Graham: Reflecting Christ without Compromise
Rev. Billy Graham has died and yet he now lives more than ever with His Savior, Jesus Christ. No doubt exists:
"For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that
whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16, AMP)
Billy Graham now resides in the native
"country" of his new birth: Heaven itself with King Jesus Himself. As a born again believer who authentically knew
Jesus, he served as God's ambassador to America and beyond.
We already miss him, but we know
that the same God who formed Billy Graham into the image of His Son will continue His work in us who know Him until Christ
colossal worldwide response of Christians to Billy Graham's death only displays the immense respect and love for Billy because
of Christ vividly living through him.
The reason why people loved Billy Graham was because Billy Graham reflected Christ. No compromise. No attempt
to feign being "real" or making the Gospel "relevant" through imitation of the world. He simply, purely,
and devotedly looked at Jesus and pointed people to Him instead of to himself.
Upon his passing, countless testimonies of how God used Billy flooded
all forms of media. One particular testimony stood out in my newsfeed. A mother shared an inspiring testimony of her son,
has special needs, makes everyone's lives more special because of his Christ-like love. And his testimony began with a Billy
Graham crusade. Author Louise Tucker Jones shared:
"One of my sweetest memories concerning Billy Graham is that
my son, Jay, accepted the Lord, Jesus Christ while watching a Billy Graham Crusade on TV. When Rev. Graham turned to the TV
audience and gave an invitation, Jay turned to me with a big smile and said, 'Jesus lives in my heart!' Talk about celebration!
What a beautiful moment. What joy! What love! Thank You, Lord!"
How moving! And how pure and beautiful!
As millennials who love Jesus and who crave authenticity,
we cherished Billy Graham and his bold, loving way of sharing the Gospel so that all ages and all backgrounds could hear it
without compromise. He really was/is cross-generational because of his testimony and life focused on the cross.
Billy Graham. His name became so
well associated with following Christ because he simply, boldly, willingly, and lovingly loved Jesus in both public and private.
His life beamed His light and it looked even brighter in contrast to the darkness of this world.
Billy Graham reminded us never to choose the temporary
over the eternal. Choose to trust in Jesus Christ. Don't compromise for lies. Jesus loves YOU. Repent and accept Him today
as Savior and Lord. Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord? He's the only Way to Heaven. He said so. Click here
to learn how to know God and go to Heaven.
So what made Billy Graham the Billy Graham so many love and admired? He knew (and knows) Jesus Christ personally
and willingly surrendered everything to Him. He was willing to do anything God wanted him to do. And he let God do the work
through him. And do you know what? God is no respecter of persons. He desires all of us to repent and come to Him. He desires
us to choose Christ and not compromise --just like Billy Graham.
The question is this: Will you? Will we? We pray that we will daily be willing
to share the love and truth of God without compromise. May we never choose the temporary instead of the eternal. May we only
worship the Lord and no one else.
And please pray for Billy Graham's family. He was their loved one.
Their daddy. Their granddaddy. I (Stacie) remember praying with Anne Graham Lotz (his daughter) and sensing the reality of
the Graham family's humble humanity and God's overshadowing greatness.
Please join us in praying for Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham
Lotz, and all of his loved ones who now miss him.
"Heavenly Father, we thank You for using Billy Graham in so many ways. We give you
our hearts, Lord Jesus. Please comfort Billy's family. Please draw us all close to Yourself. And, Lord, I pray for those who
are reading/hearing this prayer and have been avoiding or rejecting You. I pray they would repent and receive You, Jesus Christ,
as personal Savior and Lord. Forgive us of our sins. We believe you died and bore our punishment for our sins in our place
but that You, Jesus, rose again...conquering sin and death! And we confess You as Lord and know we are saved. Help us to copy
Billy Graham in the sense of his total reliance on You and willingness to share You, Your love, and Your truth. We love You
and thank You for making Yourself available to us just as You did to Billy. We trust You and open our hearts to You, Jesus.
Rule us. Live in us. Love through us. In Jesus' mighty Name we pray, Amen."
In closing, may "...the God of hope fill you with all joy and
peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13, ESV).
And may the passing of Billy Graham
be used to inspire more people to know and share Jesus like he did and does...
Stacie Ruth Stoelting
Carrie Beth Stoelting
Sisters and Founders of Unite the USA
Note: Feel free to sign up at PrayingPals.org for our weekly devotional, prayer tip of the week, and prayer time.
Billy Graham's Last Message
This is powerful and life-changing; please watch. In a world filled with so much pain,
lies, and challenges, we all need Jesus.
