Jeff Schreve From His Heart Devotional

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<< From His Heart, by Pastor Jeff Schreve

From His Heart - Week of March 22

The Power of Example

"Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe."
1 Timothy 4:12

I am a visual learner.  I have to see something in my mind to be able to really understand it.  If I cannot see it or at least envision it, the idea, concept or instruction will remain fuzzy to me.   
I think lots of people are visual learners.  That is why illustrations are so effective in sermons; they help people see the point being conveyed.  If people can picture it, they can grasp it.  
Without a doubt, the best illustration of the Christian life is a Christian really living it out.  Paul told young Pastor Timothy to live a life of example… to be a living breathing illustration of what a Christian is - a person who honors and glorifies God in the way they talk… walk… act… react… love others… and believe/trust God.  Example gets people’s attention far better than the best sermon ever preached.     
Years ago, I heard a great poem by one of my favorite speakers, Guy Doud, 1986 Teacher of the Year.  It goes something like this…
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
I’d rather you go with me than merely point the way.
The eye is a more ready pupil than ever was the ear;
Good advice is often confusing, but example is always clear.
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
There is only one reason that God leaves us on this earth after we come to know Him as Savior and Lord: to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8).  And the best way we witness is through example.  If we “talk” Christianity and do not “walk” Christianity, we are viewed as hypocrites (play actors), and rightly so.  We turn people off to Jesus if they perceive we are not genuine, honest and sincere in our relationship with Christ.  But, if our walk matches our talk, we make an impact on the lives of people.
Many years ago when I was working in chemical sales, I went to a bachelor party for one of the sales guys in my office.  We were having fun playing cards, eating, and hanging out.  Then someone said, “Hey, let’s go to the strip joint!”  I knew that I could not do that.  I politely declined.  My boss said something to the effect that I needed to go and be part of the team (they were all going).  I said that I could not go.  He said, “Just go… and don’t look!”  Ummm… I do not think that would have worked for me.  I again politely declined and went home. 
The next week at work, two of the guys at the party (both Christians) talked to me about my not going to the strip joint.  They said they were so impressed that I stood up for what was right.  They said they wished they had said “no” too.  God used that situation in both their lives to convict them, challenge them, and draw them closer in their walk with Jesus Christ.  What made the difference for them?  The power of example!
There are people in your office, home, neighborhood, school and church who are watching you to see if you are for real.  They are listening to how you talk and how you walk.  And Jesus has come by His Spirit to live in you… so He can live through you… so you can be the example He wants you to be.   
Surrender to Him and His will today so that your life can shine like the sun for the Son of God.  As Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven”(Matt. 5:16).


Pastor Jeff Schreve
From His Heart Ministries

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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.


Jesus taught us many things through His parables, including how to live life to the fullest!

And Pastor Jeff Schreve shows you Christ’s special insight in his new 7-message CD series, The Mysteries of the Kingdom: A Study of the Parables of Jesus. All 7 messages on CD are our thank you for your online gift of any amount to From His Heart in March!


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