Living Out the Gospel: Observing the True Meaning of Christmas
Billy Graham has acted as a living example of the evangelistic messages that he preached. His sermons were not only written to convict the crowds, but also to shape his own life. This series of “Living Out the Gospel” posts demonstrate how Mr. Graham practiced what he preached.
In His Own Words
“To Christians, the joy of Christmas is not limited to His birth. It is built even more on the triumph of His death and resurrection – that gave meaning to His birth… As we exchange our gifts, let us remember that they are symbolic of the unspeakable gift of God’s love. I do not believe that Christians should be giving expensive gifts to each other. We should quietly give simple little gifts that are expressions of our love and devotion to the recipients. These gifts become symbolic of the gift of God’s love. How much money could be saved and invested in the Kingdom of God by thousands of Christian families every year if the true meaning of Christmas was observed.”
from “Day-by-Day with Billy Graham” by Billy Graham
An Example of Faith
There is no doubt that Billy Graham observed the true meaning of Christmas. In 1952, Mr. Graham was asked to go to Korea and spend Christmas with the U.S. troops. Though he was looking forward to spending time at home, he knew he must say yes. In his mind, Christmas was the very reason he should go to Korea – to spread the news of Jesus’ birth and what it meant.
During his first sermon on the front lines, he drove right into the Gospel. “Hundreds responded,” he wrote in Just as I Am. “I felt the Spirit of God in that meeting. Men of every rank came forward, many in tears—and they were tough, rugged men!—to receive Christ.”
Despite the risks of entering a raging war, Mr. Graham selflessly invested in the Kingdom of God by spreading the news of Jesus Christ. “For some reason, I was not scared and didn’t assume it was the end for me. The more dangerous it was, the more I sometimes felt I was really doing something for the Lord.”