Monday, November 13, 2017

Billy Graham Celebrates 99th Birthday, His Life, Ministry, and Legacy

screen capture from billygraham.org

LISTEN NOW! (Or WATCH FULL PROGRAM!) Birthdays are an exciting moment for anyone to enjoy. But today, we celebrate with the Graham family, Billy Graham’s 99th Birthday as we reflect on his life and the tremendous impact he has been able to have, as an evangelist, spreading the Gospel around the world for Jesus Christ. We may never know just how many people have been affected by the life of Billy Graham. Some of those were impacted were able to share, in their own words, what Billy’s life has meant to them.

As an American Commentator and former news anchor on multiple television networks, Greta Van Susteren describes Billy’s life this way; “Most people say he’s America’s Pastor, but that so understates it!” American songwriter, Michael W. Smith, known for his many contemporary Christian songs, had this to say. “If you interview, and who do you most admire in the world of everybody, whoever. Billy is always at the top.” Known for his many different coaching positions throughout the NFL, Tony Dungy expresses how Billy’s endurance throughout his life spoke to Dungy. “How he persevered over a long period of time. I think that’s impacted me the most.” Larry King, known as the host of the program ‘Larry King Live’ summed up Billy Graham’s life eloquently. “He answered the questions, but it always came back to: Christ is your savior; Christ loves you; Christ is with me.” Many other well-known personalities were also able to share and express the deep memories and impact that Billy Graham’s life has had on them.

As the personal pastor of Billy Graham, Don Wilton shares from the many years of relationship that they have shared with one another. “…one can imagine the wonderful conversations that we’ve had together over these years. It’s been such a joy to be blessed by him, and to learn from him, and to hear the things that God has placed in his heart.” Even in these late years of Billy Graham’s life, he continues to pray for Spiritual Awakening, but he points out how this unfolds. “…I think that becomes possible only as individuals surrender their lives afresh and anew to Christ, and live the Christian life wherever you are.”

Some may have never heard of Billy Graham, or ever known how to live a “Christian life”. Graham points out, how we can do so. “First, we do everything we can to follow in the steps of Jesus. We’re to live a life in which we love another, we help one another, we live according to what Jesus lived.” Graham continues, “The Holy Spirit is the one that helps us live that new lifestyle, which is one of love, gentleness, and patience, and all of these things that are the fruit of the Spirit.” In order to walk this out, we have the gift of the written Word that God has given us. “Second thing, you read His Word, the Bible, every day.” Some may not even know where to begin. Graham helps those with this difficulty by giving his advice of where to begin. “And the third thing, go to your knees and pray until you and God have become intimate friends.” From a lifetime of carrying out this wisdom, Graham describes what it has brought him in his own personal life. “I cannot describe to you the joy and the peace that He gives to you as a result of that daily routine that you have, in prayer.”

It is so encouraging and deeply refreshing to see a life with no regrets fully given over to the leadership of Jesus Christ. From the time that Graham surrendered his life to Jesus Christ, at the age of 15, he has continually shared the Good News of Jesus Christ. As he matured, stadiums were filled to hear his powerful messages. “In the Oval Office of the President of the United States, he was a confidant and a source of faith.” As Greta Van Susteren highlighted how some may consider Billy Graham ‘America’s Pastor’, to those outside of America, he was known as “the Evangelist to the World”. Known by many throughout the entire world, Graham was asked how he wanted to be remembered. “I want to be known as someone who was faithful. When I reach heaven, the Lord will respond, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into my rest’”, was his reply.

As God has had a plan for the life of Billy Graham, the Lord also has a plan for every individual on the face of the Earth. God’s desire for all of mankind to be evangelized won’t stop when Billy Graham enters into eternity. There is a mantle that the Lord has placed upon Billy Graham during his life, and when his life is over, that mantle still has a purpose. Unbeknownst to Billy Graham, last year the Los Angeles Coliseum was filled with tens of thousands of people gathered for the Azusa Now event. This was the same Coliseum that Billy Graham had filled during a Crusade for Christ in 1963 with a total of 920,927 people in attendance.

Azusa Now was a vision birthed in Lou Engle, who was praying and fasting for revival to take place again in America. But, he was shown that there would be much more than praying and fasting taking place. “The proclamation of the Gospel, signs and wonders, and stadiums will be filled, and Billy Graham’s Mantle is coming on the nation.” It is encouraging to know that America is about to see another move of God! When Billy Graham heard about this exciting event, he was able to share words of what he would say to every person that was in attendance.

Following the Lord is not as complicated as some people make it out to be. Seek God each and every day that the Lord gives you, and as Billy Graham shares, spend time reading the Word of God, ask God to reveal Himself to you. When Billy Graham said yes to Jesus Christ, he had no idea that it was just the beginning of what would be a nearly 100-year journey. You can call out to Jesus Christ today and make Him the Lord of your life. Today is the day. Hear the full statements of those that have been impacted by the life of Billy Graham, Billy Graham’s full statements for those wanting to begin reading the Bible, the details of what was revealed about the mantle upon Billy Graham, and so much more. Also shared in this segment: faith, hope, love, abiding, Evangelist Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Franklin Graham, Azusa Now, Lou Engle, Ricky Skaggs, Tony Evans, Kathie Lee Gifford, Brit Hume, Rick Warren, faithfulness, and encouragement. John and Steve shared in this segment.




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