Great is the Lord;
He alone is worthy of all our worship!
As many of you know, beginning on December 26 I ran a daily series of posts on Facebook about twelve of my personal heroes and their favorite Bible verses. Among the people covered were John Perkins, Henrietta Mears, Corrie Ten Boom, Jonathan Edwards, Pandita Ramabai, and Augustine. When the series was coming to a close, I was at a loss as to how to conclude. I wanted the final person to be someone not only with appropriate stature but also with a personal spaciousness that would bring together all the people who had gone before. I prayed, thought, talked it over with a few people, and then I saw an article about “The Ten Most Admired Men of 2013.” Here is my concluding post from the series:
It's the final day of my little twelve days of Christmas series! Tonight, I'm encouraged by Billy Graham, who, at age 95 (born in Nov. 1918), has again been ranked by Gallup as one of the top ten most admired men in the world - for the 56th time! His integrity, his perseverance, the ethos of a life matching the passion of a message; these are among the reasons why.
Graham has preached the gospel to more people than anyone else in history: well over 210 million in 185 countries. And his favorite Bible verse is, aptly, John 3:16, which he remembers as being "was taught to me by my mother when I was just a little boy." The beloved verse reads, for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (King James Version).
Graham's love for the verse rises out of his love for the Christian gospel. As he put it in 1995, "I suppose John 3:16 is the most familiar passage in the Bible. It has only twenty-five words in the English translation, but it is the gospel in a nutshell. Someone has called it a miniature Bible. The word 'whosoever' means the whole world. Whatever the color of a person's skin, whatever language he speaks, God loves him and is willing to save him. To me that is marvelous."
Indeed, that is marvelous. I say a humble and hearty “amen” to Graham.