“I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7): Reflections on the life of Billy Graham.

As we heard this week that Billy Graham had passed away, I thought of the life and death of my father-in-law, who was also a minister of the Word all his life. At his funeral, the president of our denomination mentioned how few pastors nowadays remain in the ministry. Both Billy Graham, as well as my  father can say with the Apostle Paul, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Billy Graham understood that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes (Rom 1:16). He shared with people that they can know that their sins are forgiven and that they can start a new life—not in their own strength, but because those who believe in Christ are, in the words of 2 Corinthians 5:17, a new creation.

Billy Graham introduced millions of people to the living Lord Jesus. The power of God was tangibly present as he invited people to give their lives to the Lord. The gospel message resonated with powerful world leaders, as well as with millions of ordinary people. His ministry kindled a global awakening in the years that followed the second world war.

Billy Graham is no longer with us. Who will fulfill his leadership role in the 21st-century? I believe the Lord is raising up multiple leaders. Let us not overlook the pastors of congregations, small and large all over the country! Let us treasure our pastors because they are at the forefront of the battle for the kingdom of God! Let us pray for them and provide for them so that they can stay in the ministry, proclaiming the same gospel that Billy Graham understood so clearly.

Discussion: Do you agree that God is raising up multiple leaders in the 21st-century? In which ways can we care for our pastors, enabling them to stay in the ministry!

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