It has been nearly six years since Billy Graham delivered his last from-the-pulpit sermon. Sometime last night he was reported to be resting comfortably in a hospital near his home in North Carolina where he is receiving treatment for pneumonia. I’ve read a few accounts online — accounts that note that his heart is reported to be in good condition and that the man has been alert through his admission and treatment.
I was born on Graham’s 43rd birthday. He has been a leader, an influencer in my world for my whole life. I’ve attended a few of his crusades, including one in the Denver area when I was quite young and one in Indianapolis just over a decade ago where I served as a counselor along with hundreds of others.
As I have grown in my knowledge and understanding about the beginnings of many organizations/ministries in the United States, I’ve been struck by how many of them were influenced by Graham who served on boards and invested his influence on behalf of so many. Wycliffe. Navigators. Bible Study Fellowship. Tyndale Publishers. Google Graham’s name and the name of these organizations and you’ll see glimpses of the ways God used Graham over the years.
In today’s Daily Devotional from Graham (posted on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website) we read these words:
The word “mystery” means beyond human knowledge or understanding. God’s mysteries baffle the unbelieving, but bless the believer. The mystery of righteousness, like some of the other great mysteries of God, we cannot comprehend, but we know it works. We stand amazed at this great mystery which enables God to change the human heart, its attitudes, its desires, and its nature.
God, a holy God, who loves righteousness and hates wickedness, through a process of redemption has refashioned us in the image of Himself. How marvelous! For generations He has been applying His righteousness to the hearts of men. Even in our time, with its complexities of living, God is in the business of changing men and women by the mystery of righteousness.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Give me Your boldness to tell others the secret of eternal joy in Jesus Christ.
I’m thanking God this morning for this reminder of a faithful life well-lived, an ongoing witness of truth when it would be so easy to make other choices, and for this prayer that I will seek boldness from God and not in myself.