How Billy Graham Touched My Life (and Probably Yours)
Many Christians feel a personal connection to Billy Graham. God used Billy Graham to share the gospel in possibly the farthest-reaching ministry the modern world will ever see. Countless Christians have found salvation by hearing a gospel message from Mr. Graham at a meeting, on the television or over the airwaves. Even if we didn’t find Christ ourselves through Billy’s ministry, it is likely we know someone who has.
I personally have met dozens of people who told me stories of how they were drawn to an altar call or prayed for salvation on their living room floor after a broadcast of a Billy Graham meeting. As I reflect on the life of someone God used to share the gospel in possibly the most profound way many of us will ever see in real life, I am encouraged to fulfill God's plan for my life just like Billy did.
Today, many people are sharing some of Billy Graham’s timeless quotes about how he is only passing through Earth on his way to Heaven or for us not to cry the day you hear he has gone, because he has gone to be with the Lord. Instead of a quote, I wanted to write a few paragraphs about how his ministry impacted my life.
At a time when the ministry God had called me to start was at its most fragile and I was struggling with garnering enough strength to move forward, I came across a book of pictures and testimonies from Billy Graham’s life called, “Billy Graham: God’s Ambassador.”
As I flipped through this high-quality printing of pictures and stories of a man being used by God to share the gospel I was blown away. I had heard of Billy Graham before, but being a born-again believer for only a few years at that point I hadn’t really seen the true reach and its long lasting impact.
I saw photos of stadiums filled to the brim with people hearing the gospel message. I read the stories of countries that tried to get him kicked out of their lands. I felt the emotion behind the testimonies of people who had found God in their lives through a Graham led meeting. These were all incredible portraits of faith fulfilled.
Like myself, Billy had struggled going on at one point. He was ready to stop his crusade effort before it was even started because it wasn’t producing the results He was believing for. Yet, Graham stayed faithful and eventually saw the harvest of millions for the kingdom of Heaven.
Like Billy, I had a moment where I cried out to God and was contemplating a full stop of ministry. This book gave me the courage to keep pressing forward. Soon after this moment, I found myself leading my first revival meeting myself and seeing people answer the call to salvation and a relationship with Christ as Lord.
Today, like Billy I am striving to use the radio airwaves (newjohnsimmons.com) as a tool to share the gospel and help a lost and dying world find a hope and a future for their lives. Billy has left an impact on this world in more ways than altar calls. He has touched and encouraged the lives of so many to keep going in difficult situations and put their trust in the Lord.
Billy Graham leaves behind a legacy of following God’s sentence for his life. We can all find ourselves being just as impactful to the body of Christ by being able to lay down OUR lives in order to pick up the life that God has created and designed for us.
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
God can use each one of us to share the gospel message with our lives. Billy Graham was a great example of this, but now that he is gone, it is up to us to pick up the light and continue to shine it through our lives.
-New John Simmons