As a minister of the Gospel, I am saddened at this morning's news. Billy Graham stood head and shoulders above the last century, as he faithfully proclaimed the good news about Jesus, the Son of God.
Avoiding politics, he was steadfast in preaching only Jesus. Turning down invitations to act, or to run for political office, he insisted on doing only that which he was called to do.
Proverbs 18:16 says, "A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men." The Rev. Dr. Graham had that opportunity, more so than almost anyone else. Spiritual advisor to 12 Presidents, and countless foreign leaders and heads of state ... the list of those with whom he met is a Who's Who of the 20th Century, and the early 21st.
Yet he was a humble man, never claiming any honors for himself, and only ever pointing to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
It is estimated that he delivered the message of Jesus and God's plan of salvation to some 215 million people in person, and Heaven only knows how many more saw him on TV or film.
We who remain rejoice in the knowledge that Billy is reunited with his wife and extended family in Heaven, in the presence of Jesus. And we are more determined than ever to do what God gives us to do, to finish, and to hear the words "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."