Yesterday, Evangelist/Pastor Billy Graham died. As I speak of in "My Testimony" , I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at a Billy Graham Crusade on Oct 27, 1994 in Atlanta, Georgia. Of course, this totally altered the course of my life, however, it was far more than I expected. It was also during that Crusade that I felt like God gave me a sign that He was going to use me in some powerful way. What has happened since has been nothing short of amazing. (I will not go into details on that, but it is in my testimony.)
In addition to my salvation, Billy Graham changed my life in other ways as well. After that Crusade, I returned home and ordered and read every tract that was available from Billy Graham's sermons (like 300). I later read his autobiography "Just As I Am" which was amazing and very inspiring, and moved me to go deeper in my walk. My wife and I attended 3 other Billy Graham Crusades in the years that followed in San Antonio, Charlotte, and Jacksonville, each as powerful as the first. One of the few magazines that I read on a regular basis is "Decision" magazine which is put out by the Billy Graham Association. Last year, my daughter and I visited the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte which was also quite moving, and I highly recommend you visit at some time (especially if you have never given your life to Christ).
The Bible speaks about "laying up treasures in Heaven" (Mt 6:19-20)(Mt 19:21). If any man in recent times has laid up these treasures, I believe it was Billy Graham. These are rewards that perhaps may last for eternity (I speak of this more here). Billy Graham's life should be an example to us all. An example of how to lay up treasure in Heaven. So many (Christians) today live for the "here and now" rather than thinking from an eternal perspective. So many want immediate gratification rather than delayed rewards. We so often fail to put God before self in EVERY situation. Billy Graham's life was the opposite, dedicated to God before self.
I remember hearing Billy Graham once say that one day he hoped to hear God say to him, "Well done good and faithful servant," but he did not expect that God would say that to him. I believe he was wrong, and God has spoken those very words to him. Those are words ALL Christians should long to hear one day. It is what I am striving for.
So, as you can see, Billy Graham played a HUGE part in where I am in my walk with the Lord today. Thank you Billy Graham! You have won the race!