INSIDE THIS EDITION >>
Welcome to the Spring 2021 edition of the From His Heart
Newsletter: REAL. We trust the insights below will be a blessing
to you. Scroll down to view the following articles:
Learn to Love Like God Loves.
Q&A with Pastor Jeff.
Our Gift to You.
From Debbie’s Heart: How to Love When You Don't Feel Like It.
A Note from Pastor Jeff.
Your New Opportunity to Visit the Holy Land.
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By Dr. Jeff Schreve
Love. That is a word that gets used a lot in our culture. The sad thing is not very many people truly understand what love really is and how love is to be expressed. The old musical group, Foreigner, expresses this problem in their classic song, “I want to know what love is.”
As believers in Christ, you and I don’t have to guess about this thing called love! In the Bible we find the real truth about love. Throughout the broad sweep of Scripture, God’s Word paints a powerful picture of what real love is like.
One of the most famous passages of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13. This chapter is packed full of life-changing, counter-cultural truth about the highest form of love—agape. Agape love is the kind of love God has for people. Paul tells us about this wonderful love by saying …
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–5)
Real agape love is not about you, it’s about the other person. It’s selfless and sacrificial.
Of course, we see that supremely in the Lord Jesus Himself.
“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us.” (1 John 3:16)
But here’s the real rub. That verse above in 1 John 3:16 doesn’t stop there. It continues,
“And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
Friend, the Bible doesn’t just describe and depict God’s beautiful agape love for us, it also commands us to live it out and express it toward everyone we meet!
And that’s a tall order! You see, we all struggle from one degree or another with selfishness. Agape love cannot be done unless we put self on the cross and Christ on the throne of our lives. Recognizing and confessing our sin of selfishness is where breakthroughs begin—because that’s when we abandon self-sufficiency and lean on God’s sufficiency.
The bottom line is that on our own, you and I can’t love like God does! We can only do it through the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us.
So, fix your eyes on Christ, experience the power of His agape love for you, and then pray that this agape love will overflow from you to others!
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Jesus says that all the law and the prophets hang on two commandments—to love God and to love others. As a believer in Christ, this is your highest calling.
But how do you put these two critical commandments into practice?
I’d love to show you how by sending you my teaching series entitled The Greatest of These Is Love. These five messages from 1 Corinthians 13 take you deep into the real truth about God’s love—giving you practical principles to help you live in the light of genuine agape.
Get the resources >>
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By Debbie Schreve
I think most of us are familiar with I Corinthians 13, the ‘love chapter’. This chapter is a great reminder of what love really is. Our culture defines love as an emotion, a feeling. But that’s not how God defines it.
When you take a close look at this passage, you find it is packed full of verbs (actions words) not adjectives (descriptive words). In other words, love is about doing more than about feeling.
Our feelings come and go. They can be very unpredictable and unreliable. So it’s important that we come to understand that love is a decision, a choice, and its not to be based on “how we feel”. In obedience to the Lord, we make the choice to love…even when we don’t feel like it. Even with those people we don’t like very much.
When you walk in obedience to the Lord in this area, He can work a miracle in your heart. Over time, He will start to change your feelings to match up with your actions to love as He commands. And when God is in control of your heart and life, He can do great things through you!
I heard a story about a mom who was making pancakes for her two small boys, Kevin and Ryan. As the first pancake was about to come off the griddle, the boys started to fight each other over who was going to get the pancake.
So, mom stepped in. “Boys, if Jesus were here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake.’”
For a moment, there was silence. Then Kevin spoke up. “Okay. Ryan, you be Jesus!”
This story makes me smile, but it also hits a nerve. You see, the Lord has called His children to show the love of Jesus to a lost, dying, and undeserving world. To be sure, none of us can do this on his own. We need Him—who lives in us—to love through us. Anything less is a worthless imitation.
I’d love to send you my 5-message series The Greatest of These Is Love—a deep look at the famous “love passage” in 1 Corinthians 13—to equip and inspire you to love like God does and “be Jesus” to those around you. Be sure to request your copy on the enclosed reply card when you give today.
I’m so thankful for your support to help more hurting people around the world know the life-changing power of God’s love!
Pastor Jeff Schreve
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Q&A with Pastor Jeff
Q: Pastor Jeff, what does it mean when the Bible says that of faith, hope, and love, the “greatest of these is love”? Why is love the greatest?
A: Think for a moment about our eternity with God in glory. When we get to heaven, we won’t need faith anymore—because faith will have turned to sight. Furthermore, we won’t need hope anymore—because all hopes will have been ultimately and completely fulfilled. But love will still endure. In heaven, we will experience God’s love to the max! And we will love Him to the max! We’re destined for a place where love overflows forever and ever and ever. That’s why love is the greatest.
Q: I’m struggling to forgive someone who has hurt me. How can I show them God’s love when it’s so hard?
A: When people hurt or wrong you, it’s crucial to process what has happened. Sweeping things under the carpet doesn’t work—that’s how grudges are born. Instead, ask for the Spirit’s help to get to the place where your heart “does not take into account a wrong suffered” (1 Corinthians 13:5). Focus on the undeserved forgiveness God has lavished upon you in Jesus Christ. Then pray for the person who hurt you—pray for God to bless them and work powerfully in their lives. I have found that it is hard to be bitter at someone for whom you are praying. These simple acts of obedience will keep resentment and bitterness from taking root in your heart, and they will help you move toward a place of true freedom and forgiveness.
Your New Opportunity to Visit the Holy Land!
After much anticipation, plans are at last coming together for this adventure of a lifetime—and you’re invited! Join Pastor Jeff Schreve on an unforgettable trip to Israel, September 26 through October 6, 2021.
This 10-night stay in the Holy Land includes your airfare, first-class hotel accommodations, daily breakfast and dinner, expert guided tours, and inspirational devotional times with Pastor Jeff. Scripture will come alive, and your faith will grow as you visit sites of biblical history and walk in the footsteps of Jesus, from Galilee to Jerusalem.
Spaces are limited, so don’t delay. Visit fromhisheart.org/israel2021 today.
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