The Life-Changing Power of the Gospel
January 1, 2010
By Franklin Graham
This time of the year, lots of well-intentioned people are making a variety of New Year’s resolutions. But we know what usually happens with resolutions. If we have trouble making small lifestyle changes, how much more powerless are we against the forces of temptation and sin? As Jesus warned His dozing disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41, KJV). We need more than self-discipline and good intentions.
There is only one thing powerful enough to transform hearts and lives from the inside out and to deliver us from the penalty and power of sin—it is the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus described the process in radical terms: “You must be born again” (John 3:7, NKJV). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV).
That’s the message our self-centered world desperately needs to hear. Our mission at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is to proclaim the life-changing power of the Gospel everywhere we can and in every way we can, “because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16, NIV).
This year, I will be preaching on four continents, starting this month in Chennai, one of the largest cities in India. We praise God for the power of the Gospel that has been unleashed in India, which in the next 30 years is expected to surpass China as the world’s largest nation. In 2006, we saw more than 4 million people in India come to faith in Christ through our My Hope evangelistic telecasts. Our associate evangelist Robert Cunville will be leading Festivals in cities across India this year, and my son Will is also going to preach there.
In the summer, we will be going to Western Canada for our latest series of Rock the River youth-oriented evangelistic events. During 2010, I will be preaching at stadiums in Brazil, Japan and the former Soviet nation of Latvia. I also have been asked to serve as the honorary chairman for the National Day of Prayer, to be held May 6.
The BGEA is planning to present the My Hope telecasts across the islands of the Caribbean, the foothills of the Himalayas, and even in a few places where Christians are often persecuted. On the home front, ministries such as Dare to Be a Daniel are training boys and girls to boldly share their faith, and the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove is challenging thousands to know and follow Christ.
The changing of the calendar should remind Christians that we have one less year to share the Gospel with our friends and family members. Why not make it a point to tell someone you love how much God loves them? If you have never felt comfortable sharing your faith, go to our Web site, billygraham.org, and click on Spiritual Help and Steps to Peace with God to find an easy-to-follow scriptural guide that explains why each of us needs the Savior.
As BGEA marks its 60th anniversary, we are praying that 2010 will bring the greatest spiritual harvest we have ever seen. “All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth” (Colossians 1:6, NIV).