Dr. Greg MaGee shares his experience at a Graham Crusade as a young boy.
I thank God for Billy Graham. Graham invited me to take the plunge into life with Jesus, and his example of trust and integrity in ministry continued to inspire me as a campus minister and professor. Throughout my life, Graham has stood at the center of the stage in the evangelical world. I will feel the void now that he is gone.
A Lit Match
When I was in sixth grade, my father took me to a Billy Graham Crusade in Houston. I remember Graham's sincerity, his earnestness, and his clear message that night. With conviction, Graham presented Jesus and his death on the cross as the only solution to a life marked by sin and a world filled with problems.
On the fifth or sixth stanza of a classic altar-call hymn (I think it was either "Just As I Am" or "Have Thine Own Way, Lord"), I nudged my dad and asked him to walk down with me from the upper deck to the field of Rice University's stadium so that I could proclaim my faith in Jesus.
It was obvious to me that evening that Graham was a gifted and compelling speaker. And at that time in my life, I had been pondering making a profession of faith in Christ. But I believe that what happened in my life that night was neither inevitable nor manipulated.
Graham was talented and effective for sure, but he was also a lit match, ignited by the Spirit of God for fruitful ministry. That night, the same Spirit lit the match of new life in my heart. Even though I had heard similar messages countless times before, in one evening Jesus went from being a great idea for other people to a precious treasure for me.
Life and Doctrine
As I began to perceive a call to vocational ministry, Graham's life shouted "follow me, as I follow Christ." Graham was far from perfect, ...