Last Friday, a statue of Billy Graham was unveiled in the National Statuary Hall of the US Capitol. Speakers at the dedication talked about the life and legacy of Graham through which hundreds of thousands of people gave their life to Christ and many more millions heard the gospel.

The US Senate Chaplain Barry Black offered a prayer at the dedication, saying that Graham’s life was like “the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless day, and like the brightness after rain that brings the grass of the earth.”

At the base of the statue, there are two inscribed verses: John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world…”) and John 14:6 (“I am the way, the truth, and the life…”).

The statue also features Graham holding an open Bible specifically to Galatians 6:14, which says, “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

The message of his life was all about Jesus Christ. In fact, several speakers remarked that Graham would not have wanted the focus to be on him at the ceremony, but on Jesus.

If your life had a central message, what would it be?

Your Life is Your Message

The truth is that your life is always speaking. You’re always telling the world what you believe and trust by the way that you live, talk, and walk.

For some people, the message is “peace.” Life gets better when you’re around them. They bring harmony in a conflicted world. For others, the message is “love.” These persons offer love in practical ways to the lovable and unlovable alike.

Unfortunately, others are constantly sharing a life message of “self.” They mostly live for themselves with a little bit of kindness and service mixed in.

The good news is that you and I can choose how to live.

The consistent message of the New Testament is that allowing Christ to live through you is the best way to make your life and the lives of others better.

Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, “You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6, NIV).

The people in that little city knew the message of the gospel because they had seen it lived out in the lives of Paul and the other apostles. They lived in such a way that others wanted to imitate them.

Paul noted that they then became “a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it” (1 Thessalonians 1:7-8, NIV).

Is your life worth imitating? Is the message of your life — or the message you want to convey — obvious to others?

You Are a Living Letter

The handwritten letter is becoming a lost art. Most people stick to texting, phone calls, and emails to communicate.

But whenever I receive a handwritten letter, it always touches me. I know that the person took the time to write and mail a special message that was meant to encourage me.

Paul said to the Corinthians that they were like a letter to him. “Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This ‘letter’ is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3,NLT).

I think about our wonderful teachers in our children’s and youth department. The work that they do each week is represented in the young lives they teach. The very Spirit of God moves through them and into the hearts of their listeners.

Thank God today for the loving, patient, and humble teachers and mentors who helped you learn about Jesus Christ. You are now a letter from Christ to others!

What Will They Say When You Are Gone?

I hope that when my life is over, people will say, “He lived for Jesus. He did what he could for the kingdom of God. He loved his family and friends and church family well.”

What do you want people to say about you?

The truth is that life is short. You and I can never know the measure of our days. Therefore, we need to make every day count.

Sometimes I think about the little poem from the British missionary C.T. Studd (1860-1931):

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Live for Jesus this week. Live for His glory. Your glory is too small a thing to live for. Let your only boast be in the cross of Jesus Christ. Be a letter that changes the hearts of those around you.

With love,

Pastor Brent McDougal