Billy Graham died yesterday morning.
Governor Mike Huckabee, a man with quick wit and deep faith, said that that statement was the greatest example of fake news he had ever seen.
He said, “Billy Graham is more alive today than he’s ever been.“
He’s right, of course. When speaking to Martha at the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus gave us the truth and the hope for every believer, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).
Billy Graham left an amazing legacy. He preached to hundreds of millions of people and reached 185 countries around the world. He advised presidents and spoke the truth of Scripture to our broken and dying world.
What is it that made Billy Graham such an impactful person?
First, he spoke the truth of Scripture with love. Wherever he went and whatever situation he found himself in, Billy Graham spoke biblical truth. He did so with kindness and compassion.
Second, Billy Graham‘s integrity never failed. The Graham team and all who heard him was blessed by what has become known as the “Modesto Manifesto.”
In Modesto, California, in 1948, Billy Graham and his team determined to hold each other accountable to be men of integrity. Among other things, they pledged to support local churches, handle money correctly, and not place themselves in situations which would lead to immorality.
Third, he never wavered from speaking the word of God. He knew he had been called to preach the gospel and to bring people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That always remained his focus. He kept the main thing the main thing.
Through his ministry many people who never would have heard the gospel came to know Christ and will greet Billy Graham in heaven.
Here’s an interesting fact: the three main members of the Billy Graham evangelistic team all lived out extended lives on earth. George Beverly Shea, the soloist and oldest of the three, lived to be 104. Billy Graham died at age 99. The youngest of the three, Cliff Barrows lived to be 93..
Everytime I think of that fact, I can’t help but believe that God gave favor to these three faithful followers of Christ.
Each day I write an article about Pastoral Leadership and Christian Living. If you would like to receive your own free copy each morning, you can sign up at waylonbailey.com or in the box below.