Saturday, November 7, 2015

Billy Graham's 97th Birthday

On Billy Graham's 97th birthday, an appreciation....

First of all, years before I came to faith in Christ, it was Dr. Graham’s preaching via his televised ‘crusades’ that planted the seeds for me in terms of coming to know that I was lost and needed a Savior.   Then as the Spirit drew me to faith, it was his book, “Peace with God,” that helped me to understand how to respond to the Gospel in repentance and faith, and what it meant to follow Christ as a new believer.

Also, his own powerful preaching was an early lesson to me about the centrality and efficacy of preaching God’s Word — a lesson that has stayed with me in my own pastoral ministry.

Of course he is not perfect, and I haven't agreed with all his ministry decisions, but overall his integrity, authenticity and faithfulness (along with that of his late wife, Ruth) has always been a heartening example to me. And when there were times that non-believers would point to the failures and hypocrisies of other ‘televangelists’ in order to cast reproach on the Gospel, I could always gently remind them of Billy Graham.

And so I’m sure there are so many, many others who are like me when I say that, when it comes to Billy Graham, I thank God every time I think of him.

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