BY KENNETH E. HAGIN
If you’ve been born again, the love of God has been shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost. But it’s not enough just to love God’s love. You have to do something with it!
… the LOVE of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. – Romans 5:5
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by LOVE….But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.- Galatians 5:6,22,23
At Camp-meeting ’94, the Lord instructed me to speak on the subject, “What Have You Done With Love?”
Too many times people talk about love, but they have not done anything with it. And then sometimes folks don’t even realize what they have and that the love of God is on the inside of them (Rom. 5:5)!
I remember in August 1955 I was holding a meeting. One morning after the teaching service, I went out to lunch with the pastor and several other pastors. They got to talking about the love of God, and they all
decided that we needed a revival of love. Some of them said, “We just need a baptism of love. I tell you, what we need is the love of God!”
I just sat and listened to them. I hadn’t said a word the whole time. Finally one of the pastors said to me, “Brother Hagin, what do you think about it?”
To make a point, I said, “I think all you fellows ought to get saved.” With a startled look, that pastor asked, “What do you mean?”
“The Bible said that the love of God has been shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Ghost. If you’re born again, then you already have the love of God in your hearts!” I said.
Do you see where folks can miss it? The love of God has not been shed abroad in believers’ heads, their flesh, or their bodies. Yet too many people are either walking in the flesh or trying to walk according to
their mind the soul part of man. They need to walk in the Spirit. Notice what the Apostle John said in John chapter 13.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW THAT YE ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YE HAVE LOVE one to another.
How did John say men are going to know you are Christ’s disciples? He tells us exactly how they’ll know: “…if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35)! Then in First John 3:14, he said, “We know that we have
passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren……
How do we know that we’ve passed from death unto life? Because we’ve been baptized in water a certain way? Well, water baptism never saved anybody, although we certainly do believe in water baptism!
No, you see, the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts. And because we love the brethren, that’s how we know we’ve been born again or that we’ve passed from spiritual death unto life!
Love is the first fruit that shows up in the recreated born-again human spirit (Gal. 5:22). It’s manifested because of the life of Christ within.
When I was born again, I knew immediately that something had happened on the inside of me. To me, it felt like a two-ton weight had just been rolled off my chest. I felt so light and free. The doctor said I was
going to die, but after I was saved, it didn’t make a bit of difference in the world to me because I was so happy.
There was a change on the inside of me. There was a love on the inside of me. The things I once hated, I loved, and the things I once loved, I hated! The love of God had been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy
Ghost. The God-kind of love was in my heart.
1 JOHN 3:14,15
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, BECAUSE WE LOVE THE BRETHREN. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
How do we know we’ve passed from death unto life? Is it because we love those who love us? Is it because we love those who treat us well? No. We know because we love the brethren (1 John 3:14)!
First John 3:15 goes on to say, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a MURDERER….”
We all know it’s wrong to murder somebody. There are murderers sitting on death row in prisons today. But did you know there are also a lot of murderers sitting on church pews? That’s absolutely the truth. The
Bible says that hatred is murder. And by that definition, I’m sorry to say that there are even murderers – people who harbor hatred in their hearts – in the pulpit!
I determined a long time ago that I was not going to hate anybody, and I don’t. I also decided I was not going to harbor any ill will or bad feelings toward anyone, and I never have. I Those things can stifle your spiritual growth and cause sickness and disease in your body – even premature death.
I was holding a meeting in the western part of the United States a number of years ago. After the first service, my wife and I went out to eat with a couple we knew. The woman said to me, “Brother Hagin, you’ve got me confused. You quoted from First John 3:15 tonight and said, ‘Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer – that means mother-in-law too!'”
Sometimes while ministering, the Holy Ghost will have me say things I didn’t intend to say, but He does that in order to speak to people’s hearts.
I said to her, “I sure did. I plead guilty. But what’s your problem?” She said, “I hate my mother-in-law.”
Well, I knew that in her heart this woman really didn’t hate her mother-in-law. She was just letting her head – wrong thoughts – get in her way. So I said, “If that’s the case, then you’re a murderer, and you
won’t make Heaven.”
