Billy Graham
Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond
Thomas Nelson, Nashville, Tennessee
ISBN-13 978-0718042226

Where I Am

 

"Where I Am is a powerful reflection on the eternal lives Christians are called to step into and how it shapes us right now as we look to a future with our Lord while living for Him in the here and now."

Eternity is a tough concept to get our heads around and so it’s often one that we put to one side as we read the Bible in search of what God’s saying to us today. Yet the Bible is full of references to eternity and the eternal life those who choose to walk with Christ have access to.

Billy Graham, in what was his final book before he passed into eternity at the age of 99 in February, here provides a walk through the Biblical books of the Bible as he looks to the powerful messages about eternity in each.

For the Old Testament book of Isaiah, for example, Graham talks about the eternal value of the soul, quoting some lines from chapters 55 and 65 - ”Incline your ear and come to Me. Hear and your soul shall live…Be glad and rejoice forever in what I create” - while in the New Testament book of Ephesians, he speaks of God's eternal plan for His church - "God's purpose in all this was to use the church to display His wisdom in its rich variety to all...This was His eternal plan".

As well as theological insights, Graham mines his own walk of faith and elements of Biblical and church history to bring the reader encouraging anecdotes to illustrate his points. And while the focus is on eternity, the book also provides something the reader with something of an overview of the themes of the texts of the Bible – an invaluable resource for someone wanting to get an overall sense not only of how the story of the Bible unfolds, but the unity of the different books.

The title - Where I Am, meanwhile, is referenced heavily in his look at the New Testament's Gospel of John, a book he calls "the great 'Where I Am' book of the Bible". Citing passages including John 13:36 - "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now" - and a passage from John 14 - "I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also", he uses the verses to illustrate the stark choice people have to be with Jesus in eternity - "Where I am" - or not to be with him - "Where I am not".

And, of course, it wouldn't be a Billy Graham book without that incredible invitation - issued several times without the book including at the end of his discussion of John: "Perhaps you have never bent your will to God's will and been born again. You can do that right now, for He desires that all be saved (I Timothy 2:4). Right now yiou can make your decision and start on the road that leads to a heavenly home...I pray you settle life's most important question: Where will you spend eternity?"

This is the sort of book that could easily serve as a focus for a time of daily reflection or one which, given the broad spectrum of what it covers, can be kept on the bookshelf and dipped into time and again as you encounter various books. Where I Am is a powerful reflection on the eternal lives Christians are called to step into and how it shapes us right now as we look to a future with our Lord while living for Him in the here and now.