This past week the Christian church lost one of it greatest icons and champions of faith. Dr. Billy Graham left his temporary residence to enter his eternal home. Flocks of believers and even non-believers crowded along North Carolina highways and overpasses to witness his body’s travel from the mountains to Charlotte. I was so pleased to see this display of love and respect.
I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Graham and also attending one of his crusades. I am also blessed to have his signature on the bottom of one of my degrees which I will always cherish. He was a servant of God. He was a leader, a teacher, and most importantly…a true evangelist. In truth, I learned a great deal from him. I read almost all, if not all, of his many books. He was truly inspired. But to be honest, like any teacher, I would not always agree with every point he made. But, that was certainly the exception and in no way changed my respect and appreciation for him.
I will tell you that there were two things I most appreciated about Dr. Graham. First, it was his humility. Despite his many successes and major influence on the world and despite the many lives that came to a saving relationship to Christ as a direct result of his preaching and influence, he always remained humble and pointed people not to himself…but to the cross. That is a big deal to me. Second, was his focus. Dr. Graham meet with world leaders constantly to advise and pray. But, despite his true power of influence, he kept his focus on one thing: YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN. His was muddied in politics. He was focused on Jesus. He wasn’t side-tracked by issues, he was focused on the Gospel.
You may be surprised that Dr. Graham was not loved and cheered in all circles. But, even where he was not…he was most likely respected and honored.
I am so very thankful that this world got to experience the ministry of a farm boy from Charlotte. What a difference his life made.
How about ours?