Jn.3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
One of my fondest memories and greatest of honors was at the unexpected Billy Graham meeting in New Orleans after Katrina. Franklin Graham had scheduled two services just weeks after Katrina had decimated our city. His dad, Billy Graham, asked to do the second service. If I get it right, I think this may have even been Billy Graham’s last altar call. I’m sure he taught after that night, but not sure another altar call ever happened. What made the night so special is how the Lord included me in the night. First, Parris and I were invited into a back room where, to our surprise, we were able to pray with Brother Graham. If that wasn’t enough, I was then asked to come and pray over the hundreds of people who responded to the altar call that night. Words can’t explain what I was feeling standing on the platform with one of God’s greatest generals. Here are Billy Graham’s own words describing the message of the church:
“It is a heavy responsibility to proclaim this message of God’s everlasting love. I have heard about God’s love my entire life, and I have seen it demonstrated. From a young age, my sweet, godly mother taught me my first Bible verse, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world. . . .” Not everyone grows up this way, I know. I have been commissioned to make this message known. Why would I withhold this tremendous Good News?
Some think of love as a warm and touchy—even romantic—emotion. Others see love through the eyes of an innocent baby completely dependent on its mother. These are outward expressions of love. The mystery of God’s love would not be a mystery if we knew all the answers. But we do know this: God’s love is unchangeable. He knows exactly what we are and loves us anyway.”
Preaching the greatest of all messages (God so loved the world) is our privilege and our calling. Billy Graham took every opportunity, even in his waning years, to preach the love of God to his generation. He has finished, he has put the baton in our hands, and it is now our turn to finish the race. Let’s take our instructions from this man of God who has gone before us. Let’s preach Christ to our generation.