Monday, March 5, 2018


I watched the funeral of "America's Pastor," the Reverend Billy Graham, and was deeply touched as each of his children honored their father's final request to preach his "last crusade." With passionate, revealing, amusing, and profound words, they interwove their comments with the enduring and powerful message of the Cross—For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). It was a joyful celebration, because their "daddy" was where he had longed to be—in his eternal home with God the Father.

Graham's youngest son's brief but far-reaching message captured my attention and resonated deep within my spirit: 

       "I just want you to know that my father was FAT. He was faithful, he was available, and he was teachable. I just want you to remember that—faithful, available, and teachable. May we all be that way."

Billy Graham was the embodiment of the acronym FAT—Faithful, Available, and Teachable. The following is the New Oxford American Dictionary's definitions of those three faith-defining words:

FAITHFUL — to be loyal, contant, and steadfast. Are we steadfast and constant in our pursuit of God, His Word, and His purposes?
AVAILABLE — able to be used or obtained; to be at someone's disposal. Are we available to God whenever, wherever, and however He leads and directs?
TEACHABLE — someone who is open to being taught. Are we open to God's instructions and to the teaching of His Word?
Listed below are a few examples of what FAT means in relation to God's Word?

Faithfulness of God's People: 
—"Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years"(Genesis 5:22)
—"Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God." (Genesis 6:9).
God's Faithfulness:
—"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments." (Deuteronomy 7:9)
—"...the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one." (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
—"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)

Rewards for Faithfulness:
—"The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness (I Samuel 26:23)
—"A faithful person will be richly blessed..." (Proverbs 28:20)
God Encourages Faithfulness:
—"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart" (Proverbs 3:3).
—"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer." (Romans 12:12)
—"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Galatians 5:22)
—"Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor's crown." (Revelations 2:10)
—"Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness." (Joshua 24:14)

Our Availability:
—"The Lord called Samuel and he answered, 'Here am I'" (1 Samuel 3:4). Samuel was mightily used of God, because he made himself available.
When God calls us to do something for Him, do we obey or do we feign ignorance?
—"For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding 'Yes!' And through Christ our Amen ascends to God for His glory" (2 Corinthians 1:20 NLT). AMEN means YES. Do we say "yes" to God?
—"I desire to do Your will, my God..." (Psalm 40:8 NIV). Is His will our desire?
—"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'" (Isaiah 6:8 ESV)
God's Availability:
—"Know you not that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49)  Jesus was available to His Father and walked perfectly in His will. Are we available and ready to be used by God?
—"The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth." (Psalm 145:18).

Every Christian should be available to God for whatever He asks of them. Sometimes that demands sacrifice and often stepping out of our comfort zone. Obedience requires a Joshua mentality that faces fears, insecurities, the unknown, and then responds in faith with a firm, Yes God(Read Joshua 1:1-9)

—"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid." (Proverbs 12:1 NIV).
—"Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget My words or turn away from them." (Proverbs 4:5 NIV)
—"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6 NIV)

Oh that all people would be faithful to God, available to Him, and teachable. Sadly, we live in a world that is breaking down and sliding into a dark abyss because of rebellion, unfaithfulness, unteachable spirits, and hardened hearts. Thus God is looking to FAT Christians who will offer the hope of Christ and His truth to a desperately hurting and lost world. Anne Graham Lotz made the same heartfelt appeal to Christians:

       "My prayer on this day of his move to Our Father's House is that his death will be a rallying cry. That tens of thousands of pastors, teachers, evangelists, and ordinary men and women will rise up to take his place. That they will take up his message like a baton being passed in a relay race and faithfully pass it on to those whom they come in contact."

As ambassadors for Christ, God makes His appeal through us that on behalf of Christ, we implore others to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20). May we all be FAT.

FATHER, help me to be FAT for Your Kingdom. May I always be faithful to You and Your Word. Give me courage to be available to You for whatever You ask of me, and may I always be teachable in learning from You and Your Word. In Jesus name, amen.

Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
(Psalm 107:2 NLT)


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