Yesterday morning, as I drove with a couple of the kids downtown for a doctor’s appointment, I heard the word that Billy Graham had passed away. Tears instantly sprung from my eyes which turned into sobs. I was thankful I had tucked in a little package of kleenex just before leaving because I had a hard time trying to pull myself together when we reached the doctor.
There was no one like him alive today: a man dedicated to telling the entire world about the simple, life-changing message of Jesus Christ. He was courageously bold, sincerely, simply and unashamedly declaring the truths of God’s holy word while displaying impeccable integrity with never even a hint of personal scandal to mar his name. I readily acknowledge that he wasn’t perfect, but none of us are! He truly was a friend to all, well-respected across the boards around the world and with our presidents over the years.
Truly, earth’s great loss was heaven’s tremendous gain. In our family, he really was one of our heroes. We respected him so much that we actually named our second son after him: Graham. There is no doubt Billy Graham had one mission: To tell the entire world about the life-changing Jesus who died for all.
Over my life whenever a Billy Graham crusade was televised I would watch. Each time he finished preaching to the thousands gathered, “Just As I Am” would begin to play and Billy Graham would give an invitation for anyone to ask Jesus into their hearts. Hundreds would pour forward and over the years I have met many, many, many people who accepted Christ as their personal Savior at a Billy Graham crusade or while watching one on television. In 1988 Dw and I had the enormous privilege of participating in a Billy Graham Crusade in Buffalo where we were living as prayer counselors. It was incredible! There was even an international ministry which invited internationals studying in the United States to come to Buffalo to attend conferences during the day and the crusade at night – through interpreters. We opened our home and two students from China of all places(!) who had just arrived for studies in the States came and stayed with us for a week so they could attend. We prayed in earnest that they would understand how much Jesus loves them! Of course we knew zero Chinese (still don’t know much) but we had a beautiful time with them sharing our lives. We have prayed for them over the years.
Billy Graham spent his life sharing the message of Jesus Christ because he knew that Jesus Christ is the only answer! I think of my own life and know that had it not been for Jesus, I would not be typing this.
I am eternally grateful that as a little girl I was told about Jesus and how He had died for my sins and receiving His sacrificial gift on the cross gave me the opportunity to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Although I was little I was very much aware that I was a lousy sinner. My life was a complete mess!!
Just like it was yesterday, I remember tears plunking away as I prayed to ask God to forgive my sins and Jesus to come into my heart and be my best friend. He came in at that moment and I am certain that if it were not for that day, I probably wouldn’t even be here.
Over the years, as I read my bible and spent time with Him in prayer I came to understand how much God truly loves me. Asking Him into my heart did not mean that I no longer sinned. No, I still made sinful choices at times, but I have always found forgiveness at the foot of the cross that my Savior died for me (and you) on. Having Him as my Savior and Lord means that I spend my days wanting to serve and please Him because of how thankful I am for His saving grace! He set me free from some pretty awful stuff!
Maybe you are wondering if God could really love you. Perhaps you have done some really lousy things in your life too. Or maybe you are even thinking that your life is empty and questioning what we are really here for anyway? Well Jesus died to set us free from our sinful past, our sinful choices and our self-absorbed ways. He died and rose again so that we could know true peace, true love and true joy! He put us here to have relationship with Him because He loves us so very much!! Once we ask Him to be our Savior we become His hands and feet on earth!
I cannot imagine my life without my Savior. He really is my very best friend, He hears my whispers, He knows my thoughts and He loves me anyway! I talk to Him about everything all day long! He has always been faithful to me, even in my darkest hour. He has given me true peace in spite of heartache and pain and He is the one who fills me with His joy!
If you would like to know more about Jesus, email me: APlaceCalledSimplicity@yahoo.com Subject: Jesus