His Daddy was a dairy farmer. And he became the pastor to millions. It is estimated that his reach was to over 2.5 billion people. And over 3.2 million accepted Christ at his rallies. Twenty three hundred invited guests attended his funeral including the President and Vice-president and their wives. Again, even in death, his influence reached across the globe. And the Reverend Billy Graham grew up on a farm…
February 21, 2018, the world lost a great man, but Heaven gained a very humble servant—a child of God who now is living life to the fullest at the feet of Jesus. It’s not likely that you have grown up in America and not had some kind of knowledge of Billy Graham. You heard his radio or television broadcasts, you have seen him pray at presidential inaugurations, or read his column in the newspaper. And even if you didn’t really know much about Billy Graham, your life has been affected by him. He has preached messages that have brought billions of people face to face with the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. It’s unlikely that any of us (this side of Heaven) will ever understand the influence of his ministry. How many people who met Jesus thru Rev. Graham’s ministry have changed their lives and therefore the way they do business or where they give their money, or have raised Godly children who know the Lord and have become pastors, or other Christian business men and women? It’s a ripple effect that extends well past throwing a pebble in a pond. Rev. Graham had relationships with men like Martin Luther King, Jr, and presidents from Truman to Trump. He publicly prayed for our nation during the tragedies of 9/11, and if not publicly, you can be assured that privately he prayed without ceasing for the people of our nation and our world. His prayers made a difference in your life and mine.
And he was raised on a farm… As President Trump said those words at the US Capitol, I had to think of our own children. One teaches high school, one serves our country in the USAF and one spends long hours working retail. None of them have the title of Reverend, but all three have been taught to love the Lord and have their own circles of influence. They were introduced to Jesus all throughout their lives. And as they were raised on a farm, they were given ample opportunities to see the miracles of God at work. They watched their parents handle the blessings of ample crop years and the difficulties of droughts and crop failures.
But…showing our children (and grandchildren) about Jesus is not enough. They don’t receive the benefit of Heaven simply because we show them about Jesus. Billy Graham’s parents showed him about Jesus but it wasn’t until he was invited by a friend to a revival that the teenage Billy Graham accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. On that dairy farm, his parents laid the foundation. They prepared the soil in his young life and he was ready to receive the Words of salvation that changed his life and changed our world for the better.
Farm life means that every day we see the handiwork of God. We have a tremendous responsibility to feed the world through the crops and livestock we raise and we can’t do it without God. I believe we have an even greater responsibility and I think it applies to not just farmers—but to all of us—our most important job is to share Jesus. That’s an abundant crop of corn you are raising and some healthy livestock. But are you potentially raising a world-changer like Billy Graham?
May we all take time to plant the Words of Jesus in our own lives and those around us. Take time to ask the question of yourself and those around you: “Is He your Lord and Savior?”
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have Eternal life.” John 3:16