This morning I saw the headlines…Billy Graham died today. A thousand thoughts went through my head. Mainly this— who will step up to the plate now?
The face of America and the world are different because a man named Billy Graham took God at His word and walked in courage. Literally millions have thronged to hear Billy speak about Jesus and the Word of God. In countries all over the world, in churches and outdoor tents, in groups of hundreds and masses of thousands…hungry people stood, even in the rain, to hear him preach the Gospel.
Even though I never met him in person, Billy Graham made a lasting impact on me. I remember reading his autobiography as a teenager and being moved to pray more dangerous prayers. Reading about an “ordinary” man who God used in extraordinary ways made a new courage well up within me. It isn’t about capabilities, it’s about willingness. God uses those who are WILLING to follow, no matter the cost.
Billy Graham once wrote, “I have often said that the first thing I am going to do when I get to Heaven is to ask, ‘Why me, Lord? Why did You choose a farmboy from North Carolina to preach to so many people, to have such a wonderful team of associates, and to have a part in what You were doing in the latter half of the twentieth century?’”
Legacy. There are few people who have left a legacy of faith like Billy Graham. He spoke the Word with such authority. And because of his courage and faith, we are changed. I’ve personally met several people who came to Christ at one of Billy Graham’s crusades. People who saw him speak in person or those who came to Jesus through watching him speak on television.
This morning, my mind kept going back to Elijah and Elisha in 2 Kings 2. Elijah was considered the greatest prophet of his time. When God called him home, Elisha (Elijah’s apprentice) asked for a double portion of his spirit. It seems like a strange request, but Elisha had walked with Elijah for years and he wanted the work of the Lord to stay around. He wanted the Spirit of the Lord to only get stronger and do bigger things in his lifetime.
God granted Elisha’s request and Scripture records DOUBLE the miracles during his ministry.
It hit me this morning: What if WE asked God for that? What if we asked that in our generation we would see an outpouring of His Spirit, DOUBLE what we saw in the generation of Billy Graham? That’s not insulting. That’s believing that God can do even greater than what we’ve seen.
We need Revival. Billy Graham spoke about that over and over. Could we believe God for a miracle? What if we asked God to continue what He started with the legacy of Billy Graham…and that we would see a DOUBLE portion of God’s Spirit pour out on the hearts of people all over the world?
Revival starts with you. Revival starts with me. Revival starts when a person bows in humility, repents, and asks God to show up and show off for His glory. Revival is when we lay our entire life before Jesus and commit to following Him radically, no matter the cost. What if our generation did that?
What if you and I stood up today and cried out for healing and hope for our dying world? What if we loved so much that we were willing to live full and free to carry the Gospel to every one meet?
I can tell you what would happen: Our world would see Jesus.
The Bible says that right after Elijah went to heaven, people noticed that his spirit rested on Elisha. It says in 2 Kings 2:15 that the people who knew Elisha saw him and said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha”. Whoa! I wonder what that looked like.
Here’s the thing… It’s reported that Billy Graham gave the Gospel to more than 2.2 billion people. Did you read that? 2.2 billion people!
A double portion would be 4.4 billion people. That’s not bad, folks. I’d like to see a piece of that action, how about you?
So today…while we grieve the loss of a Godly man and spiritual leader in America, let’s not settle. Instead, let it spur us on to stand together and continue the legacy of faithfulness to the cross. How about we let it MOTIVATE us to action?
Let’s stand up and ask God for DOUBLE of His Spirit in our generation! Let’s carry the torch and continue where Billy Graham left off. Jesus isn’t done yet! He wants us to believe Him, love His Word and carry the hope of the Gospel to a hurting world.
“Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.” -Billy Graham
This morning, Billy Graham met his reward. There was a grand reception to meet him…chiefly his Savior and Redeemer.
I can’t wait to meet Jesus face-to-face. But until then, we have work to do. Who’s with me?