Tag Archives: Will Graham

Mercy and Grace: We Need Both

Mercy and Grace: We Need Both!

By: Will Graham

Grace and mercy. Mercy and grace. Two terms that are often used interchangeably. They go hand-in-hand, but there is indeed a difference. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve.Grace, conversely, is getting something you don’t deserve. Picture this: You’re racing down the road, handily breaking the speed limit, when suddenly you see the blue lights flashing behind you. There’s something you do deserve in this situation. You deserve a ticket and a fine. You broke the law, and there’s a penalty for that crime.After a brief conversation, the officer lets you go with a warning. That is mercy. You deserve that speeding ticket, but you are not getting what you do deserve.

Now, imagine that you have a project due at work, and – try as you may – you have not been able to complete the task. Without it, you have no chance of achieving the bonus you’ve been working towards. At the last second a colleague jumps in and saves the day, helping you with the last remaining pieces. That would be grace. No matter how hard you worked, you didn’t deserve the bonus. You fell short. But somebody else came along and provided what you needed.

Why do I bring up this distinction? Because all around us are people who desperately need both of these blessings, and they are both freely given by Christ through His death and resurrection. The Bible tells us very clearly who we are and what we deserve. We are sinners who have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Because of that, we deserve death; eternal separation from the Holy and Perfect Father (Romans 6:23). No matter what we do in our own power and effort, we cannot change that fact.

But this is where Christ comes in with His mercy and His grace! We do deserve death, but as we call on His name and make Him the Savior of our lives, we receive mercy. We don’t deserve to come into the presence of God, but we are given that eternal promise through grace.

We’ve found that promise and have the hope of Christ because of it! Meanwhile, all around us are people who are struggling through this world, trying their best to do more good than bad, thinking that is their path to eternity. They’ve never truly experienced grace and mercy, though they’re hungry for it. My friends, look around you and I promise you will see someone who will break your heart; someone on a path leading to destruction. Share with them the hope that is within you, and allow God to open the door for them to “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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Saturday Snapshot: Will Graham Celebration

The Tri-Cities Will Graham Celebration is this weekend in Johnson City, Tennessee at the Freedom Hall Civic Center.

Since 1950, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has held Crusades all across the globe for one purpose: to proclaim God’s love to people who need Jesus Christ. Today, Will Graham Celebrations continue this life-changing mission. A Celebration is not just an evangelistic event; it is a process of prayer, training, outreach, and followup that takes place over a 12-month period—and it begins and ends with  the local church.

The Celebrations usually consist of 4 services:

  • Friday Night for Adults/Families
  • Saturday Morning KidzFest for Elementary Aged Children
  • Saturday Night for Youth
  • Sunday Afternoon for Adults/Families

“No matter where I go in the world, people seem to be searching for the same things in life,” said Graham, who returned from preaching in Romania just in time to travel to Kingsport to speak. “They want to find hope. They’re seeking their purpose. They long for peace and security. I believe that all of these elusive elements can be found in Jesus, and I’m looking forward to sharing that message with the people of the Tri-Cities area.”- Will Graham

This weekend, Will Graham shares hope from Johnson City, Tennessee, with music by Aaron Shust, Crowder, Ellie Holcomb and more. It will be streamed LIVE tonight and tomorrow if you click on this link: Will Graham Celebration Live Stream 

It will air at the following times:
Saturday, April 28 @ 6:30 ET
Sunday, April 29 @ 3:30 ET

The volunteers and team in Johnson City have been working endlessly since last fall to connect with churches and area pastors to pray and also spread the word in their communities.

We are excited and expectant of what God is going to do this weekend! We ask you also to join us in prayer for this amazing event and we hope that you can either attend the event or watch it online! Feel free to also share this link with your family and friends.


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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Special Easter Message from Will Graham

“What then shall I do with Jesus?”

By: Will Graham

For Christians, Easter is one of the most holy times of the year. With all that surrounds the holiday from a worldly perspective,  I find that many people simply miss the point of why we rejoice. Easter exists because Jesus died for our sins and conquered the grave. We celebrate life at Easter, because death lost its sting with Christ’s triumphant resurrection.