“Brother Hagin,” she protested, “I was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost at a young age. I speak with other tongues.”
I said, “I don’t care if you speak with other tongues twenty-four hours a day for fifty years. If you hate your mother-in-law, you’re still a murderer.” You see, I knew that she was just letting her flesh dominate her.
Finally I said, “Look me in the eye and say out loud, ‘I hate my mothering-law.’ At the same time, check down on the inside of your spirit and tell me what happens.”
She looked across the table at me and said, “I hate my mother-in-law.”
“There’s something down there scratching me.”
“That’s the love of God trying to get your attention,” I said.
“Well, what am I going to do?”
“Act like you would if you did love your mother-in-law – because you really do love her.”
A few days later, the woman invited my wife and me and her husband’s family over for refreshments after the evening service. That night she told us, “You know, I found out that my mother-in-law and her family are lovely folks, and they love the Lord. Why, I don’t hate them at all.”
You see, we sometimes let wrong thinking or the flesh dominate us. Or something happens and we get offended. But we’ll read later in First Corinthians chapter 13 that the God-kind of love doesn’t take offense,
because it takes no account of the evil done to it.
This couple’s youngest daughter was adopted, and they had discovered that she had epilepsy. They had taken her to one of the leading specialists in the world, and the doctor said this little girl had the worst case of epilepsy he had ever seen in thirty-some-odd years of practice.
One night their daughter began to have a seizure, and they called us to ask if we would stop by to pray for her. Ordinarily we don’t make stops on the way to church, but the Lord said, “Go.” When He says go, we go.
While on the way to their house, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said, “Don’t pray for the child. Don’t lay hands on her, and don’t anoint her with oil. Tell the mother that I said to Israel, ‘Walk in My statutes
and keep My commandments. Do that which is right in My sight, and I’ll take sickness away from the midst of you, and the number of your days you will fulfill.”‘
The Lord said, “Paraphrasing that in New Testament language, I said, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another even as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that you are My disciples because you love one another.”‘
The Lord continued: ‘Then tell her to say to Satan, ‘Satan, I’m walking in love now. Take your hands off my child!”‘
When we got there, I did exactly what the Lord had instructed me to do. I barely got the words He had given me out of my mouth before the woman turned and pointed to the girl, saying, “Satan, I’m walking in love now. Take your hands off my child!” Immediately the attack stopped, and to this day, her daughter has never had another seizure!
But here’s where folks miss it. They say, “Isn’t that wonderful! Isn’t that marvelous what God did for that family,” and they clap their hands and rejoice. But they don’t realize that the same principle will work
for them. All they have to do is just walk in love!
Notice God told Israel: “Walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and I’ll take sickness away from the midst of you. And the number of your days you’ll fulfill” (Exod. 23:25,26).
The Lord didn’t say that they wouldn’t die. He said they would fulfill the number of their days!
Israel kept the Law, and they were servants of God (Lev. 25:55). But according to First John 3:2, we are the sons of God: “Beloved, now are we THE SONS OF GOD…. ”
If Israel, the servants of God, had the promise of not even being sick and of living out their full length of time down here on this earth, then what about the sons of God? Does God love His sons any less than
He did His servants? Certainly not.
Well, what about the sons of God – the Body of Christ? If it was His plan and will that servants of God be in health and live out their full length of time down here, that is also His will for His sons.
If we keep the Law, we can claim the same promise God gave to Israel. Romans 13:10 says, “…LOVE is the fulfilling of the law.” Therefore, if we walk in love, we are fulfilling or keeping the Law.
When we walk in love, we’re exercising and developing the love of God inside of us. By putting the love of God into action, we’re putting ourselves in a position to receive God’s promises.
In First Corinthians chapter 13, we see the love of God defined or described. You could say that we see how the God-kind of love is put into action. First, notice verses 4 and 5 in The Amplified Bible.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4,5 (Amplified)
4 LOVE endures long and is patient and kind; LOVE never is envious nor boils over with jealousy; is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5 It is not conceited – arrogant and inflated with pride; it is not rude (unmannerly), and does not act unbecomingly. LOVE (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-
seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it – pays no attention to a suffered wrong.
