On Wednesday the 21st of February, news broke concerning the passing of the Evangelist and Preacher; Dr Billy Graham at the age of 99. Literally thousands of tributes have poured in from world leaders past and present, from religious leaders, and people from all walks of life whose lives had been powerfully impacted by this gracious man. He was a born communicator and possessed a God given gift in fulfilling his call to be a preacher of the gospel. For just over seventy years, Billy Graham had been faithful in sharing the Christian gospel to huge audiences in many parts of the world. He was able to cross cultural and national boundaries and had the rare gift of reaching out to people of all ages. He became the personal confidant of all serving American Presidents from Harry Truman onwards, and brought influence to bear in major moments of American history including the events of 9/11.
He dedicated his life to preaching the simple truths of the Christian gospel. He was passionate in his communication but never overbearing. He based his message on the phrase; ‘THE BIBLE SAYS’. He steered away from expressing individual opinion, he was careful to back up what he said from the words of Scripture. Although supremely gifted, he always acknowledged the help of teams of people who worked with him, often behind the scenes.
He was well known to the British public and conducted major missions here in the U.K. on many occasions. He preached in front of Her Majesty The Queen and visited her on a number of occasions. He would also be a regular visitor to 10, Downing Street when visiting Britain.
We thank God for this humble servant of the gospel, and we affirm the life changing power of the message he communicated to audiences worldwide. Our prayers are with his family as they reflect upon the impact his life made upon so many people across the nations of our world.
Greetings, and welcome to the web site of The Elim Christian Centre, Glossop, Derbyshire. U K. How often do we hear people comment upon the passing of time and the pace by which weeks and months seem to fly by. I am just getting back to normal duties following a nasty fall that I had at the end of October that required surgery and a three month rest. There were times during that three month period when time seemed to go so slowly, but then looking back, there is also a sense in which it has gone quite quickly. This set me thinking about the theme of times and seasons.
As a Pastor, this has come home to me in that we are about to conduct the funeral of our longest serving Church member, a dear lady who has served her Lord all her life, and has given a lifetime of service to the Elim Church here in Glossop, she died just three months short of her 92nd birthday! We will be celebrating her life and rejoicing in the sure knowledge that she is in the presence of Jesus Christ her Lord and Saviour.
In thinking about this, and in thinking about the plans we make for our lives in respect of our future, I am reminded of the words written by one of the New Testament writers, a man called James. He was writing about the brevity of life and reminding his readers that life is just like a ‘Morning Mist’ that appears for a time, and then is gone. Seventy to eighty years is but a moment when set against the backdrop of eternity. Our dear friend had made her peace with God in her early years and she had the peace and assurance of knowing that her eternal destiny was secure.
What about you today? Have you made your peace with God, do you have the assurance of sins forgiven and a secure eternity. The Bible reminds us that ‘Today is the day of Salvation’. Times and seasons pass us by, but in the midst of the circumstances of life, Jesus is the One who can give lasting peace and hope.