WASHINGTON – The Rev. Billy Graham, who passed away last week at the age of 99, made it his mission to spread the love of God.
His dedication inspired generations, and his legacy will live on in the memories of the countless lives he touched, including the many presidents for whom he served as a spiritual guide.
After decades of public service and evangelical ministry, he was laid in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda this week – a rare distinction afforded to only three other private citizens in American history.
Billy Graham proved it was possible to be bold without compromise, while exuding a humility birthed in genuine love for every person. As a young pastor in the 1970s, I very vividly recall the first time I saw him preach at one of his live crusades in Atlanta. It was one of the most powerful sermons of the Gospel I had ever heard, and I still hold dear the Bible he personally signed for me. His message, throughout his years of ministry, was one focused on love, reconciliation, hope, and salvation.
As humans, we are sinful and separated from the Lord. But through God’s grace, we are forgiven and made whole. As people of faith, we ought to proclaim the good news of Christ loudly and with joy.
In the wake of his passing, let us not only remember Billy Graham as a man, but let us also remember his message of hope and joy for us all through the Gospel.
Second Timothy 4:7-8, says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Billy Graham certainly fought the good fight, and I continue to mourn the void in moral and spiritual authority that, with his death, has been left in this world, but I rejoice in knowing that he is finally at home and at rest with Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Jody Hice, a Republican from Greensboro, represents Georgia’s 10th District in Congress. Online: hice.house.gov.