Talk about the way to victory! This is it! God’s love is the way to victory, but you have to do something with God’s love. You have to put it into action.
The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Paul was not writing to sinners. He was writing to the churches of Galatia,
warning them not to be deceived. That must mean there is the possibility that Christians can be deceived.
The statement, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” is true both on the positive and on the negative side. If I sow love, I’m going to reap love. If I sow hatred, I’m going to reap hatred. If I have an unforgiving spirit, I’m going to reap unforgiveness. But if I have a forgiving spirit, praise God, I’m going to reap forgiveness.
I decided a long time ago when the love of God was shed abroad in my heart that I would walk in love whether anybody else does or not. For example, when people say false things about me, I don’t ever fight back or try to defend myself. I just pray for them and ask God to help them.
I was at a meeting one time when a minister came up to me, shook my hand, said, “Brother Hagin, I want you to forgive me.”
“What for?” I asked.
He said, “One of the young men in my congregation wanted to go to RHEMA Bible Training Center. I didn’t know anything about the school, but I tried to talk him out of it. And I told my congregation from the pulpit not to read any of your books.”
He continued: “Well, that young man went on to RHEMA anyway. When he came back home for Christmas break, I said to him sort of sarcastically, ‘I guess now you know all about that faith business, don’t you!’
“He told me, ‘No, Pastor, the greatest thing I learned at RHEMA was love.’
“When he said that, I started weeping, and he started weeping. I asked God to forgive me, and I got up in my pulpit and said, ‘Folks, I’ve got to make something right. I discredited Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin’s name
from this pulpit, and I didn’t even know anything about him personally. I was wrong. I want you to forgive me, and I encourage you folks to get his books and read them!”
Do you see? You don’t have to do anything except walk in love, forgive, and show kindness. The Lord will fight your battles for you. You don’t have to fight them. It’s just like that young man said. The greatest
thing you can learn is love – knowing you have the love of God and knowing how to put it into action!
Your faith won’t even work without love (Gal. 5:6). Oh, you may go on for a while. But the time will come when you’ll be like Samson: You’ll shake yourself and “wist not” that the Spirit of God has departed from
you (Judges 16:20).
Thank God for the love of God! The love of God has been shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost. But what have you done with love? Are you feeding that love nature on the Word of God? Are you exercising
that love by being a doer of the Word and not a hearer only? Are you walking in love?
There’s so much that can be done with the love of God within us. For example, First Corinthians 13:5 says, “. . . Love [God’s love in us] does not insist on its own rights… ” (Amp.).
I’ve been in the ministry for sixty years, and I’ve seen people split up churches because they’ve said, “I’ve got my rights. I’ve got my say-so, and I’m going to have it!” But that’s not putting God’s love into action.
Some of those dear people kept insisting on having their rights and their say-so until eventually they tore the church apart. But God’s love in us does not insist on its own rights or its own way because it is not self-seeking!
Now notice something else about the love of God: “…it takes no account of the evil done to it – pays no attention to a suffered wrong” (1 Cor. 13:5 Amp.).
Someone said, “But So-and-so did me wrong.” Well, just go ahead and walk in love, and let the Lord deal with the person.
“Yeah, but you don’t know how he treated me.” My friend, if you’re harboring a grudge, you’re headed for disaster because you’re opening the door for Satan to come in.
Love is not touchy, fretful, or resentful. It takes no account of the evil that’s done to it, and it pays no attention to a suffered wrong. That’s the nature of God’s love in us. Can you see that? Look at the next three verses.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:6-8 (Amplified)
6 It [love] does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances and it endures everything [without weakening]. 8 Love never fails – never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end….
There’s a lot of talking about love, but there’s very little living love. Praise God, the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. But we’ll have to develop and practice God’s love so that men can see a difference in us. Then they’ll be able to see God’s love in action and know that we’re born of God.
Love makes the difference! Love never fails! So what have you done with love?
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN THE WORD OF FAITH IN OCTOBER 1994 (PGS. 4-7), AND WRITTEN BY KENNETH E. HAGIN. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.