How do we measure godliness? What is the chief characteristic of godly people? It is not by how much we know the Bible or how many Bible verses we memorize. It is not by how long we can fast and pray; and it is not by how eloquent we preach. We measure godliness by how much of God’s characteristics and wills are in us.
I see that quality in Billy Graham, God’s faithful servant.
Many decades ago, just when Billy Graham’s ministry began to grow, one of the wealthiest men in America offered to underwrite all his ministry’s expenses. For that he gave a good reason, so that Billy Graham could put all his time and energy into ministry and not to worry about finances. Billy Graham’s answer was clear and quick, “I can’t accept that. My work is spiritual work. We are getting about fifteen to twenty thousand letters a week. Most of these letters will have little money in them, maybe $1, maybe $5. But every one of those letters is saying, ‘We’re praying for you.’ If they know there’s a rich man underwriting my work, they’ll stop praying, and my work will take a nosedive. So, I can’t accept it.”
Billy Graham never regretted that decision he made. And he’s right; the ministry grew and to this day God has faithfully supplied their needs. Billy Graham had the characteristics and wills of God in him; and these characteristics and wills were shown not by his preaching or writing or organizational skills but rather by what he did when faced with this kind of tempting situations. Not only did he preach, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19), but he also believed it and lived it.
Sometimes we think that Christian life is hard and complicated. The truth is, it’s not. God does not have a lot of requirements and His requirements are not complex. Just believe and live what He says.