Monday, January 9, 2012

Nearing Home

Billy Graham (nearly 93) has written a book: Nearing Home - Life, Faith and Finishing Well. It well deserved being in the top ten non-fiction best sellers for several weeks. As I read it I was struck by his immense honesty about getting old (coping with ageing and grief), his gift of interlacing Scripture seamlessly within his writing, and the hugely practical advice he gives throughout. Above all, the book is filled with Christian hope.

Several places struck me but in the last chapter he shows his delight in others' preaching. He describes how a telecast from Spartanburg. S. Carolina has helped. The preacher, Dr. Don Wilton

"began ministering to my heart through his messages, and I found myself looking forward to the next Sunday's program. Some months later, I called to thank him for his ministry and invited him to my home. We enjoyed wonderful fellowship together. Since that time, he has graciously driven ninety miles from Spartanburg for a visit every week. We have lunch together and discuss everything from family to world evens. But the most meaningful part of our visits is when we look in to the Scriptures together and spend time in prayer. Often he shares a sermon outline he is working on and with enthusiasm asks for my thoughts. There have been times I have asked for his assistance with thoughts on various passages as I prepare statements and brief talks. It is a great privilege for me to have fellowship with a great teacher of Scripture and to feel a unity of purpose and desire to see others come to Christ. This is the work God has for all his people - now"(page166).

What encouragement to keep working with others in the task of gospel sharing. Shortly, as term classes begin, my students will hear my exhortation that they work together in looking in the Scriptures to prepare their sermons. Collaboration is such a vitally important element to keep growing spiritually .....right on through to the end. Thanks Billy Graham for such a positive book and challenges to preachers like this one

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