The huge, beautiful ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in Chicago was crowded to capacity with more than 1,300 college students and Campus Crusade for Christ staff.
The spiritually hungry students seemed to hang onto my every word as I explained one of the most exciting spiritual discoveries I had ever made.
For years I had spoken on the subject of love. I had a beautiful four-point outline:
First, God loves us unconditionally.
Second, we are commanded to love others -- God, our neighbors, and even our enemies.
Third, we are incapable of loving others in our own strength.
Fourth, we can love others with God's love.
But, as in the case of most sermons on love, something was missing. Later, early one morning some years ago, I was awakened from a deep sleep. I felt impressed to get up, open my Bible, and kneel to read and pray. What I discovered during the next two hours has since enriched my life and the lives of tens of thousands of others.
In that life-changing time of fellowship with the Lord, I was given a fifth point for my future sermons on love: We love by faith!
Suddenly I was able to more clearly see that love is not a mushy feeling, but a decision -- an act of our wills. We can "choose" to love, and we do so "by faith." We may not feel like it. A person may have hurt us and even hate us, but we can love that person by faith. And we know that God operates through our faith.
Previously I shared about when I spoke to a group of pastors on the importance of God's supernatural love and loving by faith. One of the pastors came up to me after the meeting and said, "Six months ago, there was a man in my church who opposed everything I wanted to do. Frankly, I couldn't stand the man, and he couldn't stand me. We were at an impasse, and the church was being split because of it. I heard you speak on 'loving by faith,' and I determined that I would love him. I began to claim God's love for him by faith. Six months have passed, and that man is now my very best friend."
God's love is real and His power to love people through us by our faith is also real.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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