Many tears will have been shed these past few days when the news broke that Billy Graham had died, aged 99. Billy Graham was probably the most well-known evangelist ever. He certainly preached to more people than anyone else in history. But much more significantly there are countless millions alive in God today because they were born again by the Spirit of God after listening to Billy Graham preach the timeless Gospel message from today’s Scripture, “You must be born again.”
I was ten years of age when I first heard Billy Graham preach at the Harringay Arena in London. Even though I had already given my life to the Lord, I was hugely impacted by both his message and the number of people who went forward at the end of the meeting to do business with God. I know many people today who were born again under Billy’s ministry and have gone on to live outstanding Christian lives.
Philip Doddridge, the eighteenth century poet, described that moment of being born again as the happiest day of his life and he put his experience into the words of the hymn:
“O happy day that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Saviour and my God!”
And in the second verse of the hymn he explained why:
“ ’Tis done—the great transaction’s done;
I am my Lord’s, and He is mine; ”.
Every one of us needs to have our lives transformed by the living presence of our Saviour and be born again by the Spirit of God. In John Chapter 3 Jesus explains to Nicodemus that no-one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again. And this was the message that God gave Billy Graham to preach and he faithfully preached it throughout his life – simply because it is the most important message in the universe, and everyone needs to hear it.
Today we have thousands of scientists listening to the ‘noise from outer space’ trying to discern if there is anyone ‘out there’ trying to contact us. In reality, however, the God who put the stars in space has already been in touch and spoken to us through His Son, but the world ignores His message. Philip Doddridge looked on the day of his salvation as the day when a great life-transforming transaction was completed. On that day he knew he belonged to Jesus.
That can be your experience too. Today, if you hear His voice, I urge you not to harden your heart, and not to go to bed tonight till you have welcomed the Saviour into your heart and been born again by the Spirit of God.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus for bringing life into a dying world. Thank You for dying on the cross so that my sins can be forgiven. I welcome You now into my heart and life and ask you to forgive and cleanse me so that today will be the happiest day of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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