Billy Graham Tribute

BillyGraham is now 91-years-old with Parkinson’s disease. In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte , North Carolina , invited their favorite son,BillyGraham, to a luncheon in his honor.

Billyinitially hesitated to accept the invitation because hestruggles with Parkinson’s disease. But the Charlotte leaders said,’We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.’ So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, ”I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down theaisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn’t there. He looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn’t find it.

“The conductor said, ‘Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket.Don’t worry about it.’

“Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

“The conductor rushed back and said, ‘Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are; no problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.’

Einstein looked at him and said,’Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.”

Having said thatBillyGraham continued,

“See the suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit. My children, and my grandchildren are telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion. You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. But when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I’m wearing. I want you to remember this:

I not only know who I am. I also know where I’m going.”

Secret to Success

Henrietta Mears was one of the most influential Christian educators of the 20th century. She believed that anything was possible with Gods supernatural power at work within her. Henrietta influenced thousands of high school and college students to become passionate for God and His Word. Hundreds of those young people went into full time Christian ministry – including Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Mears knew that the secret to spiritual success was to live a holy life. Thats why she had a passion for her students to know the Word of God intimately. “If you want to be pure,” she advised others, “saturate yourself with the Word of God.” Mears herself spent many hours each day studying, and memorizing Scripture. God used Henrietta to personally touch thousands of lives, all over the world. And her success was a result of her deep commitment to holiness and the Word of God.

God wants to do powerful, exciting things through your life, too! But first and foremost he says, “Be holy, as I am holy.” As you spend time in the Bible, His words will purify your heart and mind. Then, in His timing, He will launch you out in powerful ways to reach your world for Jesus Christ!

Christ In Us

Galatians 2:20 is a verse I often quote, because its the cornerstone of our success in Jesus Christ: “I have been crucified with Christ,” Paul writes, “and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

So let me ask you a question: Do you really believe that? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive inside of you, right now, wherever you are, and whatever youre doing?

If you have trouble grasping the reality of that truth, let me remind you again today: the living Christ lives in you! The Holy Spirit has made you His temple! You are filled with His power! You are cleansed by Christs blood!

With all these wonderful promises, there is no reason why you and I cant walk in the joy and power of the Holy Spirit. We can pray, and believe with confidence that the Lord will speak through us, and use us to reach people in our world with His Good News.

If you really believe that Jesus is alive in you today, theres no telling what the Lord can do through you. So ask God to give you the gift of faith to believe His promises. Christ will enable you to live the kind of victorious life you dream about!

Be Holy

We can learn a lot from the servant of God, Joshua. Remember the story of Joshua and the Israelites conquering Jericho. That victory came after Joshua sought Gods face, and humbled Himself before the Almighty God. Joshua was contrite. He was meek – humble. He realized his success was because of God.

But, after Jericho, Joshua and his troops set out to take over another town – Ai. And they suddenly seemed to forget that they are Gods servants. They forgot that their success in Jericho was only by the Lords hand. So they failed to ask God for direction in Ai.

Ultimately, Joshua and the Israelites forgot to aim for holiness, first. There was sin in Joshuas camp that had to be dealt with before the Lord could help them. So when the army tried to take Ai by themselves, they did not have victory. God had to remind them again that He wants purity. He wants holiness. Theres nothing more important.

My friend, God has great evangelistic victory for us. But first, He wants our hearts, our souls, our minds. He wants all of us. Why not surrender yourself again – today – to become holy for the Lord? Make a fresh start! He will use you in unimaginable ways to reach your world for Jesus Christ!

Holiness First

Most of us know the story of how Joshua and his army defeated the city of Jericho. But its important to remember that before Joshuas success, he was on his knees before God. In Joshua 5, we read that before the Israelite army heads to Jericho, the Lord appears to Joshua as a soldier. Joshua asks the soldier, “Are you for us? Or against us?” The Lord replies, “I am here as commander of the Lords army.”

In other words, God says, “I didnt come to take sides. I came to take over.” Joshua falls on his face and asks: “What does my Lord say to his servant?”

What did the Lord say to Joshua? “Take off your shoes,” He said, “for the place where you stand is holy.” Holiness. Thats what God wanted from Joshua. He didnt give Joshua a plan of action for conquering Jericho. God tells Joshua that later. But, the first thing the Lord says is, “Be holy.”

The best way to find success in evangelism, is to aim for holiness first. So, why not pray about it? Ask God to reveal to you any area in your life thats not above reproach. It will be worth it! As you get your heart right before God, youll have even greater success in winning your friends to Jesus Christ.