We all learned this week of Billy Graham’s transfer to heaven at the age of 99. What an extraordinary life! He preached the gospel to more people than any other Protestant minister in history – an estimated 2.2 billion. Millions responded by surrendering their lives to Christ.
Jerry Jenkins, author of the blockbuster Left Behind fictional series, assisted Billy Graham in writing his memoir, Just As I Am. In one session Jerry asked him for secrets, hints he could offer others on how to maintain their walk with God.
Billy insisted that people shouldn’t look to him. Jerry answered, “But they do.” He pressed for an answer at least on how the renowned evangelist maintained his own spiritual discipline.
“There’s no secret to that,” Graham said. “God doesn’t hide the key from us. The Bible says to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and to search the Scriptures. And I do that.”
“You pray without ceasing?”
“I do.” Jenkins made a point of saying Graham answered all his questions with an air of pure humility. Billy added that he had done this every waking moment since he received Christ as a teenager. “I’m praying right now as I’m talking to you. Praying that God will use this book (his memoir), that it will be clear that it’s more about Him than about me, praying that we’ll both do our jobs well and that He will get the glory.”
Mr. Graham also talked about reading the Bible frequently throughout the day.
“Say you miss a day or two,” Jenkins said. “How do you get back to your routine?”
“Miss a day or two? I don’t think I’ve ever done that.”
“You never miss?
“I told you. This is my spiritual food. I would no more miss this than a regular meal.”
Is it any wonder that God’s hand has been on Graham in such a powerful, effective way?
Like me, you may not be on a level with Billy Graham. But by God’s grace, we can all strive to follow Jesus more consistently.
The Wesleyan Church posted this on its Facebook page the day of Dr. Graham’s passing: “Millions mourn the loss in this life of evangelist Billy Graham today,” said Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church. “He was faithful, focused and fervent in his work to ensure those far from God could make an informed decision about the good news of Jesus Christ. Graham closed that gospel gap as few others in history have, and Christ transformed countless lives as a result. May we all follow his lead, in his exemplary life and into eternity.”