The Reverend Billy Graham died recently at the age of 99. During his travels as an evangelist, Billy he reached millions in more than 185 countries.
He took his commitment to serve and follow Jesus very seriously. And although his life wasn’t perfect, he was true to the preaching of the gospel to whomever he met and everywhere that he went.
He was highly respected and was sought for counsel and was a spiritual confidant to every American president since President Harry Truman.
His funeral was the conclusion of a week of mourning that included Graham lying in honor at the U.S. Capitol rotunda in Washington at the approval of President Trump and congressional leaders. It is just the fourth time that this was done for a private citizen.
Prior to the funeral, approximately 13,000 people (including former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton) filed past his casket during a public viewing in Charlotte.
His funeral was streamed live and viewed by millions of people. The service was attended by over 2,000 invited guests including President Trump; who said; “Graham's acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior not only changed our country, it changed, in fact, the entire world.
The casket in which Billy was laid was very simple – a $200 pine box made by inmates and lined with a mattress- and his tombstone will simply read ‘Preacher’.
His epitaph in heaven will be that he was a sinner saved by grace who ran his race and finished his course.
And I am confident that Billy Graham didn’t have a large bonfire.
I don’t mean cremation, I am referring to the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church in Corinth where he wrote that after each of us have run our race and finished our course, there will be a fire to burn up all of the unnecessary ways that we spent our time. And what will be left will be all that we did that had real value:
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-13 NLT)
In light of that passage, how are you spending your time on this earth? This week? Yesterday; right now?
How will they mark the end of your life when you die? What will they say about you?
I’m OK with cremation when I die; I just don’t want a large bonfire.
I want to run my race and finish my course and when all that I have done is revealed by fire, I am hoping that is a small fire; not a large bonfire.
I want to look the One who made me, saved me, and was my Lord, in the eyes and hear Him say; “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I want to have something of value for all of the efforts.
When we were young and growing up we didn’t think about death; except when it pertained to mostly people who were old. Death was always for one who lived down the road; not the person in the mirror.
But the truth is that death comes to all of us and it oftentimes comes at a time when most of us do not expect it, nor are we looking for it.
Oftentimes people are not ready to die because they’re un-prepared; or they haven’t thought about getting their life together.
Instead, we should live each day as though it might be our last day.
Because it might be…
Are you ready to meet your Maker?
The good news is that today is a new day; today we can get a do-over. Today we can set a new course to give priority to the people, events, and things that we say are our priorities; even if one your priorities has been to spend more time with God…but everything else has blocked out your time.
Are you ready to give preeminence to your priorities?
Here is my suggestion for you: Work with God and let Him take you through the process; you will find that the results will affect everyone in your life. Finally, you will be able to do what you really want to do and some of the results will be eternal.
Need some help? Call Toll-Free: 1-877-2GRAHAM (1-877-247-2426)