"Andrea, Billy Graham is on channel 12."
My grandmother would call everytime a Billy Graham crusade was televised in our area reminding my mother and me to watch it.....and ultimately hoping and praying for my salvation.
I did hear Billy Graham preach in person. In 1972 at the Cotton Bowl in Denton TX. at Expo '72. He was everything you can imagine him. Yet, all you saw and heard was how much God and Jesus loved you and wanted you to come to a personal relationship with Him.
Billy Graham died today.
America's pastor, they called him.
My first thought was the verse in 1 Samuel 25:1
"Then Samuel died, and all the Israelites gathered together to mourn him,
and buried him at his home in Ramah."
We may not gather together physically as a nation, but emotionally and spiritually we will gather in heart and mind and spirit and mourn a great man of God.
I likened him to the great men of God in Scripture. A disciple who did exactly what Jesus told them to do in Mark 16:15,
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."
The simple message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him." John 3:16-17
He stressed over and over that God loved us and if we would turn from our sins and come to Him, He forgives and saves.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." - Acts 16:31
"Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" -- Matt 3:2
Somewhere along the way we have minimized the idea that God loves us so much that Jesus, His only son, died for us. Think about it. Has anyone ever stood in your place for anything? Notch it up and realize Christ died for YOU--for you. He loves you that much.
This past week 17 individuals died in a school shooting in Florida. One of the teachers literally threw himself in front of the shooter and took several bullets to keep kids from getting shot. He died. That's what Jesus did. He died in our place. What a perfect example...
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." --John 15:13
Help us Lord, to realize the love of Almighty God -- whose love endures forever-- our compassionate and merciful God. Help us to love you like that.