This Month's Bible Verse
do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the
will of God you may receive what is promised."
Request a Free Copy of
The Key to Personal Peace by Billy Graham
Click here to request a free copy of The Key to Personal Peace by Billy Graham. In honor of Billy Graham, Unite the USA is excited to have
the opportunity to give away copies of one of his books. It's a short book yet filled with truth and hope. We are so happy
to have the blessing of giving you a copy as a gift.
God bless you,
Carrie and Stacie
live in unsettling times colored by terrorism, political unrest, natural calamities (including devastating earthquakes, hurricanes,
and tsunamis), and moral decline. Where can we find comfort? Graham offers hope and a road map to peace---not just in this
world, but in the world to come. An excellent "outreach" book for personal evangelism. (57 pages, softcover)
|Billy Graham Interviewed in 2010|
In a 2010 interview with
Fox News, Billy Graham shared his reflections on death, his regrets, becoming a
preacher, befriending the Bush family and more.
|How to Know Jesus|
Rev. Billy Graham's web site shares this information
about how you can know Jesus as your Savior:
STEP 1 God loves
you and has a plan for you!
The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and
only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
said, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" - a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10).
STEP 2 Here's the problem: man is sinful and separated from God.
We have all done, thought
or said bad things, which the Bible calls "sin." The Bible says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory
of God" (Romans 3:23).
The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23).
good news?STEP 3 God sent His Son to die for your sins!
Jesus died in our place so
we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever.
"God demonstrates His own love
toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
But it didn't
end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives!
"Christ died for our sins.
... He was buried. ... He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
is the only way to God. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through
Me" (John 14:6).
STEP 4 Would you like to receive God's forgiveness?
can't earn salvation; we are saved by God's grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe
you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins-that's called repentance.
Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. We suggest praying
the prayer below to accept Christ as your Savior.
God, I know I'm a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my
sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide
my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."
Graham's Official Obituary
BILLY GRAHAM, EVANGELIST
TO THE WORLD, DEAD AT AGE 99
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 21, 2018-Evangelist Billy Graham died today at
7:46 a.m. at his home in Montreat. He was 99.
Throughout his life, Billy Graham preached the gospel of Jesus
Christ to some 215 million people who attended one of his more than 400 Crusades, simulcasts and evangelistic rallies in more
than 185 countries and territories. He reached millions more through TV, video, film, the internet and 34 books.
|Billy at age six months posed with his mother for his
Born Nov. 7, 1918, four days before the armistice ended World War I, William Franklin
"Billy" Graham Jr. grew up during the Depression and developed a work ethic that would carry him through decades
of ministry on six continents.
"I have one message: that Jesus Christ came, he died on a cross, he rose
again, and he asked us to repent of our sins and receive him by faith as Lord and Savior, and if we do, we have forgiveness
of all of our sins," said Graham at his final Crusade in June 2005 at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York.
While Graham's primary focus was to take this message to the world, he also provided spiritual counsel to presidents,
championed desegregation, and was a voice of hope and guidance in times of trial. In 2001, he comforted his country and the
world when he spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. At three global conferences
held in Amsterdam (1983, 1986, 2000), Graham gathered some 23,000 evangelists from 208 countries and territories to train
them to carry the message of Jesus Christ around the world.
During the week of his 95th birthday in 2013,
Graham delivered his final message via more than 480 television stations across the U.S. and Canada. More than 26,000 churches
participated in this My Hope project, making it the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's largest evangelistic outreach
ever in North America.
Preferred Baseball to Religion
|33rd President Harry S. Truman and Billy
Graham, a country boy turned world evangelist, who prayed with every U.S. president from Harry
S. Truman to Barack Obama, was raised on a dairy farm in Charlotte. Back then, "Billy Frank," as he was called,
preferred baseball to religion. "I detested going to church," he said when recalling his youth.
in 1934, that changed. At a revival led by traveling evangelist Mordecai Fowler Ham, 15-year-old Graham committed his life
to serving Jesus Christ. No one was more surprised than Graham himself.
"I was opposed to evangelism,"
he said. "But finally, I was persuaded by a friend [to go to a meeting]...and the spirit of God began to speak to me
as I went back night after night. One night, when the invitation was given to accept Jesus, I just said, 'Lord, I'm going.'
I knew I was headed in a new direction."
