Today's Wine From the Vine: Matthew 25:21 "His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant!. . . " Nehemiah 7:2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do (NIV) . . . for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many (KJV).
I want to take a few moments to remember Billy Graham, world renowned evangelist, who passed away yesterday. Kenny's life, in particular, along with many others, was impacted greatly by Dr. Graham. As a young boy, he came to faith in Christ as he watched and listened to a Billy Graham Crusade on television. And then, as young teenagers, Kenny and I with other friends attended Billy Graham Crusades in Charlotte and in Raleigh. In the Raleigh Crusade, we served as counselors and sang in the choir.
I was especially impressed with Dr. Graham's response to a question posed by Raleigh's WRAL TV news person, Bill Leslie, in an interview of few years back at Billy Graham's Montreat, NC home. Bill Leslie asked, "Why do you suppose God would call a North Carolina man to go all over the world as you have?" Graham's response spoke of the sovereignty of God and how He could call anybody He chooses. He referenced the call to the pastor in the little church down the road, and that his call was no greater than the pastor's. He said he envied the pastor, and would have liked to have done that. He and his family saw themselves as ordinary people in the hands of any extraordinary God. Billy Graham responded to God in loving obedience. He was a very humble man, of great integrity. He didn't go all over the world because of his own ego. No, he went on a mission. He was a very passionate man in his love for God and his love for his fellow man. He will be greatly missed in our world. But I believe that he's sown many seeds all around the world that can and will bear much fruit. May each of us be as faithful as was Dr. Graham in his walk, witness, and work. In speaking of entering into heaven, he emphasized that he wouldn't enter the pearly gates because of anything he had done, but because of the blood of Jesus Christ, His Savior and Lord. He spoke of a simple faith having everlasting effects as we respond to God's great love and grace.
"Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come! I come!"