There has not been anyone more visible in our lifetime who has lived this out so successfully than the now late Dr. Billy Graham. With the Passing of Dr. Graham today, a void has been left. No one person can hope to fill that void alone or with the same measure of impact. Dr. Billy Graham was able to do what he did because God equipped him with what he needed so that he could be he example that the Church needed. Some will see him as a modern-day prophet. Others will say he was a priest. There are those who will recognize his kingly authority. However, it doesn’t matter how you saw him, so long as what you saw became an inspiration for you.
I personally saw Dr. Graham as all three; prophet, priest, and king. As a prophet, Dr. Graham dared to travel the globe, give council to heads of state in various countries, without any personal political agenda or bias. In America, it did not matter who was in office, he spoke truth indiscriminately. He prayed for each one and answered ever call when called upon. His impartiality is a lesson that needs to be learned by the present generation of prophetic voices who desire to have the level of influence and impact that Dr. Graham garnered.
As a priest, there is probably no one who carried the gospel so carefully and yet uncompromisingly as he did. You could make a case for someone like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who had a dynamic impact in bringing greater equality for minorities through the Civil Rights Movement. However, Dr. Billy Graham’s global impact on world missions enabled him to equip countless numbers of people to carry the gospel across the globe.
Dr. Billy Graham walked in a kingly authority as someone who boldly declare and decree God’s word wherever God sent him. Whether it was in the segregated south, in South African aparteid, or wherever injustice existed, he marked out territory for God and declared that no nation or person was beyond God’s reach.
Ninety-nine years of life is nothing to sneeze at. It is the mark of a life totally devoted to fulfilling the call and mandate that God gave him. He lived to fulfill everything God gave him a vision for. In all the years of ministry, in all the years of being a father, pastor, friend, confidante, spiritual advisor, mentor and more; Dr. Graham leaves a legacy that will be lived out through the lives of everyone he encountered directly and indirectly through the gospel message. People may ask why God didn’t let him live to see 100 years of age. It’s only something that we can speculate, because only God knows with certainty. I’d like to believe that it is because God said our times are in His hands, and only He truly knows the fulness of our completed mission.
I do not mourn for Dr. Graham as many might. For me, it is an inspiring life and legacy that he has blazed a trail in ministry. I can only hope to have a measure of the impact in ministry that he has had. My introduction to Dr. Billy Graham came during y early childhood who saw his evangelistic crusades on television. As a child of the 70’s, seeing this dynamic man of God proclaim the good news as few in that day could, he was convincing, commanding, and challenging. Even today, in many of my seminary classes, I am reading of his ministry impact through the texts that I am reading and have an even greater admiration for all he has accomplished from birth until his death.
I’m tempted to speak to the prophetic significance of this event, however I do not believe today will be the day to share those thoughts. However, as God takes the mantle upon him and sends it back for those of this generation to pick up; it is my hope that those who avail themselves to bear the weight of it, will be held with humility, honor, and integrity. May God bless the nations who have been touched by the loving gospel preached by Dr. Billy Graham.
QUESTION: What impact did Dr. Billy Graham have on you? What will your cherished memories be about the life and legacy of Dr. Billy Graham?