When I went to my computer yesterday morning the first thing I saw was the announcement that evangelist, Dr. Billy Graham, had died at 99 years of age. One of his quotes had come to pass: "Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God." What a great day it was in Heaven yesterday!
Facebook is full of tributes to him and I've been blessed reading and listening to all of them. He was my daddy's age - both were born in 1918 - and his appearance even reminded me of my dad. But my dad, far less known than Billy Graham, went to be with Jesus seven years ago in 2011.
Dr. Graham inspired me to share my faith on my blog, and I wrote about it on June 30, 2013. You can read the post here. I wrote Sunday Reflection from June 2013 through September 2016, then I turned my attention to my in-home Bible study.
I loved what Dr. Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, said in her written tribute about her dad's message to the world: "Jesus is the only way to God. It's hope for the future, love for the present, and forgiveness for the past. It's fresh beginnings, unshakable joy, unexplainable peace, eternal significance, meaning and purpose to life, and opens Heaven's door." His children said what he preached publicly on platforms around the world, he lived privately behind closed doors. That's the test of integrity and authenticity.
TODAY anchor, Kathie Lee Gifford, came to Jesus Christ through Billy Graham, as did her parents and husband. Speaking on "Megyn Kelly Today" she gave an awesome tribute to Billy Graham, as well as publicly declaring her faith in Christ. If you missed it you can view it here. When asked why she's so bold about her faith, she answered: "If you had the cure for cancer would you keep it quiet? I have the cure for the malignancy of the soul and it has a name - it's Jesus. You just have to receive Him. Not a religion - but a relationship with the living God. They're so different. We don't need more religion we need more Jesus." If Billy Graham could have looked down from Heaven and heard her words, I'm sure he would have said, "Right On!"
I'm not going to end this post by saying "Rest in Peace, Dr. Graham," because I'm certain he won't be resting in Heaven. He'll be casting his crowns at the feet of Jesus, where he'll worship Him forever and ever, and he'll be talking to the disciples and the Apostle Paul, and all those who've gone on before Him.
Dr. Graham fought the good fight, finished his course, and kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for him a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give him at that day..." II Timothy 4:7-8