Welcome to the Winter 2017
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 in this edition or click here
to download the newsletter as a pdf.
- What Does God Really Want from You?
- Q & A with Jeff
- From Debbie’s Heart - The Rewards of Putting God's Agenda First
- A Note From Jeff
- Your Gifts at Work
- Meet the From His Heart Team: Vice President, Dr. Larry Nobles
by Dr. Jeff Schreve
I heard about a missionary in a foreign country who led a man named Pablo to the Lord. Pablo was a poor farmer, and the missionary asked him, “Pablo, if you had 100 sheep, would you give 50 to the Lord?”
“Of course,” Pablo said.
“Okay. What if you had 50 cows? Would you be willing to give 25 of those cows to the Lord?”
And Pablo said, “Yes, sir!”
“Well, what if you had two pigs? You’d give one to the Lord, wouldn’t you?”
And Pablo said, “Well, that’s not a fair question. You know I have two pigs!”
That’s kind of the way we are, isn’t it? In theory, we’re the most generous people in the world. We say things like, “You know, if I made a million dollars, I’d give so much of it away. Think of all the good I could do!” But then you talk with people who make a million dollars, and you see that most of them have the same struggles with giving as the person who makes $30,000.
That’s because giving has a lot less to do with what’s in your bank account than it does with what’s in your heart.
You see, when most people give to the Lord, they tend to go cheap. And I think this is rooted in the fact that God is not flesh and blood like we are—He’s invisible. That means we don’t have to look Him in the eye when we bring Him an offering. So it’s “out of sight, out of mind.”
That was the problem in Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament. The people in Malachi’s day were going cheap with God—because they didn’t really hold Him in very high regard. The Lord says in Malachi 1:7-8 …
“You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, ‘How have we defiled You?’ In that you say, ‘The table of the LORD is to be despised.’ But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? hy not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?” says the LORD of hosts.
The people of Israel were thinking, Hey, God really doesn’t care what we give Him. Let’s just sacrifice our rejected animals—the crippled and the blind ones. The Lord responds, “Try giving a trash gift like that to your governor and see how happy he is with it!”
Our God is an awesome King—far greater than any worldly ruler. Yet all too often, we fall into the habit of giving Him our scraps so we can keep the good stuff for ourselves. But when you begin to give from your heart—with the attitude of making every gift your best—you learn what it truly means to live beyond yourself. And that’s what God really wants!
Q: Jeff, I really can’t afford to give much—but I do what I can. How can I know if I’m giving
A: The poor widow in Mark 12 only gave two small copper coins, too small to even count in the world’s eyes. Yet Jesus praised her because she gave all she had. It is not the amount that counts, but it is the sacrifice that makes the difference. If your giving is truly a sacrifice, coming from a heart of gratitude and love, the Lord is pleased, regardless of the amount.
Q: Does the Bible really promise blessings for those who give generously?
A: The short answer is YES! Philippians 4:19 is a great promise, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” That promise is given to those who are giving generously and lovingly to the Lord’s work. God does not promise that givers will get rich. He promises that givers will see Him meet their needs. The Bible says, “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). God is a giver … and it blesses His heart when He sees His children follow in His footsteps and give to His glory.
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by Debbie Schreve
When our oldest daughter, Jill, was a baby, she would not sleep through the night. We expected this initially, but all the books we read said she should be sleeping all night long at 3 months. At 15 months old, she was STILL not sleeping all night, so I decided desperate measures were necessary! (I don’t handle not getting enough sleep very well ... I turn into a horrible version of myself!)
I came across a “fail-proof ” plan that would break her of this habit of waking up, and have her sleeping all night within 72 hours. I geared up for the three nights of what the book said would be “torture.” I was going to have to sacrifice much of my own sleep these three nights, but I had my eye on the prize and was determined to achieve success!
By the middle of the third night, Jeff was ready to throw in the towel. But even though I was completely exhausted, I was NOT going to quit! And guess what? The following night, Jill slept all night long! My short-term sacrifice paid off big time, and I was finally able to sleep all night long every night.
Sacrifice is hard because we don’t see the end result immediately. But at the heart of sacrifice is the trust that good is coming. It’s the discipline of taking the LONG look at life and making short-term sacrificial decisions to ensure long-term eternal success.
I read this quote recently, and it really grabbed my attention ... “If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice.”
This is so true in all of life and in our relationship with the Lord. Romans 12:1 says we are to “give [our] bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable” (NLT).
God desires our hearts to be completely His and to realize that life is about so much more than ourselves. He desires for us to put His Kingdom agenda above our own selfishness and to make everything we do for His glory! We can make sacrifices now, knowing with certainty that GOOD awaits
us! When we stand before Him in heaven, every sacrifice we made for Him will be SO worth it!
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I once heard someone say, “You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” You know, that is just so true. Real love goes beyond emotion and feeling. It motivates us to live at a whole other
level—and give sacrificially as a result.
This is exactly why God wants us to give from our hearts and not from obligation. We’re told in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
God wants you to give out of a heart of love—one that says, “Lord, You have blessed me so much. I want to give this back to You because I love You.” If you don’t give from that attitude of gratitude, your gift—no matter how big—is not a blessing to Him.
R. G. LeTourneau, one of the most generous businessmen who ever lived, once said, “If you give because it pays, it won’t pay.”
In other words, if your reason for giving is just to receive something in return, then you’re missing it. Now, I certainly believe God blesses those who give. But that blessing can’t be your primary motivator for giving. It has to be love!
The truth is, the right motive in giving blesses the heart of God. Just as the verse above says, God loves a cheerful giver.
When you give from a heart that truly and sacrificially loves God, He’s blessed!
I hope you’ve been encouraged by this edition of our ministry newsletter. I pray you’ll give me the chance to share more about how to experience a new level of living, by sending you my Beyond Ourselves series and Are You Worried About Money? booklet.
Thank you for your prayers and your gifts to help us speak the truth in love to men and women all over the world. You are a blessing!
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Thank you for helping to make the following testimonies possible through your support of From His Heart!
“Thanks for your unapologetic approach to the truth. We are living in a sin-sickened, morally depleted era. And unless we have more like you who are emboldened to speak the truth in love, we will only see a more rapid decline.” — Scott
“I am listening to all your older radio programs online. These sermons are what I need each day. Thank you for making them available, as I start out my day with at least one.” — Pattie
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Larry Nobles oversees the operations of From His Heart and serves as the announcer for the daily radio and weekly TV broadcasts.
He began his broadcasting career in secular radio in 1976 and on TV in 1978. After seminary, he pastored a church for 5 years then in 1996 he began serving with Dr. Adrian Rogers for 13 years at Love Worth Finding Ministries. In 2009 God called Larry to team up with Pastor Jeff at From His Heart.
His call has been to help fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations—which he carries out by helping Pastor Jeff speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. He received an MDiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a DMin from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
Larry and his wife Vicki have two daughters and five amazing grandkids.
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