“I swear to tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth”. But how often do we really stand to that? Looking at Truth through the legacy of Billy Graham.
I’m sure you’ve heard on the news, seen it in your social media feed, or heard it on the radio lately: Reverend Billy Graham passed on to the other side of eternity last Wednesday, leaving a legacy that will take years to reflect. It has been inspiring to see all who have been celebrating his journey on this earth and observing the legacy he left for us. It is impossible to capture the fullness of his life and ministry in one article from just one person, but I would like to share one of the impacts he had on my life.
Billy Graham’s impact on my life begins with the impact he had on my Grandpa in 1957. My Grandpa had become a Christian in 1950, seven years before attending Billy Graham’s New York Crusade (lasting 4 months). He had the opportunity to serve as a counselor at this crusade, receiving training three nights a week and serving at the rallies, which occurred six times a week! My Grandpa had a strong faith before this crusade, but Billy Graham encouraged him in his walk with the Lord to be a witness for Christ in his daily life. After talking with my Grandpa, he explained to me that he would have been prone to the fundamentalist movement at the time, which kept the gospel very exclusive. However, Billy Graham’s love and grace to all inspired him to stay on the pure Truth of the Gospel. Closing our conversation, my Grandpa talked about Billy Graham’s life-long dedication to his ministry. In my Grandpa’s words, his “long and faithful life [to the gospel] was thrilling”.
The aspect of Graham’s life that sticks out to me the most is his dedication to Truth. In observing his life, I (nor my Grandpa) can find a time that he got caught up in silly debates over human philosophies. He simply stayed true to the Bible and shared Truth of the Gospel with as many people as he possibly could. Also, I can’t think of many people who knew the Truth as well as he did.
So often, we find ourselves debating our own brothers and sisters in Christ; all this does is confuse the Truth for the people around us. And when that’s the case, I would suggest that we are ignoring the Truth in the process. Why don’t we spend less time debating the “unclear” areas of theology with our fellow Christ followers and spend more time sharing the Truth of the Gospel with the broken world around us? I believe that if we do this, those unclear areas will become clear.
It takes a servant’s heart. Often at the root of a debate is the pride of wanting to be right. At that point it is no longer about defending Truth; rather, it is about defending yourself and your own philosophy. Truth, in its very nature, is others-focused. Human nature is self-centered. (Side note: If trying to determine whether a debate is a healthy one or not, first determine the nature of it; also, remember, without first finding common ground, there is no debate, only circular arguments.) The Truth of the gospel brings peace; it is peace.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God… with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:13; 15 NIV
“As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 NIV
I’m as guilty as the rest- putting my pride aside and not fighting to get a point across is a struggle of mine. But, in the end, my prideful desires are meaningless. All things of this earth will fade (fame, money, things, and philosophies). It is only the eternal impacts that are made through the Truth of the Gospel of Peace that will last. It is by sharing the message of John 3:16 that we make a difference:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 NIV
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:8 NIV
God did not condemn others; rather, He showed grace and love. Jesus gave his life; the least we can do is give our time on this earth. Billy Graham encouraged people to go from being people of the world to being people of the Lord. Not in the middle, but all the way.
“I know where I’ve come from, I know why I’m here, I know where I’m going, do you?” – Billy Graham
Find me on Instagram @thelifeblog121 View my story for a daily quote from Billy Graham for the next two weeks!
L.I.F.E. – – – Live Intently For Eternity
Life is not about living for ourselves, it is about living, earnestly, in light of what He did for us.