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"And hope maketh not ashamed; because THE LOVE OF GOD IS SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Rom. 5:5).

Both faith and love are of the heart. Notice the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost; the love of God is not shed abroad in our heads. If you let your head dominate you, you'll be in trouble. Also, the Bible doesn't say the love of God is shed abroad in our bodies by the Holy Ghost.

No, the Bible says, "the love of God is shed abroad in our HEARTS." We know from Galatians 5:6 that faith works by love. Faith is also of the heart, not of the head. Many people get into trouble in their faith walk because they don't understand that.

Faith Will Work
Faith will work in your heart with doubt in your head. But, you see, if people don't know that, if people are going by their heads and doubts begin to arise in their minds, they'll think they're in doubt and unbelief. But you can have faith in your heart with doubt in your head.

It's with the heart that man believes, not with the head.

Faith is of the heart, and faith works by love—God's love. The God-kind of love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. We didn't have that love until God gave it to us. And faith works by this kind of love.

The problem with many people is they try to substitute natural human love for divine love, or the God-kind of love, but the two are not the same. Natural human love can turn to hatred overnight, but divine love will not.

In Mark we see how faith works by the God-kind of love:
For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
(Mark 11:23-24)
Reading a little further in verse 25,
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Verse 25 is as much a part of the Bible as Mark 11:23-24.

The Forgiveness Test
Some folks say, "I just can't forgive So-and-so." But the God-kind of love can forgive. Really, if a believer says, "I just can't forgive," he is letting his head or flesh dominate him because the love of God has been shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 5:5), and love forgives.

Actually, the Bible says we as Christians can forgive just as God forgave us: "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, FORGIVING one another, EVEN AS God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph. 4:32).

I remember a woman in one of the churches I pastored who was an example of someone letting the flesh dominate instead of walking in love. My wife and I had just accepted the pastorate of this church.

As we were moving into the parsonage, this woman came over and began talking to us. The woman said, "Now, Brother Hagin, I know you are going to hear about this, so I want to tell you firsthand myself." (You'd better watch those folks who always want to give you firsthand information; that "firsthand information" is usually slanted in their favor.)

She continued, "I just wanted to tell you how old Sister So-and-so treated me." I listened to the woman for a while, but finally I stopped her and said, "Just wait a minute, Sister. When did this happen?" "Eight years ago next Tuesday," she said.

I was appalled, and I suppose she could tell I was because my mouth fell open, and my eyes bugged out. "Now don't misunderstand me. I've forgiven her," she said, "but I'll never forget how that old devil [speaking of this other woman] treated me."

Without thinking, I pointed my finger in her face and said, "Sister, you're a bald-faced liar." She was stunned. I said, "You haven't forgiven her because if you had forgiven her, you wouldn't still be talking about it."

You see, love not only forgives, but it also forgets.

Forgive And Forget
God didn't say, "I have forgiven you of your sins, but every time I get a chance, I'm going to remind you of them." If God did that, we'd all be in a mess.

No, God cancelled our sins because of Christ's substitutionary work on the cross. God said in Isaiah 43:25: "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and WILL NOT REMEMBER thy sins."

We know that God is love. And love says, "their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb. 8:12). What happens many times is that people let their heads dominate them instead of their hearts. But the Bible says the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts (Rom. 5:5), not in our heads.

It's the same way with faith. Faith is of the heart. You could have a heart full of faith and still die of sickness or disease. Or you could have a heart full of faith and never get an answer to prayer.

You've got to release your faith or express your faith. You've got to get that faith out of your heart and into expression. You've got to get your faith working and active. How do you do that? Through actions and words.

It makes a lot of difference, friends, when you walk in love. When you walk in love, your faith will work. If my faith wasn't working, that's the first thing I would check up on—to see if I was walking in love. We know that faith works by love; in fact, faith won't work any other way.

In other words, you could have faith to move mountains, but if you're not walking in love, your faith will be ineffective. You've got to release the love of God from your heart in the same way you release your faith—through actions and words—because faith and love are of the heart. And faith works by love!

Source: Classic Sermons by Kenneth Hagin.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth E. Hagin
Web site: RHEMA
Rev. Hagin served in Christian ministry for nearly 70 years and was known as the "father of the modern faith movement." His teachings and books are filled with vivid stories that show God's power and truth working in his life and the lives of others.

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