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Love has to be exercised before it will produce results because love is a fruit of the spirit. But if you will be faithful to exercise the God-kind of love, it will produce great fruit.
Thank God, we can grow in love, because fruit grows. But think about this. The love of God won’t really work for us unless we put it into action. Love won’t grow and be developed unless we exercise it. So it’s up to each one of us to see to it that our love is developed by exercising it.

The Bible said, “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). Now I don’t know whether any of us has ever gotten to the place where we are perfect in love yet, but thank God, we can grow and develop in love! Thank God, we can be perfected or matured in love.

That doesn’t mean we are going to be perfect now in this life. And it doesn’t mean we are going to be perfect as God is perfect. But it means that we can mature in the God-kind of love. And the fruit of love ought to at least be beginning to bud in our lives!

It may take time for the fruit of love to mature. We may not see the full-grown mature fruit yet, but at least we can see some buds starting to appear, and we can know our love is growing and developing.

I was holding a meeting one time, and three pastors came to visit my services. After the meeting, we all went out to eat and fellowship together. These pastors began talking about the subject of the love of God.

I was just listening to their conversation. I wasn’t talking much. You know, sometimes you can learn more by listening than you can by talking because you already know everything you know!

Anyway, these pastors got to talking about how much believers fail in the love walk. And one of the pastors spoke up and said, “I’ll tell you what! We need to pray! We need to pray that God would give us love. We just don’t have the love of God as we ought to have.”

I didn’t say anything. But I thought to myself, “Since the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts, then if a person doesn’t seem to have love, he’s just got to learn to walk in the light of what he already has. That’s where the problem is.”

Finally, one of the pastors asked me, “Brother Hagin, what do you think about it?”

I asked, “Do you really want to know?”

“Yes!” he said.

“Well, if you fellows don’t have any love, as you just got through saying, then you need to get saved!” They looked at me in astonishment   sort of like I’d slapped them with a wet dish rag.

I continued, “The way you talk, we don’t have the love of God. But the Bible says, ‘We know we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren.’ And if we’re saved, we’ve got the love of God in our hearts because the Bible says the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost” (1 John 3:14; Rom. 5:5).

The pastor who had asked me this question looked sort of startled, and then said, “You know, you’re right!”

He said, “I tell you, what we need to do is just pray that God would give us a baptism of love. Let’s just pray that He would baptize us in His love!”

I said, “There is no such thing as the baptism of love. Love is not a baptism. Love is a fruit of the recreated human spirit by the work of the Holy Spirit in the new birth.

“It’s not a matter of needing to pray that God would send us love, because He’s already given every believer a measure of the God-kind of love, just like He’s already given every believer a measure of the God-kind of faith. It’s just a matter of stirring up and using what’s already on the inside!”

I said, “If you’re saved, you already have a measure of the God-kind of love. You can pray until you are blue in the face that God would give you more love, but the love you have will never be increased until you feed it on God’s Word and exercise it so it can develop.

“If you develop it, then it will be increased. Feeding it on the Word and exercising it is the way you increase the God-kind of love. Love has to be exercised before it will produce results because love is a fruit of the spirit. But if you will be faithful to exercise the God-kind of love, it will produce great fruit.”

The God-kind of love is a fruit. The Word says that if we abide in the Vine, we will bear much fruit (John 15:1-8). So if a believer doesn’t have any love, evidently he’s not abiding in the Vine and drawing his nourishment from the Vine as he should be.

What happens a lot of times is that believers get taken up with natural things, and that’s where they dwell. Therefore, they don’t take advantage of what already belongs to them as they should. They don’t take time to be nourished by the Vine by communing with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. That’s why we need to put spiritual things first.

All you need to do to grow in love is abide in Him and let Him abide in you through prayer and the Word and communion with Him. Then exercise the love that you have on the inside.

Don’t get discouraged if all you can see are just a few buds of the fruit of love on the branch. Just keep on abiding in Him.

Spend time waiting upon Him and feeding on His Word, and then that love that is budding will blossom and finally bring forth much abundant fruit to God’s glory.

Source: Love: The Way to Victory by Kenneth E. 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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