Wednesday was Billy Graham’s 100th birthday.
As most of you understand, Billy handed away earlier this yr in February. Think about the get together he’s having in heaven! I used to be privileged to know Billy personally right here on earth, which was a dream come true on so many ranges. As a toddler, I watched him preach and would suppose to myself, “That is what I need to be after I develop up!” That is precisely what Billy did—he inspired individuals to like Jesus extra and to chase after Him with every little thing that they had. He was an unimaginable man with a ardour for the gospel, and that dedication to God’s phrase spilled over into each facet of his life. He cherished the Lord, he cherished his household and he cherished watching individuals’s lives be reworked by the ability of God.
As I replicate on his life, I am reminded of a time again within the early 90s after I was simply starting my ministry. Billy requested me, of all individuals, to hitch his board of administrators, and even assist help him together with his sermons. Sure, I used to be simply as shocked as you’re studying this! I labored on messages that he gave at his crusades across the nation, and I am unable to start to explain to you the immense pleasure I had in and I am unable to start to explain to you the immense pleasure I had in being part of that course of. It was actually one of many nice honors of my life.
As superb and unmatched as Billy’s sermons had been, probably the most unimaginable and intriguing factor about him needed to be his humility. Billy did not suppose a lot of himself, however he at all times thought a lot of God’s phrase and he took it critically. He did not have time to boast or brag. He was too busy learning scripture to fret about getting credit score. He was a devoted servant by way of and thru.
Years in the past, in Portland, Oregon, I had the chance to accompany Billy Graham to certainly one of his crusades. On an evening that might be a file attendance, I drove over with him to the occasion. As I recall, Billy’s long-time pal T.W. Wilson was driving. I sat in entrance, and Billy and his son Franklin had been in again.
After we arrived on the stadium and Billy made his option to the platform, I used to be struck by the expressions of awe on individuals’s faces. It was as if Moses had been passing by way of their midst.
Billy, nevertheless, appeared fully unimpressed with all of the adulation. He bought up and delivered a robust message, after which, when he was executed, all of us piled into the automobile to drive again to the lodge. As a fellow preacher, I felt like I ought to say one thing good about his message that evening. So, I rotated in my seat, checked out him within the again seat, and stated, “Billy, that was an awesome message tonight.”
“It is simply Gospel,” he replied.
I turned again round, pondering to myself, I used to be simply making an attempt to supply him a praise. Possibly I ought to say one thing extra particular. I turned to the again seat once more and stated, “I actually favored the half the place you stated, “He can re-sensitize your conscience.” He checked out me and stated, “Effectively, He can.” I turned again round a remaining time and thought, okay, positive, I am not providing him one other praise!
When our lives come to an finish, it will not matter what sort of automobile we drove, how a lot cash we had, or what number of promotions we bought at work. It will not matter what you obtained, however reasonably what you gave away. It is not how many individuals you knew that is most necessary, however what number of you led to Christ. Let’s all consider our lives as we speak in Billy’s honor. If he was right here proper now, he would not be nervous about getting birthday items, he’d simply encourage you to share the reward of salvation by way of Jesus with everybody you meet.
This is to you, Billy. Thanks for paving the best way for all of us to pursue Jesus and reside lives that matter. We’ll carry in your mission to “PREACH CHRIST” till our final day.
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