How Billy Graham Started Our Bible Study

I had been practicing law about six years and had just recommitted my life to following Jesus in the prior year. My law practice was primarily real estate and one day I was negotiating a real estate contract over the phone with an attorney named Nick. As we went from paragraph to paragraph reviewing the contract and agreeing to changes, I had a thought, tell Nick about Jesus. I immediately dismissed the thought. A minute or two later the same thought returned, tell Nick about Jesus. I resisted but, thinking it might be God, shaped a mental resistance saying, God, this is totally an inappropriate time. We’re in the middle of a real estate contract with an attorney I have never met. A minute or two later the thought returned strongly and I surrendered. “Nick,” I interrupted, “can I change the subject?” “Sure, John, what’s up?” “Well, Nick, I am a born again Christian and we believe that God speaks to people. We have been going through this real estate contract and I got the strong thought that God was talking to me and saying I should tell you about Jesus.”

How would Nick react? Would he laugh, give me a verbal sneer, tell me he already knew about Jesus, or just think I was a lunatic? To my surprise Nick responded, “Wow!” I asked why he responded like that. He said, “Well, I don’t really believe in Jesus but my wife and I last week went to visit her college roommate who is planning to be a missionary. Her roommate lives in California but was visiting Champaign-Urbana for a conference for possible missionaries, so my wife and I decided to go down there and visit her friend while she was in Illinois. While we were walking around the conference center I ran into Billy Graham. He stopped and talked to me and as I explained that I wasn’t really a follower of Jesus, he said, ‘Well, Nick, I’ll pray for you.’ That was only a few days ago!” Of course, when I learned that God was at work in Nick’s life and that he had just received personal prayer from Billy Graham, I was greatly encouraged. God did speak to me! What to do next? So I called Nick and took him to an evangelistic meeting in the Loop hoping he would commit his life to Jesus. But things didn’t work out at the meeting so I just sat with Nick and said, “Nick, how about giving your life to Jesus?” He agreed! We prayed and then my next question for God was: what should we do now? I felt the Spirit saying I should start a Bible study one-on-one with Nick. Nick agreed and we decided to meet once a week at my office to study the Bible. I didn’t really know much in the Bible but I knew we would follow where the Spirit led. We were studying the Book of Luke and my secretary joined in. After we had held the study a couple of times, I met a street evangelist named Jhan Moskowitz with the organization Jews for Jesus. He seemed like a great guy and I invited him to join our study. It turned out that he knew a lot more about the Bible than I did, so it didn’t take me long to switch roles and ask Jhan to be the teacher while I would just be the sponsor and we began to attract many people to the Bible study. Thirty-five years later we are still meeting weekly to study God’s word. But looking back I can see it all started by a prayer Billy Graham spoke to God on behalf of Nick. Praise His name.