Tag Archives: Billy Graham

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus! A devotion by Yves Blouin

Billy Graham Time

Last week several people shared stories related to Billy Graham and his evangelistic crusades.

 

My wife came upon this story about how the hymn “I have decided to follow Jesus” came into being:

https://pastorbradabley.wordpress.com/2016/05/15/the-incredible-story-behind-the-hymn-i-have-decided-to-follow-jesus/

In the 1800’s, a missionary from Wales who had endured severe persecution finally saw his first converts in a particularly brutal village in the Northern Indian province of Assam. A husband and wife, with their two children, professed faith in Christ and were baptized.

Assam and its surrounding provinces was located in one of the most oppressive forms of Hinduism — a place where the caste system was entrenched, and where headhunters ruled.

Their village leaders decided to make an example out of the husband. Arresting the family, they demanded that the father renounce Christ, or see his wife and children murdered.

When he refused, his two children were executed by archers. Given another chance to recant, the man again refused, and his wife was killed. Still refusing to recant, this husband and father was martyred.

Witnesses later told the story to the Welsh missionary. The reports said that when asked to recant or see his children murdered, the man said: “I have decided to follow Jesus, and there is no turning back.”

After seeing his children killed, he reportedly said, “The world can be behind me, but the cross is still before me.” And after seeing his wife pierced by the arrows, he said, “Though no one is ready to go with me, still I will follow Jesus.”

According to this missionary, when he returned to the village, a revival had broken out, and those who had murdered the first converts had since come to faith in Jesus themselves.

The Welsh man passed along these reports to the famous Indian evangelist Sandhu Sundar Singh.

So Singh took the martyr’s last words, and put them to traditional Indian music in order to make one of the first uniquely Indian hymns.

The song immediately became popular in Indian churches, and it remains a mainstay of worship music there to this day.

Eventually some of the American missionaries returned from India and they brought that song with them.

Finally, it ended up with Canadian song writer George Beverley Shea, and he made it a staple at the Billy Graham crusades.

 

Follow Jesus

 

I’m inspired by Christians martyred for Christ – the strength of their faith. Last week’s persecuted church was about Samiha Tawfiq Awad of Egypt who’s face had been severely damaged by an explosion at her church and her reaction was that of thankfulness to be alive so that she could reach out to her attackers and their families for Christ. My faith isn’t that strong.

Last night my family watched a movie called “I’m not ashamed” based on the Columbine massacre and how a teenage girl touched millions for Christ. We don’t have to be spiritual giants to make a difference in other people’s life for Christ – we just need to desire to serve him in whatever way Jesus leads us to.

Billy Graham, as great a man as he was, didn’t give elaborate theological discourses at his crusades but a simple message – the good news of our salvation through Christ. He left it up to the Holy Spirit to do the rest. His audience has been estimated in the billions. Our call may not be the same but just to be ready to give an answer for our hope to whomever will listen. 1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

When I go and pick up Bradyn (my grandson) at his home I will buzz his unit and he will hear my voice on the speakerphone.  By the time I get off from the elevator he is out of the door of his apartment and running down the hall, squealing, giggling and calling out Papa, Papa.  I would guess that annoys some of the other tenants as the hallways echo with the sound of his voice, but you can’t contain Bradyn’s excitement and it gives me great joy.  God calls us to Him.  There is no guarantee that we will respond.  The decision is ours.  If we do come to Him we will not be disappointed and God will be exuberant even more so than we are when our grandchildren run to us to give us a hug.  When we respond, is our excitement subdued because we don’t want to disturb the neighbours?  

child running to grandpa

Are we concerned about what will our friends and family think?  Are we too grown up to share our excitement with others?

God’s calling on our lives is both to turn to his son Jesus and to introduce others to Jesus.  The Holy Spirit does the rest – we’re not responsible for the outcome, just to be obedient in following Jesus and tell others of the joy and peace he can bring into their lives.

Sadhu Sundar Singh

By: Yves Blouin

 

 

.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Posts

Franklin Graham Responds to Hijab-Wearing Christian College Professor’s Claim That Muslims and Christians Worship the ‘Same God’

Evangelist Franklin Graham has weighed in on the ongoing controversy surrounding Dr. Larycia Hawkins, the political science professor who was suspended from Wheaton College, an evangelical institution in Illinois, after saying that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God.”

Graham, who said that he is “deeply concerned” over faculty recommendations that the case against the professor be dropped, also pushed back against Hawkins’ “same God” proclamation in a Facebook post published on Saturday.

 Hawkins-compressed-1

 

“Both my father Billy Graham and my mother attended Wheaton College in Illinois – in fact that’s where they met,” Graham wrote. “I’m surprised and disappointed that the faculty council there is now recommending the college drop their plans to terminate a professor who published that she believed Islam and Christianity worship the same God in December.”

The Christian leader, who is the president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, went on to explain exactly why he believes that Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God, calling Hawkins’ comments “no minor issue.”

“Islam denies that God has a Son. They deny that Jesus is God. They do not believe in a Triune God–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” Graham continued. “I can tell you – Islam and Christianity clearly do not worship the same God.”

He continued, “How the faculty council can now support this professor being allowed to teach students is deeply concerning.”

Graham’s comments came after Wheaton College’s Faculty Council, the liaison between the college administration and faculty, voted unanimously to urge leaders to halt any efforts to potentially fire Hawkins.

Wheaton College responded to the Faculty Council’s recommendation by noting that it is within the confines of the faculty handbook, but that the school is following “established protocol” in how it handles Hawkins’ case.

“The next step in this process is a hearing before the Faculty Personnel Committee. The Faculty Personnel Committee will receive presentations from the Provost and Dr. Hawkins regarding the substantive and procedural issues each would like to raise, will review the evidence presented, and will make a formal recommendation regarding the termination of tenure,” the statement read. “The Faculty Personnel Committee’s recommendation will then be taken into consideration by President Ryken, as he makes his recommendation to the Board of Trustees.”

As TheBlaze previously reported, Wheaton College placed Hawkins on administrative leave last month, as officials further investigated comments that she made about the “relationship of Christianity to Islam” following a public announcement that she would be wearing a hijab — a Muslim headscarf — throughout the advent season.

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she wrote in a Dec. 10 Facebook post. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

With reports earlier this month indicating that Wheaton College would now be considering termination, the school released a Jan. 6 statement to TheBlaze explaining at the time that there was an “impasse reached by the parties.”

“Wheaton College can confirm reports that on January 4, 2016, per College policies and procedures, Provost Stanton Jones delivered to President Philip Ryken and to Dr. Larycia Hawkins a Notice of Recommendation to Initiate Termination-for-Cause Proceedings regarding Dr. Hawkins,” the statement read. “The Notice is not a termination; rather, it begins Wheaton College’s established process for employment actions pertaining to tenured faculty members.”

Read Original Article Here

Leave a comment

Filed under Posts