasons of life, we want to continue in faith and finish well, right?  (How I messed up at times!)  No matter how we may have been in error sometimes, Jesus forgives us for it.  Don’t let the devil (lower case dconvince you aren’t worthy to share Jesus’s forgiveness.  May we all finish well!

Did you meet or see Billy Graham in an arena in your lifetime?  I’d love to hear about your experience first-hand.

Blessings~

Hi and welcome! It's wonderful to have fellow "embracers" during some pretty tough seasons - and some triumphant ones, too. I invite you to enroll to receive my blog posts by email so you don't miss what's coming next.

10 Comments

  • Pam Richardson

    Good morning Kim, I saw Billy Graham at Legion Field in Birmingham in May of 1972 as a high school senior! I am so glad I had that opportunity. What a life that he lived in light of eternity! But more importantly, what a Savior! Thank you for this lovely tribute! Blessings on this rainy Wednesday!

    • Kim

      Yes, he was responsible for bringing so many to Christ. What a privilege we had to know him!

      So much rain lately tells me we might have a very green spring ahead. Happy Wednesday, Pam! 🙂

  • Roxanne

    Kim, what a lovely and eloquent tribute. I was sad the world lost such a great man, but rejoiced he was home with the Lord and reunited with his beloved Ruth. We live not too far from Montreat, so the television coverage has been non-stop. I have enjoyed watching all of the stories about Billy Graham and the lives he has touched. When I was about 11 or 12, I went to one of his crusades at The Citadel, the Military College of SC. I was really too young to appreciate what it really meant, was just amazed at all the people there, the joyous singing, and how fervently he preached.

    • Kim

      Thank you, Roxanne. I agree. At whatever age, you were impacted by him, his message and ministry – like so many others. I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

  • Rhonda

    Kim, Growing up in the 70’s, if a crusade was on TV, we always watched it, although my parents may not have been actively in church at the time. Both were Christians, but due to some rocky times in both their lives relating to both having had their prior marriage (not to each other) end in divorce and that one was Methodist and the other Baptist, they did not attend church regularly. But as I said, we always sat down and watched the crusades. Anyway, one night during the invitation call, I responded in my heart as a 10 year old little girl., accepting and believing in Jesus and his work on the cross and confessing my sin. At the time, my mom and I were attending church but my father did not attend very much. I was the only child of their union but both had children from their prior marriage. Sadly, my dad did not have a good relationship with his children due to interference from his former wife’s family, etc., so my dad and I were really, really close. During this time, my dad began to go to church with Momma and me and when I shared my salvation with the church, he also elected to join the Baptist church. He was a rural mail carrier and had been listening faithfully to Christian radio programs throughout the day as he delivered the mail and had become convicted to re-dedicate his life. Coming from another denomination, the church requested that he be baptized and so he and I were baptized on the same morning. Me signifying my salvation and following with believer’s baptism and he, to join the Baptist church. From then on, my parents were faithful and lived their Christian beliefs for all to see. Both taught SS and Daddy and I sang together in the choir. At their passing, many shared stories of how they had been influenced by my parents as SS teachers. I didn’t mean to venture off course with my comments, but just to show that Billy Graham’s ministry has impacted millions for Jesus Christ, myself included. I can only imagine his home-going celebration as he saw his Savior face to face…

    • Kim

      Rhonda, thank you for sharing all of that. It’s a wonderful story and another testimony to the ministry of Billy Graham. What a wonderful way for your parents to be united spiritually in their marriage – and your involvement in it! 🙂

  • Belinda Longwith

    A beautiful tribute. I must say I’ve failed miserably in my christian walk. I have many regrets but God is faithful. What a legacy this wonderful man of God leaves behind. How are you doing, by the way. I hope this finds you feeling well and positive news coming your way.
    May God bless,
    Belinda

    • Kim

      None of us are perfectly faithful. And, yes, God is gracious. Thanks for asking about my health. It’s been a journey of test and wait and wait some more. Ha! God is guiding us through this, and we trust Him. I hope you’re having a wonderful week! 🙂

  • Robin

    I never met Billy Graham in person. But who didn’t know who he was and what he was about?! Growing up I occasionally watched him on tv (even though I was a Catholic as a child and we didn’t watch tv preachers). He was captivating. He will be missed…look what he did while he was here!! How many got saved watching him? I know Jesse Duplantis said he got saved watching Billy Graham on tv while he was in a hotel room ….living a very sketchy lifestyle as a rock star. And look at Jesse now!!!! He flies all over the world evangelizing!!!!

    • Kim

      Hi, Robin! It’s great to hear from you. Yes, Billy Graham will continue on through those he brought to Jesus. Such a great legacy! 🙂

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