Today is Billy Graham’s 98th birthday. Through the years, his life has been a powerful example of living boldly for our Lord, with much compassion and love for others. Like many of you, I’m so thankful for the chance to have heard him preach years ago, and am inspired still today by the impact of his life and ministry.
Franklin Graham recently told the Charlotte Observer Newspaper about his dad, “He’s 98. He’s real quiet. Doesn’t say much. Can’t see. His mind is clear . . . But he speaks in sentences of one word.” He says they won’t have a big party this year, but at this age, counting the days and weeks are celebration. “It’s a party every Sunday when I go see him because he’s made it through another week.” He says that his dad is still living in his mountaintop home in Montreat, NC, and “will be ready for heaven when he reaches 100.” The newspaper reports, “Three years ago, more than 800 people – including celebrities from the worlds of TV, politics and religion – gathered at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville to wish Graham a happy 95th birthday.”
Dr. Graham has preached the message of Christ’s freedom and forgiveness around the world, reaching over 200 million people in more than 185 countries. He’s had the privilege of leading hundreds of thousands of people to pray to receive Jesus Christ into their lives as Lord and Savior. His integrity and wisdom have opened doors to offer spiritual support and guidance for United States presidents from Eisenhower to Bush. He has been a friend to celebrities, politicians, athletes, and leaders, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Bono, Muhammad Ali, Johnny Cash, Larry King, and WWII hero and Olympian Louis Zamperini.
Billy Graham has been named by Americans as “One of the Ten Most Admired Men in the World,” a record-breaking 59 times with the Gallup poll. He has been known through the years as not only a world renowned evangelist, but as a kind, non-judgmental, accepting, and humorous soul.
His message is timeless, powerful, and relevant for today. The phrase, “the Bible says,” resounds throughout his sermons, and the truth he has preached for years still transcends all barriers of denominational differences, age, nationality, and culture. It has stood the test of time and generations, pointing millions to Christ.
The Reverend Billy Graham has preached God’s Word with conviction and passion for over 60 years. Here are just a few of his words of wisdom.
40 Powerful Quotes by Billy Graham:
“The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us.”
“God never takes away something from your life without replacing it with something better.”
“I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out all right.”
“It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love.”
“My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.”
“God proved his love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”
“Suppose you could gain everything in the whole world, and lost your soul. Was it worth it?”
“There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men.”
“If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life.”
“The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.”
“We are the Bibles the world is reading; we are the creeds the world is needing; we are the sermons the world is heeding.”
“A real Christian is the one who can give his pet parrot to the town gossip.”
“I have never known anyone to accept Christ’s redemption and later regret it.”
“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”
“Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.”
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
“Christ not only died for all: he died for each.”
“Heaven is full of answers for which nobody ever bothered to ask.”
“Take one day at a time. Today, after all, is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”
“We say to our children, ‘Act like grown-ups,’ but Jesus said to the grown-ups, ‘Be like children.’
“Sin is the second most powerful force in the universe, for it sent Jesus to the cross. Only one force is greater—the love of God.”
“Knowing we will be with Christ forever far outweighs our burdens today! Keep your eyes on eternity!”
“World events are moving very rapidly now. I pick up the Bible in one hand, and I pick up the newspaper in the other. And I read almost the same words in the newspaper as I read in the Bible. It’s being fulfilled every day round about us.”
“God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.”
“Tears shed for self are tears of weakness, but tears shed for others are a sign of strength.”
“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”
“The framers of our Constitution meant we were to have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.”
“They asked her (Ruth Graham) did she ever think about divorce and she said, ‘No, I’ve never thought of divorce in all these 35 years of marriage, but,’ she said, ‘I did think of murder a few times.’”
“Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.”
“When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God.”
“The message I preach hasn’t changed. Circumstances have changed. Problems have changed, but deep inside man has not changed, and the gospel hasn’t changed.”
“The only hope for enduring peace is Jesus Christ.”
“God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.”
“The moment we take our last breath on earth, we take our first in heaven.”
“Someone asked me recently if I didn’t think God was unfair, allowing me to have Parkinson’s and other medical problems when I have tried to serve him faithfully. I replied that I did not see it that way at all. Suffering is part of the human condition, and it comes to us all. The key is how we react to it, either turning away from God in anger and bitterness or growing closer to him in trust and confidence.”
“Without the resurrection, the cross is meaningless.”
“Believers, look up – take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.”
“The cross shows us the seriousness of our sin—but it also shows us the immeasurable love of God.”
“Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone – except God.”
“Quit beating yourself up. We all live under grace and do the best we can.”
In Reverend Graham’s last message in the 2013 video-recorded My Hope America, he shares his heart for our nation today, and this simple, yet powerful prayer, a final reminder, that if we’re willing to come to Christ, he has the power to change our lives and future forever.
“Our country’s in great need of a spiritual awakening. There have been times that I’ve wept as I’ve gone from city to city and I’ve seen how far people have wandered from God.
I want to tell people about the meaning of the cross. Not the cross that hangs on the wall or around someone’s neck, but the real cross of Christ…With all my heart I want to leave you with the truth, that he loves you, and is willing to forgive you of all your sins.
Sin is a disease of the human heart….There is no other way of salvation except through the cross of Christ.
Today, I’m asking you to put your trust in Christ.
‘Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins, and rose from the dead. I turn from my sin, I repent of my sins, I invite you to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior.
In Jesus’ Name,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Just as I am.
All is grace.
(References: The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Just As I Am: The Autobiography of Billy Graham, by Billy Graham, Harper Collins Publishers, 1999)