No more excuses. That was Billy Graham’s message in a column he wrote Tuesday, pointing out that Christians can have this habit of finding reasons to not fully commit to God. He had an especially powerful message to those who “have no complaints” in life and might not see a need for a savior:
“Yes, right now life seems stable and happy, but what of the future? Where will you turn if illness strikes, or some other disaster threatens to overtake you? And even now, to whom can you turn when you face major decisions and don’t know which way to go?” he asked.
It’s almost as if God is one big emotional doctor you only call on when you’re sick or feeling down, but He’s so much more than that. He died to be there with you in the joy of life just as much to conquer the sin in your life.
“I don’t know how you decided that Christians are unbalanced, or that God doesn’t want us to enjoy life, but you’re wrong,” Graham wrote.
I remember being just a kid, not knowing Jesus but still thinking to myself, “This can’t be all there is, there has to be more.” That void was Jesus, and now when I start getting that feeling I know it’s because I’m trying to fill a God-shaped hole with a worldly object.
“If God didn’t love you, then your feelings about Him might be justified,” Graham continues. “But God does love you and your family, and He wants what is best for you. The proof is that he sent His Son into the world to give His life for us.”
“Don’t be deceived, and don’t come to the end of your life some day and realize you’ve taken the wrong road. Instead, turn to Jesus Christ and invite Him to come into your lives.” The preacher closed by quoting Psalm 16:11 which reads: “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”
“Yes, sometimes we are capable of great good—but unfortunately the human race is also capable of great evil,” Graham said.
You don’t have to watch the news for too long to know that last statement is 100 percent true. The problem is sometimes we think, “I’ll just be better and not make any more mistakes,” but this mentality can only last us so long before we’re right back in the thick of it, feeling like more of a failure than before.
“It isn’t that we don’t know better, or we just need to be told to be good. The problem is deeper than this—within our own hearts and minds. Instead of being filled with love and compassion, we are ruled by selfishness and pride. This is why we need Christ, for only He can forgive us and begin changing us from within. By nature we are separated from God, and our greatest need is to be reconciled to the One who made us.”
There’s a powerful difference between ACTING in goodness and REACTING to the goodness done for you through Christ. Reacting to the cross will change you from the inside out and the world will have to know how you’re able to love.
“They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”