Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me begin my day embraced by my Father, centered in Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit.
"But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5 NKJV).
At age 99, Rev. Billy Graham has fought the good fight of the faith and finished his race, fulfilling his ministry, giving his heart and life to do the work of an evangelist. He was an inspiration me and deeply inspired so many others to lay down their lives and follow Christ, sharing the love of God and the Good News of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, from our neighborhoods to the nations and everywhere in between. All along the way, enduring many afflictions and overcoming many challenges, he lived out his faith with honor and humility, leaving behind an eternal legacy of integrity.
He lived a no fairy-tale life in some kind of supernatural immunity from the struggles and battles we all face on our journey through this broken and fallen world, but he did live a faith-filled life as a worthy ambassador of Christ and beloved son of God. I smiled when I heard the quote and famous story of his wife, Ruth, who was asked if she ever considered divorcing Billy Graham and replied with such humor and wit, "Divorce? No.... Murder? Yes!" Thank God for the grace that all of us need--even Billy and Ruth Graham.
In my own spiritual journey into full time ministry, as I have read over the stories and accounts of spiritual leaders and fathers in the faith, I was deeply moved by a story of Billy Graham's frustration with the fruitfulness of his ministry before the famous Los Angeles crusade that seemed to launch a fresh season of ministry. A couple of elderly saints, passionate women of prayer, spoke to him and prayed for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit and fervently prayed for the Holy Spirit to move powerfully in his meetings, as the story goes. The legacy of souls saved and lives changed through the power of prayer and the move of the Spirit is life-long testimony to his desperate dependence upon God alone for the fruitfulness of his life of ministry. He humbly reflected that prayer made the way for any success he had.
Seeing the photos and reading all the stories this week moved me in a way that something stirred deeply in my spirit. I felt the same when I was so blessed to visit Wittenburg Castle where Martin Luther lived. There's something that can move us and inspire us when we honor those who have gone before us, when we welcome and embrace that same Spirit that moved in their hearts to move in our hearts, and when we lay down our lives for that same Spirit with that same message of the Good News of Jesus Christ to flow through us as it did through them. We honor our mothers and fathers of the faith, that their legacy may live on and the work of Your Spirit may continue.
This morning, I honor and esteem the life and ministry of Rev. Billy Graham. And I recommit my life to fulfill the ministry You've entrusted to me and are unfolding before me. Lord, give me grace to seek to live it out in humility and honor, in a legacy of integrity, desperately dependent upon You alone. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen
My family, I pray you're inspired by the spiritual leaders and fathers in the faith who have gone before us. I pray you seek to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill your calling and ministry in the ways the Lord sends you just as He sent them, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!
Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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