It may be hard to believe if your heart has been broken, you’ve just heard about another horrific act of violence involving children or you’ve seen yet again the suffering billions of people experience every day. But it’s true. God is at work right now. And the amazing thing is that God is using people just like you to do remarkable things. Just like God wants to do amazing things through you. So open your heart, mind, hands and mouth to God. And discover what God has in store for you.
Dr. Billy Graham has now entered the Church Triumphant. While at times guilty of human frailty, he was a true spiritual giant who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to more people than any other human in history, gained ‘celebrity’ status around the world, was deeply committed to fighting for the end of segregation and served as a spiritual advisor to United States presidents. Indeed, he is one of the seminal figures of human history in the 20th century.
Dr. Graham’s relationship with Jesus Christ was the central touchstone of his life, defining who he was and what he did. His preaching put Christ first. His invitation to people to enter into a life-changing relationship with Christ as Lord and Savior was the heart of his ministry. Indeed, he was willing to go anywhere and do almost anything in order that people might know Christ.
We live in the throes of post-modernity that urges us to abandon any search for truth. Dr. Graham’s message reminds us of the ultimate truth of Whose we are, who we are and what matters most in our lives. It is a powerful reminder of the central reality of life that God loves humanity so much God sent Jesus Christ to give himself fully and completely so we can receive what we absolutely need, but can never get on our own – forgiveness, salvation, healing, new life, transformation, joy, hope, a spirit of compassion, zeal to seek justice for all of God’s children and the gift of eternal life.
Today is a day to grieve. Today is a day to give thanks to God for the life of Dr. Billy Graham. And, perhaps most importantly, today is a day to refocus on the ultimate simplicity of the Good News of the Gospel.
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Sometimes you lose hope in God. You don’t want to – and try not to – but you do. Then, as if that is not enough, you start feeling guilty. That’s the moment you need to move out of your feelings and into your faith. Your feelings can easily overwhelm you and lead you toward all kinds of bad places. But your faith goes beyond the moment and reaffirms what is ultimately real – the fact that God has not abandoned you, is holding you close and is at work for good in your life.
There’s a good chance your soul is covered with scars from being wounded by people you care about, mistakes you’ve made and life just happening. After awhile, it can be easy to see yourself as a victim, act like a victim and invite others to treat you as a victim. But God wants you to know that you don’t have to be a victim – because God’s love heals, helps you move beyond where you are and uses your scars to help you grow. This is not just a wish. It’s reality. Because God’s got your back.
The Arkansas Conference Commission on a Way Forward Town Hall Report is now available for viewing online at: https://indd.adobe.com/view/2541c396-3c45-4e0f-85d1-5dfa9e45fd62
The report, town hall results, and online survey results are also available for download at: http://arumc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Report.zip
To everyone who participated in a Town Hall event or the online survey, thank you for sharing your feedback concerning the future of The United Methodist Church. Your responses were exceptionally valuable. Please continue to be in prayer for our denomination.