Sadly, so many of our family, friends and neighbors enjoy Easter, but have never experienced the true meaning of it. They may know of Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross, but they can’t or won’t make a decision about Him as their Savior.

In the Bible, we see a man who will forever be linked to what we call Easter. He talked to Jesus directly, he evaluated him, and yet he too, couldn’t bring himself to make a decision about what to do with Christ. His name was Pontius Pilate and Matthew 27:11-25 tells us a lot about this Roman Governor who oversaw the trial of Jesus.

First, Pilate rejected Jesus’ own confession of who He was: the Christ, the Savior. Pilate asked the question and heard the truth (straight from the mouth of the Son of God), but he took it no further.

Second, Pilate rejected clear evidence. Pilate investigated Jesus and came to the conclusion that He was innocent, finding that He had committed no crime. Pilate realized that the only reason Jesus was on trial was the envy and hatred of the religious leaders, but he rejected that truth.

Third, Pilate gave in to pressure. Though he heard the claims of Christ and knew He had done nothing wrong, Pilate was compelled to sentence an innocent man to death because of the influence of the crowd.

Finally, Pilate tried to cleanse himself from the death of Jesus. He knew that he had just condemned an innocent man to die, and he was responsible. In a symbolic gesture, he washed his hands and proclaimed the guilt for Christ’s death on the crowd instead.

My friends, Pilate had a decision to make. He knew the truth, but he couldn’t take a stand one way or the other. Instead, he asked a question: “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22, NKJV)

That’s the question that so many today, perhaps even you, have a hard time answering. In far too many situations, people know the truth but – like Pilate – they give in to the pressures of others and walk away from Jesus, putting the decision off for another day.

However, indecision is a decision. Making no decision for Christ, is making a decision about Christ. And it’s one that has eternal consequences.

If you have been putting off the decision to follow Christ and make Him the Lord of your life, now is the perfect time. Jesus’ death and resurrection, which we celebrate as Easter, paved the way for you. I encourage you to receive that hope and accept Him as your Savior today!


To learn more on how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and to have Peace with God, click here. 


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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Burned Out? A Message from Will Graham

If you take a real assessment of your life and ministry today, how does it look?

Perhaps you haven’t seen the fruits of your labor that you’d hoped for or expected. Maybe you’re resentful of others around you who don’t seem to be carrying their own weight in the ministry. It could be that your team is great and you’re seeing a harvest, but you’ve been going non-stop as far back as you can remember and you’re just burned out.

If you’re struggling, you can probably empathize a bit with the church in Ephesus, to whom God speaks in Revelation 2:1-7. The early believers there worked hard in the ministry, and they were good at it. They were tireless, discerning and persevering. Even in the face of hardships and persecution the church continued to serve those in need.

The problem was that they labored so hard in ministry that they lost their focus and the source of their motivation. The church had forsaken its first love. They were too wrapped up in the process of doing God’s work to make time for God Himself.

We’re called to so much more, however, than just “staying busy for Jesus.” If this struggle is all too familiar in your life and ministry, look specifically at the first half of verse 5, which gives us three key steps to return to the correct path:

“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.” Revelation 2:5a, ESV

First, believers in the church at Ephesus are commanded to remember back to when they had first encountered the Living God and were bursting with excitement. Just as marriages can become mundane if we forget that original passion and don’t make an effort to keep it burning, so it can be with God. We can go through the motions and do the work but not remember the desire we once had for Him.

Second, repent. It feels odd to say we need to repent for doing ministry, but according to the passage, it had reached the point where the people of the church were ministering with the wrong spirit and motivation. The issue was bad enough that God called them to repentance.

Finally, “do the things you did at first.” Or, as I would put it, renew your relationship with Him. Spend time in prayer and in the Bible. If we give God the best of our time, and focus that time on building our relationship with Him, I believe we will quickly remember and reconnect with our “first love.”

