The pictures of my dad scrolled across the screen as Ray Boltz song, “Thank you for giving to the Lord” played on in the background. It was the day of his funeral and my daughter created a video to honor dad and my mom. The song was the perfect choice for me.
Today we remember another Servant of the Lord, Reverend Billy Graham, a pastor to kings and presidents and lay people. How many millions can say these words when they remember him. “Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed.”
You can’t think of Reverend Graham without a picture of the Altar Call passing through your thoughts. Streams of hundreds, thousands, even 10’s of 1000’s would flock to the Altar while the choirs would sing, “Just As I Am.” Tears flowed as people would cry out in repentance to The Savior that Billy Graham faithfully served.
His sermons were simple. His counsel was wise. He spoke only the good news, the gospel message, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotton Son, that whosoever believed in Him shall not perish but will have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
I watched a tribute to Reverend Graham this morning. It was one of his gospel crusades. His last words before the altar call, “GOD – LOVES – YOU.” Three simple words but Billy Graham spoke them with truth and conviction and great passion. Pausing between each word, his tone powerful, and when he spoke those three one syllable words, it sparked belief in your hearts.
Thank you Reverand Billy Graham for your service to your King and mine.
As I watched him speak this morning I was reminded about a chapter I wrote about in my new book, “On the Way.” It’s “Day 32 The Walk of The Tortured.” Through all my research and digging deeper into Mark chapter one, God opened my eyes to see just how powerful and different Jesus’ teachings were in His day as He traveled from synagogue to synagogue. Here’s a short excerpt…
“On this day when Jesus taught God’s Word in this synagogue, He had probably been invited by the synagogue ruler in Capernaum. Before He even showed His power, Jesus’ words evoked a catalyst in His listeners.
Teachers of the Law in Jesus’ day were schooled in written law and oral interpretation of that law by whatever Rabbi they sat under. When they taught they were often quoting the sayings of their master to make their point. It was a sermon of rote quibbling and quotations. Have you ever heard the saying, “A dry sermon?” It’s a sermon that doesn’t move you to make a change in your life. This was the type of monotone teaching to which the people were accustomed. This was why there was such astonishment among the worshipers when Jesus spoke.
His was a new teaching that had the power to move and create emotion and change in them. It was forthright, confident, and authoritative. Jesus spoke with the power of God’s Spirit. He had creative ability in His words, His tone, and His voice. His teachings were edgy, and were not tethered by references to other Rabbis. He spoke because He had come from God His Father, the Creator of the universe.”
Billy Graham also spoke because the Spirit of the Holy God lived in him. It was also by the power of the Holy Spirit’s words pouring from Reverand Graham that changed the lives of millions of people throughout these several decades.
”Thank you for giving to the Lord.”
I can’t wait to share this book with you. It is in the proofing stage right now. I will keep you updated.