Monday, February 26, 2018

On Purpose

What can possibly be said about Billy Graham that hasn’t already been said? He was as iconic a figure as we are likely to see in our lifetime. By the numbers, his life was more impactful than anyone else I can think of:

·      2.2 billion people heard him preach the gospel
·      215 million attended one of his crusades
·      2.2 million people responded to the call to come to Christ
·      A record 61 times in a row he has been named to Gallup’s Most Admired Men list 
·      He met with 13 US Presidents, from Truman to Trump
But if I had to guess, I would say that the most important number to him was the number one - 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus”

Let’s look at what it means to live a life on purpose.

Acts 13:36
For David served God's purposes in his own time, and then he died

Things to think about:
·      What adjectives come to mind when you think of Billy Graham?
o   For me, words like good, humble, faithful, integrity, wise, called, long-serving, graceful, undefiled seem appropriate
o   Of the words you think of, which ones would you most like to have said of you and why?
o   What memories do you have of seeing him at one of his crusades or on TV?
·      In our verse, it says of King David, that he served God’s purposes in his life and then he died
o   I like this because it illustrates that we are all made for a divine purpose. When we see a man like Dr. Graham be true to his calling and unsullied by scandal or failure, it shows us an example worth emulating.
o   The Apostle Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.”
§  It’s encouraging to know that this promise isn’t just for the Mount Rushmore saints like Paul or Billy Graham but also for Mount Rumpke sinners like me!
§  What are practical things we can do to finish the race and keep the faith?
·      1 Peter 1:13-16 – “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”
o   Staying focused on the eternal
o   Being obedient
o   Being mindful of the our sin nature and our enemy who seeks to bring us down
o   Living in reverence for the One who rescued us
·      Dr. Graham has now heard the words that should be the desire of every Christian heart, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
o   How does the hope of hearing those words motivate you to not just stay out of trouble but to be a productive servant?
o   Let us commit to serving the purposes God has set out for us in our lifetimes!   


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