My friends, if you’re feeling burned out, it doesn’t have to be this way. Remember, repent, and renew. God will lead you and your ministry from there and use you in ways you cannot even begin to imagine.

Blessings,

Will Graham
Cove Executive Director


Click here to join Will Graham at The Cove August 10-12.

If you’re at the point of burnout and need to reconnect with God, consider coming to The Cove for a Personal Spiritual Retreat.
Click here for more information.

Kingdom Impact: A Message From Will Graham

Will Graham Guest Post(1)

The man behind the wheel was an alcoholic. His marriage was broken. He was angry and bitter, and he didn’t mind one bit showing his disdain to the people who climbed into his vehicle.

The year was 1959, and Ron Baker was one of many Australian bus drivers who had been hired to transport people to and from my grandfather’s Crusade at the Sydney Showground. Night after night he put up with his riders singing hymns and worshiping. He’d drop them and sit in his seat stewing until the doors opened and his bus filled again with jovial people who were excited about what God was doing in their city.

Mr. Baker’s wife attended the Crusade and she committed her life to Christ. The following week, Mr. Baker found himself in the same stadium to which he had begrudgingly brought others. When the invitation was given, Mr. Baker walked forward.

God radically transformed Mr. Baker’s life following his salvation. He gave up those things that were poisoning his body, mind and marriage. He pursued theological education and became ordained.

As I contemplate the story of Ron Baker, I’m left with three thoughts.

1)      There are a lot of Ron Bakers out there. We pass by them every day; people who are hurting and broken, and probably know it. Their addictions control them, their marriages are fractured, and their hearts are far from God. In Mr. Baker’s case, he flat-out hated Christians, yet deep down he was searching for hope. Once he found it, it changed his life and eternity.

2)      As I approach an evangelistic outreach, I often pray that God would raise up “the next Billy Graham” from the people who respond to the invitation. I pray for the person that would reach the world with the Gospel. Mr. Baker, however, is proof that even if a person doesn’t reach millions, they can and do influence others, passionately sharing the Gospel to those around them.

3)      Evangelism is vertical. Mr. Baker and his wife made individual decisions for Christ, reconciled their marriage, and began living for Him. Their children were then raised in a Christian home and went into ministry. Mr. Baker’s grandchildren were raised by godly parents and began relationships with Jesus. Entire generations can be impacted when people turn to Christ.

It’s easy to think that a heart is too callous to be pierced by the Holy Spirit. We may believe that our neighbor, our co-worker, or the bus driver for that matter, could never find hope in Christ or be used by God to reach others. The story of Ron Baker, however, shows that God can reach and use anybody. We just have to do our part in sharing the Good News with them.

Blessings,

Will Graham, Cove Executive Director

A Thanksgiving Message from Will Graham

Will Graham Guest Post

By Will Graham, Cove Executive Director

I really do appreciate Thanksgiving. What’s not to like? You get to enjoy time with family, a day full of football, and—of course—food. More than just food, it’s good food. And there’s often a lot of it.

It’s true that many of us will be feasting on significant portions of tasty treats on Thanksgiving, but as we look ahead to this wonderful time of year, I’d like to focus on a different type of hunger.

While food that nourishes our body is good, it is nowhere near as eternally important as that which nourishes the soul. We need something that will feed the spiritual hunger that is within us.

My grandfather, Billy Graham, often said that there’s a “God-shaped hole” inside each of us. It’s that space that many people try to fill with wealth, possessions, sex, drugs, alcohol, work or relationships.

The problem is, the things of this world are fleeting, they’re broken, and they’ll eventually let you down. Money and belongings can be ripped away from you in a moment. Relationships falter. Drugs and alcohol wear off and leave you right back where you were, or worse.

There’s a beautiful passage in the book of Psalms that I’ve grown to love. “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:9, NKJV).

It’s such a simple sentence, but it encompasses all that mankind has been seeking for millennia. It is God who fills us up. He is the One who refreshes our soul and dwells in our innermost self, meeting those needs and desires that seem to be so elusive. We hunger for Him, and He alone satisfies.

