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It has been a poignant few days since the passing of evangelist Billy Graham. Those of us who grew up hearing about and attending the crusades of this vibrant Christian are sad to know we won't see him any more this side of heaven, but we are certain he is now in the physical Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Billy Graham, Cliff Barrows, and George Beverly Shea were not only effective evangelists of the gospel, but they were men of godly character of the highest calibre. In this era of daily news about men who have behaved badly with women, these men have been pure. They set down chaste behavior patterns long ago, making themselves accountable to others. I admire that, as any woman with good sense would.
Much has been said about this great man in articles that are easily available via a quick Internet search. We know that adversity was a part of his life just as it is with everyone. But there is one example of how he lived out the gospel that I want to repeat because it so clearly illustrates the wonderful love of God. These are the words of one of his daughters:
Ruth Graham told how her father hugged her following a difficult divorce and greeted her with the words "welcome home."
"There was no shame," Ruth Graham said. "There was no blame. There was no condemnation, just unconditional love. And you know, my father was not God. But he showed me what God is like that day. When we come to God with our sin, our brokenness, our failure, our pain and our hurt, God says 'welcome home,' and that invitation is open for you."
Every single one of us has messed up in life. To say otherwise is to fool ourselves. Yet when we humble ourselves before God, confess that we have sinned and accept His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, we are made new.
We all need to do this if we want peace with God.
God so loved the world
that He gave His only Son
that whosoever believes in Him
will not perish but have everlasting life.