Living Legacies

When Billy Graham passed on recently, I felt bereft. Our country has lost a great man of God. Our older saints are passing away, and so many of the young are leaving church and faith, lost and worshipping the things of the world.  What will happen to America in the days ahead as we deny our own Christian foundations, turn our backs on God and worship “idols” instead?

The next morning, I opened our local newspaper, expecting to see a banner across the front page with a lengthy story about Billy Graham’s life, his impact not only on our country, but others as well, and how he preached the Gospel to millions around the world.  Instead, I read an article written by a cynical, ill-informed journalist who clearly knew nothing about Billy Graham, the message he preached, his noted integrity and humility, his compassion and mission.  I was angry until I realized how Billy Graham would have seen past the ill-researched words to the lost soul writing them. He would have told her about Jesus.  He would have prayed for her salvation.  A few days later, the paper gave inside space to a single grainy picture and caption about pallbearers and a service while other stories (on dogs) filled columns and full pages.

I feel more and more like an alien in this world, even more so in my own country.

We have lost a great man of faith.  The truth is great men and women of faith are seldom celebrated.  Jesus, the Prince of Peace, was beaten, spit upon, mocked and nailed to a cross.  Many who carried the Gospel to others have been reviled, persecuted, and murdered.  It’s still going on today.

Billy Graham leaves this world quietly after spending his life carrying the Gospel message to the world.  Thousands in America attended his Crusades and came to Christ. He prayed with presidents through some of our most trying times. He lived boldly for the Lord, pointing the way to the one-and-only Savior, Jesus Christ.

I grieve, yes, for all of us.  We have lost a saint.  But I’m also celebrating.  Billy Graham is not dead; he is alive and well, reunited with his beloved wife, Ruth.  He is at home and in the Presence of his first love – Jesus Christ.  He is now among the great gathering of those who cheer us on as we live out our lives on this fallen world.

Millions heard, and thousands among them responded to the offer of salvation in Jesus Christ, a life of purpose, a future of hope and eternal life.  We know our Redeemer lives and He will stand upon the earth. Like Billy Graham, every believer is a living legacy of Jesus Christ still walking among the lost, inhabited by His Holy Spirit, carrying the Truth. Like Billy Graham, we are to continue to shine the light of Christ in this dark world so that others may be drawn to Jesus and be saved.

There is no other legacy under heaven that matters more.