Let me ask you this: What are you filled with today? Are you consumed with bitterness and anger? Do you feel like you’ve gotten a raw deal in life? Are you chasing the things of this world to fill an emptiness in your soul? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

If so, I’d encourage you to seek God and the goodness that He brings. Rather than being consumed with the temporary and broken, you could be filled with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Draw close to God, let Him satisfy your longing and hungry soul, and you’ll truly have something to be thankful for this year!

Bless you,
Will Graham

Reaching The Next Generation: A Message From Will Graham

mi-pham-151954 sm girl with Bible sm blogThe stats are alarming and discouraging. According to a Barna report from 2016, “Nearly six in ten (59%) young people who grow up in Christian churches end up walking away, and the unchurched segment among Millennials has increased in the last decade from 44% to 52%.”

It is incredibly important to engage with young people today in a way that encourages a real, authentic and life-changing relationship with Christ. It’s possibly more important than ever!

What’s the answer to these problems? It’s more than simply dragging your child to church until they’re old enough to run the other way.

It begins first with living the life you want your child to live. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (ESV). Parents, I would encourage you to take this to heart and invite Jesus into your life and home. Make sure your faith is more than lip service. Allow Him to direct what you see, hear, discuss, and pray as you go through your day. Love your child with the grace-filled love of Christ.

Second, disciple the children in your care—both at home and in the church—and encourage them as they learn and grow in the faith.Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “You shall teach them (the words of the Lord) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (ESV).

You only have a limited amount of time with your children before they are sent out into the world. Never miss the opportunity to impart Scripture and sear the Word of God on their hearts.

Similarly, pastors and youth workers, Sunday morning or Wednesday night might be the only time some of your young people are exposed to the Gospel. When church or youth group is over, they may go back to very difficult lives in homes where the name of Christ is never spoken. Disciple your youth. Feed them a healthy diet of truth from the Scripture, tackle the tough issues, and mentor them as much as you can in the limited time you have.

Finally, if the children and young people in your life have not yet made a decision for Christ, pray and watch for opportunities to present the Gospel. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (ESV). As you pray, God will soften their hearts, break down barriers, and open doors for you. I truly believe it.

My friends, the Gospel is for every generation. Live a godly life, disciple your child, and reach the young people around you with the Gospel. Every day your youth are going into an incredible Mission Field. Equip them to shine the light of Jesus. There’s too much at stake to let this moment slip by!

Will Graham


Just Announced:

Sportscaster James Brown (J.B.), know for hosting The NFL Today on CBS Sports and Thursday Night Football on CBS Sports and NFL Network, and previously FOX network’s NFL pregame show, Fox NFL Sunday will be speaking at a two-day men’s event at The Cove on June 15-16, 2018.

What a great opportunity for you (if you are male) or someone you love to take their son, father, cousin, brother or men’s group from church.  Register now.

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Saturday Snapshot — Will Graham Teaches From The Book of 1 Samuel

Will Graham taught on 1 Samuel this past weekend, at The Cove.  From the disobedience of Saul, resulting in the loss of his position as king, to the anointing of David, a young shepherd boy, to the famous story of David and Goliath, Will taught how God’s Word shows us how to abide in HIS presence, grow in courage to obey HIM, and experience a life of adventure.

Here are a few snapshots from the weekend…

Always begin with prayer…
This is what happens in the green room before a seminar or concert.  Will, his worship team and emcee asking the Lord to speak.

Shoot Number 17097 - Cove

Shoot Number 17097 - Cove

Worship with Mark Christian (far right), Gina Kingsmore, Richie Kingsmore (at the piano), and Kameron Myers on the violin.

Shoot Number 17097 - Cove

While Will serves as Executive Director at The Cove, he has also been called to teach God’s Word and share the Gospel around the world.

BGEA SHOOT #17097 - Cove 2017

Will and Kendra Graham greeting seminar participants.

