Hey everyone! Nic Miner here, and today I did something I realized I had never done before. I listened to one of Billy Graham’s sermons. You might think that it is embarrassing for someone in my line of work to have never listened to a Billy Graham sermon, and I would agree with you. With the passing of this incredible man of God, I decided to move it on up my list of things to do and I wanted to share some of the things that really struck me.
*This is in no way a critique of Billy Graham, I am not qualified enough for that.
The link to the sermon I listened to is below. Click on it and you can hear it too.
First and foremost, SO MUCH SCRIPTURE. It literally felt like every other word was a direct quote, paraphrase, or story from the Bible. I could not count how many times he said, “The Bible says” or “Scripture speaks to.” I also loved how his Bible rarely left his hands. It blew me away, not to mention convicted me. And what was crazy about it was how easy he was to listen to. His message didn’t feel notes driven or perfectly outlined, but just like a conversation. Billy Graham was authentic and natural.
Perhaps what struck me the most was how Billy Graham DIDN’T SHY AWAY FROM SENSITIVE TOPICS. He spoke of mistakes and sin in the world. He made the point that we cannot rely on any government system to take the place of the Kingdom of Christ. And in an incredible way, he attacked the racial divides that separate people in society. While doing this he didn’t come across as mad or judgmental, but concerned; for these things are a result of people being separated from a relationship with God. Billy Graham invited people to have a relationship with Jesus, but he also invited people to live holy lives.
Lastly, Billy Graham NORMALIZED SPIRITUAL THINGS. He showed through the culture, movies, and plays that people have always been asking the question, “Who is Jesus?” or “What do you think of Jesus?” His point being, if you people are always asking the question then it’s normal for me to do so as well and offer an answer. Billy Graham also normalized the action of faith and showed how we exercise faith in everyday life. He did all of this with amazing clarity and purpose.
I could go on and on, but I believe Billy Graham’s legacy speaks for itself.
One of the things I frequently pray for in our student ministry is that God will raise up our students to do amazing things for the Kingdom of God. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that the next Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr., or countless other heroes of the Christian faith are young people sitting in our services. As a ministry, what can we be doing to raise these future leaders?
How are we encouraging students to read, memorize, and meditate on Scripture? We expect excellence out of them in many other areas, but what about when it comes to the Word of God?
Are we talking with our students about the issues society is facing today? One of the things that I notice is how easily students pick up political opinions from their parents and friends. If we are viewing society as lost, broken, and worthless then they will too. And I don’t believe that lines up with the heart of Jesus. Yes, society is messy, but we have to get students to realize that the only solution is a relationship Jesus.
Let’s do our best to teach our students how to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for reading,
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