Reflections on the Passing of Dr. Billy Graham
"First and foremost, Dr. Graham lived to serve the God he loved."
By Tom Pearce, National Director, Shepherding the Next Generation
When I heard of Dr. Billy Graham’s promotion to glory yesterday, I spent a little while remembering his impact on my life. I praised God that Billy was such a great example of how we can still be Christlike in the world we live in today. Here’s what I mean.
First and foremost, Dr. Graham lived to serve the God he loved. Was he perfect? Due to his being human the answer is no, but I heard example after example of how hard he prayed and relied on the Holy Spirit to be a man above reproach.
Second was his passion for souls. He spent his life speaking to any crowd who would stop and listen (often that crowd would be in the thousands) that Jesus loved them so much that he came to this earth – the creator becoming part of his creation to demonstrate his love for us. He did so not only while He walked among us, but willingly went to the cross to pay our penalty for sin. He then conquered death so that we too can be saved. Dr. Graham also wrote many books that helped many of us gain a better understanding of that love. As Billy once stated “Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion; it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”
Third was his love for our country and its people. Dr. Graham understood the importance of praying for our leadership without taking a partisan side. He prayed for and counseled Presidents equally. Another lasting impression he has left me with was his willingness to speak out about civil justice when it wasn’t a popular thing to do in the southern states. In the movie Woodlawn there is actual footage of Billy as a southerner speaking out on racial injustice. That took him to a whole in level of respect in my mind.
All in all, America lost a National Treasure today and Heaven gained a modern-day saint. My prayers go out to his family, and my hope is that we all can take solace in knowing that Dr. Billy Graham is a sterling example that when we seek to be Christlike as he did, we too can serve our savior with distinction.