BGEA SHOOT #17097 - Cove 2017

After the seminar, worship leader, Mark Christian had some fun with his drone and captured a birds-eye-view of both the Training Center and the Chapel.

drone shot from Mark Christian at Wil Graham seminar in 2017

drone shot of chapel from Mark Christian at Wil Graham seminar in 2017

SAVE THE DATE:

If you’d like to attend Will’s seminar next year,  he will be teaching August 10 -12, 2018.  You can register for 2018 seminars beginning next month (September 2017).


Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts, and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media.
click map

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Saturday Snapshot — Will Graham Update

Will Graham not only serves as The Cove’s Executive Director, but has also followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Billy Graham, in answering the call to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

This week and throughout the weekend, Will is preaching in Peterhead, Scotland (3,838 miles from The Cove).   Please keep Will and all the souls that will attend his events this weekend in prayer.

Off to Scotland we go!  Enjoy!

Wil Graham in Scotland with litehouse
Will Graham
Wil Graham being prayed over in Scotland
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
Wil Graham preaching in Scotland
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Scotland field near ocean Wil Graham preaching in Scotland Oct 2016

Scotland mossy rock near ocean Wil Graham preaching in Scotland Oct 2016 2 bright

boat view through stone arch in scotland wil graham preaching oct 2016Isn’t it fun to see God’s creation in other parts of the world?!

Join Will Graham at The Cove next year during his seminar August 11-13, 2017.


The changing colors of fall make this season one of the most beautiful times to visit our area.  Make sure to visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

 

Message from Will Graham: An Easter Message

EASTER MESSAGE WILL GRAHAM(1)

But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with HIs wounds we are healed. ~ Isaiah 53:5 (ESV)

While the New Testament details the crucifixion extensively, my own personal belief is that there is no greater text dealing with the suffering of Christ than Isaiah 53:5. As we near Easter — a time in which we remember and celebrate the finished work of Jesus on the cross — I’m once again reminded of this emotional, poignant passage. This single verse shows so much about our own human brokenness, and Christ’s incredible sacrifice.

When Christ suffered, it was not pointless suffering, but it was in order to meet four of man’s greatest needs.

Forgiveness: Isaiah says that, “He [the Messiah] was pierced for our transgressions.” The word for transgression is that of rebellion or revolting. In other words, we have rebelled against God and His commandments. We’ve sinned against Him, and we need forgiveness. God’s answer is that He sent His only Son Jesus to shed His blood for our sins in order to forgive us of our sin. (See Hebrews 9:22)

Substitution: Man is not only sinful but he is guilty and deserves punishment for breaking God’s commandments. When we break laws in society, punishment is given to us. For example, we receive a fine when we are caught speeding. However, when we break God’s law, the punishment is death. (See Romans 6:23) Therefore, man’s need is not necessarily to get out of punishment or a reduction in punishment, but man needs a substitute. Jesus was pierced, crushed, chastised and wounded — for OUR sins. And because Jesus loved us, he chose to take our place. He became our substitute.

Peace: Since we broke the covenant with God, our natural human status is to be in conflict with the Lord; the opposite of peace. Knowing this, and knowing that we could never afford to pay for such a peace, God gave His Son to take the wrath the God in order to appease His holy nature. Man was in debt to God and God paid His own bill. Jesus’ chastisement on the cross enables us to have peace with Him.

Healing: Due to our own actions, we allow sin to come into our bodies and start to bring about death. This is spiritual death, and because it is spiritual, we need a divine cure: Jesus. Christ’s death on the cross allows spiritual healing to come to our dying souls. By His wounds we are healed.

Our sinful human nature is not a surprise to God. Yet in His love for us, He provided a way for us to find forgiveness, substitution, peace and healing through Jesus.

Perhaps as you read this, you are beginning to realize that you’ve never found forgiveness, or healing, or peace. You’ve struggled to do the right thing, trying to earn your way to heaven, only to fall time after time.

If this sounds familiar, now would be the perfect time to find out the true meaning of Easter, and place your faith in the One whose death and resurrection we celebrate this season!

God bless you.  — Will Graham