Several years later, Graham's "new direction" led him to the Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity College of Florida),
and later, Wheaton College in suburban Chicago, where he met fellow student Ruth McCue Bell, the daughter of medical missionaries
in China. The couple graduated and married in the summer of 1943. Mr. and Mrs. Graham and their five children made their home
in the mountains of North Carolina. They were married for 64 years before Ruth's death in 2007.
years of traveling as a speaker for the Youth for Christ organization, Billy Graham held his first official evangelistic Crusade
in 1947; but it was his 1949 Los Angeles Crusade that captured the nation's attention. Originally scheduled to run for three
weeks, the "tent meetings" were extended for a total of eight weeks as hundreds of thousands of men, women and children
gathered to hear Graham's messages.
On the heels of this campaign, Graham started the Billy Graham Evangelistic
Association, which was incorporated in 1950. Since 2000, Graham's son, Franklin, has led the Charlotte-based organization,
which employs some 500 people worldwide.
Billy Graham may be best known, however, for his evangelistic missions or "Crusades." He believed
God knew no borders or nationalities. Throughout his career, Graham preached to millions in locations from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
to Zagorsk, Russia; and from Wellington, New Zealand to the National Cathedral in Washington. In 1973, Graham addressed more
than one million people crowded into Yoido Plaza in Seoul, South Korea-the largest live audience of his Crusades.
Breaking Down Barriers
Preaching in Johannesburg in 1973, Graham said,
"Christ belongs to all people. He belongs to the whole world....I reject any creed based on hate...Christianity is not
a white man's religion, and don't let anybody ever tell you that it's white or black."
Graham spoke to people of all ethnicities, creeds and backgrounds. Early in his career, he denounced racism when desegregation
was not popular. Before the U.S. Supreme Court banned discrimination on a racial basis, Graham held desegregated Crusades,
even in the Deep South. He declined invitations to speak in South Africa for 20 years, choosing instead to wait until the
meetings could be integrated. Integration occurred in 1973, and only then did Graham make the trip to South Africa.
A 1977 trip to communist-led Hungary opened doors for Graham to conduct preaching missions in virtually every country
of the former Eastern Bloc (including the Soviet Union), as well as China and North Korea.
34 books, including his memoir, Just As I Am (Harper Collins, 1997), which remained on The New York Times best-seller list
for 18 weeks.
In 1996, Graham and his wife, Ruth, received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award Congress can bestow on a private
citizen. He was also listed by Gallup as one of the "Ten Most Admired Men" 61 times-including 55 consecutive years
(except 1976, when the question was not asked). Graham was cited by the George Washington Carver Memorial Institute for his
contributions to race relations and by the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith.
Throughout his life,
Graham was faithful to his calling, which will be captured in the inscription to be placed on his grave marker: Preacher of
the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"There were a few times when I thought I was dying, and I saw my
whole life come before me..." said Graham at his Cincinnati Crusade on June 24, 2002. "I didn't say to the Lord,
'I'm a preacher, and I've preached to many people.' I said, 'Oh Lord, I'm a sinner, and I still need Your forgiveness. I still
need the cross.' And I asked the Lord to give me peace in my heart, and He did-a wonderful peace that hasn't left me."
Billy Graham is survived by his sister Jean Ford; daughters Gigi, Anne and Ruth; sons Franklin and Ned; 19 grandchildren;
and numerous great-grandchildren. His wife, Ruth, died June 14, 2007, at age 87, and is buried at the Billy Graham Library.
A private funeral service is planned at the Billy Graham Library, on a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial
gifts may be made to the ongoing ministry of evangelism at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, online at BillyGraham.org
or via mail, sent to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201. Notes of remembrance
can be posted at BillyGraham.org
About the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is a nonprofit organization that directs a range of domestic and international
ministries, including: Franklin Graham Festivals, Will Graham Celebrations, The Billy Graham Library, The Billy Graham Training
Center at The Cove, SearchforJesus.net, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team of crisis-trained chaplains, My Hope with Billy
Graham TV ministry and others. Founded in 1950 by Billy Graham, the organization has been led by Franklin Graham since 2000.
The ministry employs some 500 people worldwide and is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, with additional offices
in Australia, Canada, Germany and Great Britain.
|Unite the USA: Discover the ABCs of Patriotism is a new book by Stacie Ruth
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In God We Still Trust
an inspiring album dedicated to God and veterans
by Stacie and Carrie Stoelting
|Per request from veterans who love patriotic and inspiring music sung by Stacie and Carrie, In God We Still Trust was recorded. From the National Anthem to "God Bless America" you will be inspired and uplifted
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In God We Still Trust
Our country needs to turn to
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and encouragement, listen to Stacie Ruth and Carrie Beth sing "In God We Still Trust".
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