February 21, 2018

Goodbye for Now, Billy Graham

"America's Pastor" Billy Graham has passed at age 99. It's a sad day for American Christians and many around the world, but he is resting in the arms of Jesus. I love this quote from him, 

"Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”

That said, what's far more important is that he focused on the message of Jesus Christ and him alone. For years, he has been faithful to proclaim that Jesus is the only way to God, the only way to eternal rest in heaven, and that the ways of man and any other religion are useless. 

Billy never swayed from calling sin for what it was and reminding people that Jesus' death on the cross was the only payment for our sin, moving us from a place of shame to a place of honor as part of God's family. All because of God's great love for the human race, Jesus was straightforward and plain about it. (See the book of John chapter 14.) Billy never forgot that. It was due to God's love Jesus was sent and His death and resurrection only proved He was who he said he was.

Here's Billy's final prayer for the world given on his 99th birthday last November:

""I've been praying that we might have a spiritual awakening," Graham said. "I think that becomes possible only as individuals surrender their lives afresh and anew to Christ."

There's a reason why American Presidents during his lifetime requested an audience with him to provide prayer and counsel. The man was not perfect, but he was wise, focused, and attempted to live a life of integrity. I, for one, will miss his influence on our nation and its leaders.


Matthew said...

Your blog is the first place I am reading this. Beautiful tribute! I remember one of my favorite bands, Daniel Amos and the alter egos the Swirling Eddies wrote a song simply titled, "Billy Graham." Those lyrics and acoustic melody were the first thing I thought of reading your blog... and here are those simple lyrics thanking Billy for his simple straightforward message of the gospel!

"I don't know about those other guys
There's something in the back of their eyes
But Billy, you're the man who don't use slight of hand
Ain't wearing no disguise
I love you, Billy

I love the simple things you say
And you never seem to get in the way
No one is quite like you
Compassionate and true
'Just as I am,' I say
I love you, Billy."

I love you too Billy and I am forever grateful for how you displayed and delivered Christianity to a dying world. Many have been saved and came to know Jesus to the tune of "Just How I Am."

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

Mark Taft said...

Thank you, Matthew, for reading and for your kind comments. Billy was one of a kind. May we who follow Jesus also be faithful to our mission- right where He placed us!