• December 17, 2014

Only Jesus Christ can transform our hearts — and our world

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Posted: Friday, May 16, 2014 11:45 pm

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: As you look back over your life do you think the world is in better shape than it was when you were young, or is it worse? And what do you think it will be like 100 years from now? — Mrs. V.G.

DEAR MRS. V.G.: Only God knows the future, of course, and ultimately our future is in His hands. However, I pray for a better world for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and I hope you will, too.

In some ways, today’s world is better than it was when I was a child. I think, for example, of all the advances that have taken place in medicine; many of us wouldn’t even be alive if it weren’t for them. Things like the Internet or television or jet airliners were unheard of only a few generations ago. God has given us an amazing ability to harness nature and create new things for our use.

Tragically, however, we haven’t always used our God-given abilities to make a better world, and in many ways the world today is worse. Think, for example, of the countless millions killed in wars during the last century. Terrorism, drugs, gang warfare, corruption, random violence, pollution, weapons of mass destruction — the list is almost endless.

What is our real problem? Our real problem is within us — within our own hearts and minds. Paul’s indictment of his own generation is true of ours, as well: “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity” (Romans 1:29).

This is why we need Christ, for only He can transform our hearts and give us the desire to do what is right. And someday He will come again to destroy all evil and make the world a perfect place. Is your faith and hope in Him?

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I guess you could say I’m a “Christmas-and-Easter” Christian, since those are usually the only days I manage to get to church. But what’s wrong with that? After all, I believe in God, and that’s the important thing, isn’t it? — J.H.

DEAR J.H.: I’m thankful you at least believe in God, even if faith isn’t an important part of your life.

This is why I hope you won’t be satisfied with the small faith you presently have — because God wants it to grow and become an important part of your life. To put it another way, the real question I hope you’ll seek to answer is this: What does God want to do in your life? Life’s greatest joy comes from knowing God and discovering His plan for our lives.

What, then, does God want to do in your life? First, He wants you to commit your life to Him by giving yourself to Jesus Christ. We need God’s forgiveness and cleansing from our sins — and He has made this possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection for us. By a simple prayer of faith ask Christ to come into your life today.

Then learn to walk with God every day. Just as we enjoy being with someone who loves us, so God wants us to enjoy being with Him — because He loves us. This happens as He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, and as we talk to Him in prayer. It happens also as we draw strength from other believers. Don’t be a “Christmas-and-Easter” Christian any longer, but commit your life to Jesus Christ today.

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: We were with our daughter and her family over Easter, and she got very upset at us because we made some pointed comments about the way she lets her children run wild (which we certainly never let her do). Maybe we should’ve been more tactful, but don’t we have a responsibility as grandparents to say something? — Mrs. D.K.

DEAR MRS. D.K.: Were you wrong to say something to them about their children’s behavior? You weren’t wrong to be concerned; you have enough experience to know that children who are raised without any clear rules will have a hard time in life later on.

Not only will they be undisciplined and selfish, but they’ll also have a hard time getting along with others. The Bible warns, “A child left undisciplined disgraces its mother” (Proverbs 29:15).

At the same time, you probably could have been more tactful in sharing your concern. How would you have felt if your own mother had criticized you for the way you were raising your children? I suspect you would’ve been offended.

I can’t help but wonder, however, if your daughter is perhaps reacting against the strict discipline she experienced from you as a child. If so, a brief but sincere apology may be in order.

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-877-2GRAHAM, or go to www.billygraham.org.

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