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!’
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.